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VR Service Models for Individuals with ASD 1 The Groden Network of Programs: Supporting Employees with ASD The Groden Network of Programs: Supporting Employees.

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Presentation on theme: "VR Service Models for Individuals with ASD 1 The Groden Network of Programs: Supporting Employees with ASD The Groden Network of Programs: Supporting Employees."— Presentation transcript:

1 VR Service Models for Individuals with ASD 1 The Groden Network of Programs: Supporting Employees with ASD The Groden Network of Programs: Supporting Employees with ASD March 8, 2012 Funded by NIDRR, US Department of Education, PR# Funded by NIDRR, US Department of Education, PR# H133A This webcast is supported through the Vocational Rehabilitation Service Models for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder Project, which is funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) in the U.S. Department of Education. The opinions and views expressed are those of the presenters and no endorsement by the funding agency should be inferred. © 2012 by SEDL A Webcast Sponsored by SEDL

2 VR Service Models for Individuals with ASD The Groden Network Mission To support children and adults with autism, other developmental disabilities, and other behavior challenges to lead productive, dignified, and satisfying lives by: providing the most effective educational, therapeutic, and vocational services; advancing knowledge and best practices through research, education, and training; and involving, educating and supporting families in caring and advocating for their children. 2

3 VR Service Models for Individuals with ASD The Cove Center - History Part of the Groden Network; established in 1985 as the primary service provider to adults with autism in Rhode Island. Provide vocational, therapeutic, recreational, and other services to 108 adults in day and residential programs. Provide vocational services to over 50 adolescents as part of educational program. 3

4 VR Service Models for Individuals with ASD Cove Center - Trends Recent increase in services provided to adolescents and adults with Asperger’s. “Job Clubs” in served 28 young adults (18-28 age range) with Asperger’s. Employment rate of approximately 45% for graduates. State budget cut of approximately 25% of day services July 2011.

5 VR Service Models for Individuals with ASD Program Highlights Individualized vocational services blending ABA principles and techniques (i.e., task analyses, behavior targets, etc) with person- centered values (community, communication, choice). Creation of diverse employment “enterprises” that offer opportunities for “Discovery”, employment and community linkages. 5

6 VR Service Models for Individuals with ASD Program Effectiveness Over 100 individuals in paid employment. No sheltered or sub-minimum work Hourly wages range from $7.40 per hour to $14.00 per hour Annual income earned approaches $225,000 Annual taxes paid (estimate) $30,000 Very high consumer family/satisfaction Funded by state DD agency, Voc Rehab; grant awards from local, regional, and national entities. 6

7 VR Service Models for Individuals with ASD Interventions and Strategies “First things first” - Identify person’s strengths and interests from history and then in real work settings. Person and family directed. Redefine unique interests/idiosyncratic behaviors as potential work skills Set up “Discovery” opportunities (Griffin, Hammis, Geary) with businesses in the community; identify employer needs for tasks to be done, not jobs to be filled.

8 VR Service Models for Individuals with ASD Interventions and Strategies Suggest different employment models to facilitate connection between employer and the person (traditional employment, temporary hire, “contractor – fee for service”) Build positive relationships and good will to allow person’s capabilities to shine over time. Train co-workers, supervisors on ASD including learning style, personality, “quirks”, unique needs, etc. Fade gradually but not completely.

9 VR Service Models for Individuals with ASD Interventions and Strategies Focus on individualized instruction. Career is a series of jobs, jobs a series of tasks, tasks a series of behaviors. Most plans have minimum of one goal for a vocational skill and one goal for a “soft” skill. Feedback loop (assessment, plan development, plan implementation, plan evaluation)

10 VR Service Models for Individuals with ASD “Major” Enterprises Horticulture (Greenhouse and Retail) Food Service (Ladle and Café at Cove) Recycling/E-Waste (Wheaton College and Office Recycling Solutions) 10

11 VR Service Models for Individuals with ASD Enterprises “Trades”- Carpentry, Painting, Delivery services. Squeegie Clean – Window washing, cleaning The Business Center – (Copying, shredding, general office work)

12 VR Service Models for Individuals with ASD What is an Enterprise? Makes money/individuals are employed. Staff as business manager and clinician. Links to the service agency (what has to be done to run the agency, ex. food, building repairs, office). Links to the community for networking, job development, marketing, etc. Enterprises link to each other for referral of work, relationships, marketing, joint sense of activity and purpose.

13 VR Service Models for Individuals with ASD Greenhouse Six individuals employed part-time/ High job satisfaction/reduced behavior problems. $80,000 in annual revenue/pays for vehicle and some staff time Greenhouse customers hire individuals for community beautification, landscaping, etc. RI Flower Show - 10,000 customers associate Groden with great work!

14 VR Service Models for Individuals with ASD Food Service The “Ladle” school lunch program Utilizes Groden school program kitchen Produce 62 school lunches daily ($150 daily revenue) Employs five individuals Developing catering business Café at Cove provides food training/graduates to paid positions in the community or school lunch program

15 VR Service Models for Individuals with ASD Challenges Budget cuts reduce staff/effect morale. Planning for growth while reacting to cuts requires frequent shifts in thinking and operations. Right balance between Groden Network needs and development of vocational/business enterprises. Continuing to maintain individualized vocational goals when enterprises allow for quick success. 15

16 VR Service Models for Individuals with ASD Success Stories Wayne at the Greenhouse Kevin at Dunkin Donuts 16

17 VR Service Models for Individuals with ASD Future Goals To survive! - link to other agency’s for efficiency and cost savings. Document the process of service delivery (Discovery philosophy/ABA delivery) Take better data on individual and group outcomes Publish! 17

18 VR Service Models for Individuals with ASD Questions and Answers 18

19 VR Service Models for Individuals with ASD Contact Information The Groden Network of Programs 86 Mount Hope Avenue Providence, Rhode Island (401) The Cove Center (Mike Smith, Rick Spencer) 610 Manton Avenue Providence, Rhode Island (401)


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