ADULT EMPLOYMENT PROGRAMS
The Pacific Autism Family Centre is passionate about empowering individuals on the autism spectrum to meet their potential and participate in community in meaningful ways. If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact our Director of Adult Programing: Jenna Christianson-Barker at firstname.lastname@example.org
PAFC’s social enterprise initiative, GO Group, provides paid, goal oriented employment opportunities.
Ready, Willing & Able (RWA) is a collaborative initiative working to build a more inclusive workforce across BC.
EmploymentWorks Canada is a 12 week pre-vocational program focused on skills based experiential learning.
Compass is a job seeker database to help connect individuals on the autism spectrum to available job opportunities.
SELECT AN AREA FOR INFORMATION:
EmploymentWorks Canada (EWC) is a 12 week pre-vocational program that offers employment preparedness training for individuals ages 15-29 with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), who are no longer attending school and are seeking opportunities to practice and develop the essential skills necessary to obtain sustainable employment. The program focuses on three main themes:
Knowing Myself as a Working Person (What are my strengths and interests? What is my plan of action?)
Engaging in the Culture of Employment (What does the boss want? How to overcome challenges?)
Building My Skills for Employment (How to network; developing social thinking skills)
Individual goals are targeted through a series of structured learning and development activities; exposure to varying workplace settings and teams; and the application and practice of skills through peer mentor support. EWC addresses various areas of employment preparedness training, including self-development, social and communication skills, life skills and confidence building. Through the 12 structured learning sessions and 12 workplace experiences, the program aims for:
- Participants to acquire and/or advance their employment relevant skills;
- Participants to develop and work towards achievable employment goals;
- Participants to build confidence and broaden community engagement for greater social inclusion and enjoyment;
- Community reach to build capacity and awareness of the contributions individuals with ASD bring to the workplace and to identify ways to create autism-friendly environments that foster success; and
- Mentors and co-workers to develop an understanding of the importance of mentorship and how they can support participant’s efforts to achieve employment skills and vocations goals.
Meet the Team: View Bios Here >
Rebecca Farnell, Program Coordinator (EWC)
email@example.com (604) 207-1980
Coordinates Participant Registration & Manages Program Implementation
SF Walker, Program Facilitator (EWC)
Delivers Program Curriculum
To learn more about the national initiative, click here: worktopia.ca/employment-works
If you are an individual on the autism spectrum and interested in gaining pre-employment training, please contact Rebecca Farnell to discuss participation in the program.
Ready, Willing & Able (RWA) is a national partnership between the Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL) and the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance (CASDA) to develop a more inclusive workforce across Canada. Delivered in partnership with Inclusion BC, PAFN is the proud host of the autism cohort of the partnership. Our team is focused on increasing the number of people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) employed through the engagement of employers and raising awareness about the value and benefits of hiring people with diverse abilities. Since PAFN joined the team in January 2016, 74 individuals (and counting) have secured meaningful employment opportunities.
Employer Capacity and Confidence
Many employers report a lack of confidence, understanding and awareness in their own ability to find, hire and manage employees with intellectual disabilities or ASD. Through RWA employers are given knowledge, resources and tools through targeted public awareness, peer-to-peer workshops, mentoring, training in inclusive HR strategies, guides on workplace accommodations and other tools. With increased knowledge comes increased employer capacity.
Employers’ championing the hiring of people with intellectual disabilities or ASD, in a peer-to-peer model, is a proven method for engaging other employers and thus creating increased employment opportunities. RWA is establishing many new partnerships with employer-to-employer networks by engaging and informing local employer networks, service clubs and professional associations.
Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development
Entrepreneurship and small business development is a critical component of any labour market strategy. Entrepreneurship offers flexible solutions to people with intellectual disabilities or ASD for whom traditional employment is not a current fit or desire. RWA works to ensure that entrepreneurship is a viable option by providing expertise, knowledge, resources and support to existing community agencies.
Inclusive Post-secondary Education
Research indicates that post-secondary education and training significantly improves employment outcomes for people with intellectual disabilities or ASD just as for their non-disabled peers. RWA is supporting initiatives within post-secondary education and training institutions across the country to provide students with intellectual disabilities or ASD with the same opportunities as their peers for entry and meaningful participation at university, community college or technical institutions.
Service System Modernization
Currently in Canada, the most prevalent service response to the employment needs of people with intellectual disabilities is entry into a sheltered workshop and day program. For many people with ASD, existing services are unable to fully meet their needs. In both instances this results in exclusion from meaningful paid employment in the community. Working together with community partners, RWA is providing support, leadership and strategies to address the gaps in service delivery, policy and practice that currently contribute to the vast underemployment of people with intellectual disabilities or ASD.
Youth Transitions to Employment
Research shows that the single greatest predictor of youth having a paid job at or above minimum wage after leaving high school is having a paid job while attending high school. RWA works with employers, community services and educational institutions to build partnerships and community capacity to assist youth with intellectual disabilities or ASD to make the transition from high school to employment. RWA works to facilitate successful youth transitions to employment and careers by facilitating summer and part-time after-school employment opportunities for students; and assisting these students to pursue employment, career-development and postsecondary opportunities.
Meet the Team: View Bios Here >
Heather Linka, Regional Autism Manager (RWQ)
firstname.lastname@example.org (604) 207-1980
Provides information and support for employers
Anjela Godber, Autism Outreach Manager (RWA)
email@example.com (604) 207-1980
Provides information for individuals and families interested in employment
To learn more about the national initiative, click here: readywillingable.ca
If you are an individual on the Autism spectrum and interested in employment, please check out the Compass Job Seekers Database or contact Anjela Godber.
GO Group is a multi-venture social enterprise strategy which seeks to address the gap in employment equity services, with a focus on providing relevant vocational skills building and tangible work experience customizable to individual interests and needs. GO stands for Goal Oriented in that all employment within the group will be transitional employment, with specific goals regarding skill sets and outcomes defined at the onset of employment and tracked. GO Group supports the following five ventures: 1) GO Café, 2) GO Custodial, 3) GO Landscaping, 4) GO Business Solutions, and 5) Go Innovation. The intentionally supportive employment environment will allow GO employees an opportunity to develop soft employability skills as well as tangible experience transferable to the mainstream labour market. GO Group is being piloted at the Hub with an aim to expand the program to satellite sites.
Please contact Jenna Christianson-Barker (Go Group Program Director) if you are interested in hearing more about GO Group and employment opportunities available. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at (604) 207-1980.
Do you identify as being on the Autism Spectrum or having Asperger Syndrome?
Are you looking for employment?
Do you live in the Metro Vancouver Area?
Create a profile with The Compass, a database for job seekers on the Autism spectrum.
Pacific Autism Family Network, in collaboration with Ready, Willing & Able are working to connect job seekers on the Autism Spectrum with paid employment opportunities.
After creating a profile on The Compass, our Autism Outreach Coordinator will connect with you to discuss:
- Your areas of interest and employment goals;
- A range of employment opportunities in a variety of industries;
- Community agencies that provide post-secondary, pre-employment and on-the-job supports; and
- Supports and/or accommodations that may be needed on the job.
THE COMPASS: Job Seeker’s Database:
Please click the Compass link above to access the online database, or if you have any questions or would like support completing the form, please contact Anjela Godber, Autism Outreach Coordinator (RWA) at email@example.com or by phone:(604) 207-1980.