The Nisonger Center Aspirations Program recently received a $5,000 grant from the Gordon Flesch Foundation to support new programming; Employability.

This grant will be used to support three, 8-10 week groups serving approximately 25 young adults with HFA/AS, all of whom have participated in the ten week initial Aspirations support groups, offered over the course of one year. Close attention will be paid to developing a curriculum based on best practices and evidence-based outcomes. Two facilitators will conduct the group and work together to develop and fine tune the curriculum; each group will be different based on the composition of the participants. As a result, the curriculum will be developed in such a manner as to be flexible and responsive to individual and collective group needs. The value of a group approach to exploring career aspirations and appropriate work behaviors is the support and encouragement that members can offer one another. Co-facilitators will be individuals with considerable work development/job training experience. Each group participant will leave the experience with a career focused work plan both short and long term. The groups will deal specifically with matters related to career exploration, job readiness, work behaviors and interviewing/resume preparation skills. The support to help up set up this model program would allow us the opportunity fine tune the intervention throughout the course of the year and thus be able to justify a fee for service protocol to support its ongoing operation. We will run the group, assess, modify then start the next group with what we have learned.

“When there are only 5% of individuals with autism spectrum disorder meaningfully employed; I’m excited to be able to coordinate a program that allows time for more practice of employment skills… the skills important for maintaining an occupation and not just obtaining it.”

-Erin Powers, LISW-S
Program Manager, Aspirations
The Ohio State University Nisonger Center

Gordon Flesch Charitable Foundation representative Matt Shock joined Aspirations Program participants, families, and Nisonger staff for a tour and check presentation on August 21, 2018.