Didlake Director Appointed to Virginia Autism Council

Manassas, VA – Andrew Clarke, Didlake, Inc.’s Director of Community Services, has been appointed to the Virginia Autism Council (VAC). Clarke, a 12-year veteran of the organization, will begin his appointment at the council’s bi-monthly meeting on March 16. Clarke said his involvement advances Didlake’s dedication to working with people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) as part of its mission to provide opportunities for people with disabilities. “Working with people with autism is very different from working with people with intellectual disabilities,” Clarke said. “This appointment illustrates Didlake’s growing prominence in the state as an authority on autism within its established reputation for supporting people with disabilities.”

Clarke and other Didlake staff are now planning the application of Didlake’s increasingly recognized expertise in disability services to the field of ASD throughout the state. Clarke said he anticipates growing waves of young adults with autism exiting the school system. “When we started looking at this topic we were surprised to learn how just how little was available in the way of services or information resources for adults with autism. A short time from now there’s going to be a huge demand for services, and we intend to be ready”.

Having recently completed his Post-Baccalaureate Graduate Certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorders at Virginia Commonwealth University, Clarke is completing a Master of Education in Autism Spectrum Disorder and pursuing Board Certification in Applied Behavior Analysis.

About the Virginia Autism Council

The Virginia Autism Council is an interagency council of autism stakeholders founded in 2001 and is the only interagency council that represents the life span of those with autism, meeting on a regular basis to determine how to improve services for individuals with autism across Virginia. The council’s mission is to provide leadership and coordination for state agencies and service providers and to increase knowledge and understanding of ASD in the wider community in order to maximize outcomes for this group of Virginians. VAC was cited as one of the lead entities in Virginia that has continually improved the service delivery of individuals with ASD in Assessment of Services for Virginians with Autism Spectrum Disorders, published by the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission.

About Didlake

Didlake, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation headquartered in Manassas, Virginia. It was founded in 1965 to create opportunities for people with disabilities through services that connect them to employment, education and the community. It provides contract business services for commercial and government customers and has won numerous awards for its facilities maintenance; packaging/ assembly; and administrative services. The organization operates throughout the Washington, D.C. metro area, in the Roanoke Valley and in Greater Hampton Roads. It has approximately 1,300 employees and an annual operating budget exceeding $50 million. Didlake, Inc. is licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia, accredited by CARF and proudly serves the nation through the AbilityOne program. Its partners include the Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services, local Community Services Boards and United Way of the National Capital Area.  For more information go to www.didlake.org.

Betty Dean