Founded by Adli, Autism Café Project first began in December 2015, operating out of a corner lot house in USJ, Subang once a week. After applying for a space at iM4U Sentral in Puchong, Autism Café Project has been running a café there since.
Adli, who has an autistic son himself, says that he established Autism Café Project to train autistic youth to be independent. Adli realised that his son will most likely outlive him, so he needed to learn the skills to be independent. The café serves as a training centre for the youths, where they learn to interact with customers and learn basic skills such as preparing meals, serving food and washing dishes. Apart from full-time staff, the café also hires people who live too far to commute to make cookies which are sold in the café. On Wednesdays, the café is open for parents to bring their autistic children to experience working in the café for a day.
The menu varies from day to day. On some days you might find pasta and lasagna, and on others you might find nasi lemak and roti jala. The food here uses all natural healthy ingredients.
Autism Café Project doesn’t just run the café, they also provide food packing and catering services for events. At the moment, they’re planning to open another café which would allow them to hire more autistic youth. In the meantime, they’re looking for donations of secondhand items such as cookware and furniture for their new space.