Charlottesville Disability Public Safety Forum

Join us for a  FREE community event with three goals:

  • ​Panel discussion with community members

  • Opportunities to network and share information

  • Lights, Sirens & other demonstrations will be a part of this forum.

Saturday, September 30th, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. at MLK Performing Arts Center

Register Now!

The Virginia Premiere of "Swim Team"

Swim Team is an award-winning feature documentary about a New Jersey YMCA-based, community swim team made up of kids on the autism spectrum. The film follows three of the team’s star athletes, boys on the cusp of adulthood. With their families, they navigate the transition to adulthood while also searching for a sense of belonging.


Swim Team is a portrait of diverse American families who grapple with the problem of “aging out” of services. The film explores the struggles families face, the triumphs they achieve, and ways the community can be supportive as they strive for independence, inclusion and a life that feels winning.


Guests will see the first 45 minutes of the 90-minute documentary airing on WCVE PBS / WHTJ PBS on October 2 at 10:00 pm. A panel discussion and networking session will follow. Representatives from all partner organizations will be available to provide information about community resources.

The program is free and open to the public.

Register for Tickets Here

New Partnership with Northstar Academy

Local Educational Programs Announce Partnership 
The Founders Center and Northstar Academy collaborating to serve children with special education needs.


For Immediate Release

Two Richmond-based educational programs began a collaborative partnership this week that will help maximize opportunities for children with special education needs. Northstar Academy, a private nonprofit school in Henrico County, will host a school-age classroom for children at The Founders Center, a program of Commonwealth Autism.

Northstar Academy Head of School Crystal Trent sees great value in the partnership, which will build on each other’s strengths. “This is a collaboration that will benefit students in both programs.” With an enrollment of about 85 students, Northstar serves children in grades K-12 with a broad range of disabilities. Northstar serves students from 17 school systems in Central Virginia and utilizes small student-staff ratios and custom tailored curricula that meets each child’s individual need to find success.

The Founders Center will serve up to eight of their own school-age students at the Northstar site. Their program uses principles based in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and an even denser student-staff ratio of six staff for every eight students. Utilizing additional staff from Commonwealth Autism, The Founders Center will bring expertise in autism and other developmental disabilities and the opportunity to collaborate with Northstar staff on training and other professional development for both staff and families.

Check out our newest blog!

We are excited to introduce our NEW Best Practice Blog. Commonwealth Autism staff will post here periodically, bringing you tips and tricks that can enhance your work in supporting people with autism and other developmental disabilities. 

If you have a topic you'd like to see us cover in the Best Practice Blog, contact us


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