The Ramesh and Kalpana Bhatia Family Foundation Funds NEXT for AUTISM to Expand Mentorship and Employment Opportunities for Autistic Adults
NEW YORK, June 16, 2021 — NEXT for AUTISM announces its new partnership with The Ramesh and Kalpana Bhatia Family Foundation, an organization dedicated to making impactful change by funding innovative solutions and programs that serve the common good. With a $300,000 grant, the Bhatia Family Foundation is helping NEXT for AUTISM launch the first year of two brand new, dynamic initiatives to support adults on the spectrum.
NEXT Gen Connect, the first of these two initiatives, is a peer mentor-to-mentor program to improve the acquisition and retention of employment for autistic adults. The second, NEXT for DEI, is a new initiative centered on the importance of inclusion for adults with autism in the workplace.
“We are incredibly grateful to the Bhatia Family Foundation for their generous support and thoughtful collaboration on these two important efforts within our organization,” said Dr. Patricia Wright, PhD, MPH, who serves as NEXT for AUTISM’s SVP of Strategic Initiatives. “Thanks to the Bhatia Family Foundation, NEXT Gen Connect and NEXT for DEI have the opportunity to not only make their way off the ground, but truly soar.”
“As the mother of an autistic teenager, it is a privilege to partner with NEXT for AUTISM as they forge new ground for adults with autism,” said Anita Bhatia, Executive Director, The Ramesh and Kalpana Bhatia Family Foundation . “Their work is changing lives not only in the autism community, but in the community at large. It’s time for autistic individuals to be seen as key components of our society and should be included in conversations around diversity, equity, and inclusion, especially in the workplace.”
Innovative Programs Expand Opportunities for Adults with Autism
NEXT for AUTISM is in the development stage of NEXT Gen Connect, with the intent to pilot the content in Year 1, followed by dissemination aimed at higher education programs working with soon to be college graduates, as well as organizations and corporations who often engage in mentorship experiences to support the emerging workforce. Looking ahead, NEXT Gen Connect will encourage and foster a more inclusive programming within a corporations’ current infrastructure. NEXT for AUTISM, with the support from The Bhatia Family Foundation, will provide that critical starting point and next step.
NEXT for DEI addresses NEXT for AUTISM’s strong belief that people with disabilities need to be valued and represented in the conversation and analytics of the diversity, equity, and inclusion movement. The organization is committed to changing the narrative, ensuring people with disabilities are included; through education, advocacy, and true equity for people in corporate America.
Valuable partnerships and community relationships remain key elements of NEXT for AUTISM’s work and their goal of expanding the organization’s impact and visibility. People with disabilities can’t wait any longer. Through education and advocacy, and the support and generosity of the Bhatia Family Foundation, NEXT for AUTISM can promote inclusivity in the workplace.
ABOUT NEXT FOR AUTISM:
NEXT for AUTISM transforms the national landscape of services for people with autism by strategically designing, launching, and supporting innovative programs. We believe that individuals with autism have the potential to live fulfilling, productive lives when supported by excellent services and connected to their communities. We continually ask, what’s next for people on the autism spectrum? www.NEXTforAUTISM.org
ABOUT THE RAMESH AND KALPANA BHATIA FAMILY FOUNDATION:
The Ramesh and Kalpana Bhatia Family Foundation, founded in 2006, is a private family foundation established by Ramesh and Kalpana Bhatia. The Foundation is dedicated to making an impactful change around the world by funding innovative solutions and programs that enrich communities and serve the common good. The Foundation's grant making focuses on local, national, and international organizations that support medical & healthcare research, education, mental health, intellectual and physical diversities, human rights & social justice, women & girls empowerment, and emergency responses. http://www.rkbhatiafoundation.org.
The Ramesh and Kalpana Bhatia Family Foundation
Erin Kane | Communications Director
310-403-4002 | Erin@rkbhatiafoundation.org