Independent Living, Integrated Employment, and Continuing Education for Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities ProjectFREE
is a non-profit initiative that is building a community to enrich the lives of intellectually and developmentally disabled adults. The goal is to help these adults lead a high quality, balanced, and independent life.
Asperger’s, intellectual and developmental disabled individuals are entitled to publicly funded education until they are 21 years of age. After this point in their lives, the support systems that allow them to live independent, quality lives, diminish or disappear. ProjectFREE
is in the process of developing and managing a non-profit community where education, career opportunities and independent living exist.
Life skills and job training are/will be provided through the Freedom Academy
to improve the quality of life where students achieve post-graduate success in a choice of many exciting fields.
This focused training increases independence where these populations can thrive within a safe and supportive community called Freedom Village.
Through living, learning, and working, every person can compete in, and contribute to, their community and society at large.
Mission: To implement a bold new concept for adults with Asperger’s, intellectual and developmental disabilities who have the ability and the passion to live and work independently by creating a safe and supportive living, learning, and working environment that intrinsically connects each individual to their community.
Our Inspiration: Lauren’s Story
Lauren personifies what is possible when a person focuses on their abilities and breaks down barriers. From the day she was born, we recognized that her life would be about what she would achieve despite what the larger society might think is possible. Thirty years of challenges and successes—including being the first mainstreamed student in a public high school, a performing musician and holding down a job in the “real world”—still places Lauren in a world with very limited career and independent life options.
will be created to provide quality educational and vocational experiences for students with special needs.
Our continuing education program is specifically designed to meet the needs of a variety of students. Freedom Academy
is a comprehensive institution of learning for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Students will enroll at Freedom Academy
to experience a new version of post-secondary vocational and educational learning that utilizes various models to maximize student potential and success.
Our goal is to create and foster an adult learning community rich in positive learning experiences and opportunities to increase independence. We will strive to individualize our educational process and offer structured college courses that lead to earning a certificate in a specialized trade or skill, or a diploma in Life Skills and Occupational studies. Freedom Academy
utilizes a multidisciplinary approach to ensure each student receives the individual attention he/she needs to be successful and maintain ongoing progress.
Our first Freedom Academy
will be set in idyllic Niantic/Crescent Beach, Connecticut at the newly renovated Elms Hotel. During the school year, The Elms will have classrooms and an instructional commercial kitchen, which will teach a curriculum of culinary arts, hotel / hospitality management / services anchored in life skills and Liberal Arts. Freedom Academy
will offer marketable trade certificates and during the summer season, a quality family beachfront resort with all of its historic amenities. Selected students will have the opportunity to intern during the summer with supervision.
takes vocational training and employment to a new, exciting, innovative level that goes beyond training and placement. Our career development program is set apart from any other by its distinctive curriculum that leads to job satisfaction and retention. Our occupational specialists prepare our students to thrive in their careers, and enjoy a high quality of life and independence, while making positive contributions to their communities. ProjectFREE
’s Business Model provides an opportunity for each participant to succeed in a career of their choice. ProjectFREE
offers real world career vocational training while on the job. Our training centers offer supported, hands-on learning experiences in businesses that are totally integrated with the greater community and designed for profit. The retail, service and hospitality businesses/training sites focus on providing each individual with supported, self - directed real life career development anchored in relevant skill education and specific certification.
will also develop and manage an all-inclusive, supported housing community for these adults. It will support on-site independent living, Freedom Academy
, quality social events, and entrepreneurial opportunities. Freedom Village
residents will take leadership positions and become peer mentors. ProjectFREE
’s goal is to make these opportunities available so that our community members will be active in planning, directing, and enriching their own lives. Freedom Village
will include a mixed residential, retail, entertainment and public space, a Village that attracts local residents and tourists, a community center, a private academy and social outlets. Shops, restaurants, and entertainment centers will be self-sustaining training centers. The Village will be on a main road within walking distance of lively commercial districts with direct access to public transportation and the world beyond.
State-of-the-art, affordable condominiums occupied by both owners and long-term renters are the safe, affordable housing that is the heart of Freedom Village
. In addition to the leasing and home ownership options and in recognizing the next stage of life, Freedom Village
will include an Assisted Living Facility. This model builds on a proven and effective means of integrating adults with disabilities into the mainstream communities by combining affordable housing with services tailored to each individual. ProjectFREE
has identified all units as either Section 8 or HUD Workforce Housing so our villagers will not need to rely on their families for financing.
Join us in taking supportive, independent living to exciting new heights!
Project FREE is a stimulus project that will create hundreds of new jobs in Connecticut and Florida. We will develop a living, working and learning community for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, that will provide employment and afford new opportunities for both professional and blue collar workers. It takes the critical mass of Project FREE to provide the totality of springboard resources to launch and integrate each individual into an independent life beyond the boundaries of its safe, skill-building, supportive community. Collaborating of resources is vital to the success of Freedom Village and Freedom Academy .
Project FREE is a 501 (c) (3) entity. It will seek funding through public and private sources. The principals involved in Project FREE are seeking federal, state, and local financial support, as well as private investors and corporate donors.
For more information on how to get involved, please contact us directly by phone or email.
29 Beach Avenue
Niantic, CT 06357
P: 860.499.0560 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Download a Printable Brochure (PDF)
Download Academy Investors Packet Presentation (PowerPoint)
Download Academy Investors Packet Presentation (PDF)
Download Bios (PDF)