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Tom sands wood in the art room at Baltimore's Itineris Foundation, which helps adults with autism develop real-world skills and find employment.
Tom sands wood in the art room at Baltimore's Itineris Foundation, which helps adults with autism develop real-world skills and find employment. (Julia Leiby / The Washington Post)

Itineris Inc., a nonprofit offering programs for adults with autism spectrum disorders, has launched a $4.2 million capital campaign to complete the purchase of its Woodberry building and add services.

The group starts the campaign with close to $3 million committed from foundations and other donors.

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In September, Itineris bought the 24,000-square-foot Rockrose industrial building on Television Hill that it had previously partially occupied for $2.7 million. It financed the purchase though the New York-based Disability Opportunity Fund and the Columbia Bank.

Itineris and Sam's Canterbury Cafe are working to employ young adults with autism. There's a burgeoning national movement to get more people with developmentally disabilities into the workplace.

The group plans to renovate and use the remainder of the space as a workforce center to help autistic adults develop job skills. Programming is expected to expand by 50 percent and help meet the needs of the growing population in Baltimore.

Research shows that one in 59 children are autistic, according to the latest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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