Blended Funding and Support
Successful employment for individuals with ASD often requires unique supports in the areas of social competence, communication, organization, and sensory processing. In many situations, these supports are developed and provided on an individual basis. However, specialized vocational programs for ASD have been developed for employment and/or employment preparation. These programs not only provide supports and services for individuals ASD, they also utilize a blending of funding and support from a variety of agencies. The following are examples of innovative employment programs. (Please note: Not every program will meet the needs of each individual with ASD. Individualization will always be necessary.)
A collaborative public-private employment training and placement model for transition-age youth with ASD developed and implemented by the Virginia Commonwealth University Autism Center for Excellence.
Based on the Project SEARCH model developed at Cincinnati Children's Hospital, this model is a collaborative effort between community mental heath agencies, education, and business leaders.
This Ohio-based program is a vocational rehabilitation and supported employment facility that works solely with individuals with ASD to provide job development, job training, and job supports. Services are provided in an on-site gluten-free bakery that is part of the program, as well as and other off-site locations.
The Lettuce Work Foundation is an Ohio-based non-profit established to serve young adults with ASD and training them for the future. Lettuce Work specializes in growing produce that is sold and delivered to local schools, hospitals, supermarkets, and restaurants, and uses the revenue to support the program services. This program is a collaborative effort between the Department of Developmental Disabilities, a private specialized school-age program, and private contributors.