Two area nonprofits are collaborating on a program to help introduce work opportunities to high school students with disabilities.
Aspire of WNY and Autism Services Inc. will provide vocational training for students based on Aspire’s World of Work (WOW) program.
The program teaches soft skills like communication, time management, organization and teamwork while students are in the workplace. The program will begin with eight students from Western New York currently supported by Autism Services.
The goal is to give the students marketable skills they can utilize as they transition from school age to adult life. Students will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the six-week summer program.
Agencies serving the disabilities sector have been making changes in recent years to meet state mandates for programs that better integrate individuals with disabilities into the broader workforce.
Based in Buffalo, Aspire is among the region’s largest nonprofits, operating with revenue of nearly $70 million. The agency provide such services as educational, pre-vocational and community living skills as well as a range of therapies for children with disabilities and their families.
Autism Services operates on revenue of about $14 million, offering educational, residential, habilitation, vocational and cultural programs.