Group of Diverse Hands Together Joining

Make The VIP Connection

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Welcome to Verge of Independence Project                                                                  Winner of  2022

(VIP), a Neurodiversity Movement using                                                                                                       Student

multimedia to promote independence,                                                                      Keystone Media Award      self-advocacy, and social confidence of autistic

young adults!                                                                                                                    

"Did you know that nearly 800,000 young

adults in the U.S. identify as an autistic person

or a person with autism?" Click on the

About Autism page to learn more about autism

and resources.


Established in 2009, VIP aims to help autistic

young adults discovering that Connections

Matter. You, too, can make the connection

by exploring this resourceful site. 










                                                                                                                      (Click on the paper to view the full article)

    Discover VIP VoxPop

    Exercise Your Independence by Answering for Yourself the Following Question:      

                                "What does independence mean to me?" 

          I am autistic and a self-advocate. I am also the cofounder of Verge of Independence Project and its autism ambassador. For me, independence means, having the freedom to discover and embrace my different abilities                                                                       

         My interests are listening to all kinds of good music, playing musical instruments, swimming, skating, bowling, golfing, traveling, being around trees, attending; concerts, performances, and sporting events, exploring jobs, spending time with my family   and friends, and learning and participating in the voting process."


         Verge of Independence Project/VIP was created for autistic young adults to have the freedom to express themselves. So, check out The VIP VoxPop, where you can hear and share your thoughts on living and leading as an autistic individual. 

    Hi, my name is Branford...

    Put Your John Hancock on the Virtual Verge of Independence Project Declaration, and sign up to get your VIP e-Newsletter!!


    become an

    agent of


    The Vip Blog

    "Don't Cut Corners...Unless It's Cake" Blog Series


    Presented by VIP Blogger Melissa Lushington 

    Hi, VIPers!

    Welcome to the "Don't Cut Corners...Unless It's Cake" Blog! On the first  Wednesday of each month, you can look forward to receiving news and information along with a sweet slice of wisdom that speaks to autistic adults and to those who support them."

    Vip zone & Podcast

    Produced by the Verge of Independence Project Team

    The Inaugural   

    VIP Zone Podcast




    Once entering the zone, you’ll be able to focus on empowering platforms that supports and leads to gaining independence.


    We want to keep you charged up by presenting encouraging web and podcast interviews!


    Take a listen to our kick-off interview with              Kevin "Katalyst" Carroll, bestselling author of "Rules of the Red Rubber Ball!"

    Live Your Dreams and Be Inspired...


    In celebrating our 10th Anniversary, we are soon bringing our reimagined podcast

    VIP Zone Podcast-Unplugged!









    Check out the soundtrack to your life, the Verge of Independence song. The song and the VIP Zone inaugural podcast can be heard on the following apps:

    Special Public Statement from Verge of Independence Blogger Melissa Lushington


    When was the last time you got a letter in the mail? When was the last

    time you went to your mailbox or doorstep and received a personal letter

    in the mail? I had a friend once whom I met back in 2016. Her name was

    Marion Tomlinson, and aside from phone calls, she and I would write letters to

    each other. I remember the exciting feeling I got whenever I went to the front

    door and saw that a letter came to me from her. I remember the good feeling

    After reading her letter, I remember the fun feeling of writing a

    letter back to her and putting it in the mailbox while on my way to school.

    She passed away a year ago in February, but I still hold on to the physical

    handwritten letters from her to remember her by. Don’t you all remember

    those days of doing that? Before social media, the internet, and cell

    phones, writing physical handwritten letters to one another was a way of life

    and a way of communication. As a blogger for Verge of Independence, I

    would like to welcome back that form of communication to have another

    way of reaching out to me because I really do want to hear from all of you

    regarding my blogs and your thoughts on them. You can talk to me about

    what you like most about my blogs. You can talk to me about which blogs

    are your favorite, you can talk about what you would like to see more of in terms of subjects to talk about in my blogs, or if you do not want to talk about my blogs, you can write to me just talk about yourselves. I spend so much time telling you about my experiences with autism. I am just curious to know about yours. Tell me about what your experiences with autism are like, from either personal experience of being a young adult on the spectrum or through the association of having someone in your life who is on the spectrum. It would mean a lot to me to get to know you as you continue to get to know me, and if you are interested in writing to me, the mailing address for Verge of Independence can be found right here:


                                  Verge of Independence Project, Inc.

                                  P.O. Box 56033

                                  Philadelphia, PA 19130-6033


    So, I encourage you to write your letters to me and send them to the following address above. This is another way for us to communicate and a deeper way of being connected. Also, please make sure that you write in PRINT ONLY because I am not good at reading different forms of cursive writing, so writing in print makes it easier to read and comprehend what you are saying. Thank you for listening, and have a nice day. Take care.

                                                                                -Melissa Lushington, 

                                                                    Verge of Independence Blogger and

                                                                                   Autism Advocate



                         VIP NEWS, VIEWS, & HAPPENINGS


    For the third year in a row, the Verge of Independence Project is a proud recipient of the 

    Philadelphia Autism Project Seed Award








    The Verge of Independence Project will use the funding to create virtual and in-person workshops on various topics for young adults on the spectrum. Some topics include social integration, public speaking/advocacy, financial literacy, and civic engagement.

     To learn more about the seed awards, please visit