We caught up with #AerieREAL Changemaker Lauren Abercrombie founder of Inclusion Fusion to get REAL about Autism Awareness. Read on to hear about her story in creating the organization and how you can get involved.

When did you see a need for an organization like Inclusion Fusion and how does the work you do help those in the community?

Growing up with a brother on the autism spectrum, I saw a need for an organization like Inclusion Fusion in the disability community at a young age. Experiencing life through the lens of my autism family, I noticed the lack of services for my brother and the gaps in the community that needed to be filled. Inclusion Fusion helps our community by providing programs like social & life skills groups, dance classes, academic tutoring, dating classes, and social events for all ages and abilities.

How has your contribution to Inclusion Fusion helped you to feel empowered, and to empower others?

I feel empowered when I see my clients feeling empowered and when I see our clients achieving their goals. There is nothing better than seeing the progress of our clients, seeing them gain confidence, and hearing how happy they are at Inclusion Fusion. I am very fortunate; Inclusion Fusion has become a safe place for our clients where they are allowed to be unapologetically themselves.

“Inclusion Fusion has become a safe place for our clients where they are allowed to be unapologetically themselves.”

What are some of the goals you help individuals with disabilities achieve?

Our main goal at Inclusion Fusion is to help our clients achieve their goals, whether that be to make a friend, learn how to cook, apply for a job, or move out of their parent’s home and live independently. We want to help our clients feel empowered, be themselves, and love themselves for who they truly are.

How has your experience with this community informed you, and what is something you want other people to know?

After spending so much of my life in the disability community, I have learned the true meaning of inclusion. A common misconception in the community is that inclusion means “treating & seeing everyone as the same”. I simply disagree with this. Inclusion is seeing that everyone is different and embracing the beauty of those differences.

There’s a quote I love: “Inclusion is not bringing people into what already exists; it is making a new space, a better space, for everyone.” This is what I want for Inclusion Fusion.

“Inclusion is seeing that everyone is different and embracing the beauty of those differences.”

What has been your proudest moment in building this organization?

One of my proudest moments was our first Skills for Life Camp, an overnight life skills camp where we stay in a home and teach young adults how to live independently. A program like this is groundbreaking in the autism community – the first of its kind, at least in Nevada and maybe the west coast. These adults get the most naturalistic experience of independence, and we are so proud to see what they accomplish and how much they grow during the camp. Also to mention, it’s so fun and gives our attendees the opportunity to be an adult, without any parents around.

I am so proud of Inclusion Fusion and what it has become in the short amount of time that we have been open. I couldn’t do any of this without my extraordinary team; I cannot wait to see what is in store for the future of Inclusion Fusion!

How can someone get involved and help Inclusion Fusion?

There are many ways someone can get involved and help Inclusion Fusion! Follow us on social media, share our posts, tell your friends and family about us. For small businesses like us, word of mouth goes a long way.

I also encourage you to educate yourself on disabilities and be mindful about how you can be a more inclusive person. Ask questions and listen to the voices of neurodiverse people.

If you are Las Vegas local, you can volunteer with us & hang out with some pretty cool people!

Get the look: Feelin’ Good Knit Half Sleeve T-Shirt

A huge thanks to Lauren for sharing her incredible story and giving us a deeper insight to what inclusion means. You can follow Inclusion Fusion on instagram @inclusionfusion to keep up with Lauren and learn more.

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