Greater Expectations Program Overview
THE BIG PICTURE
An estimated 50,000 Americans with autism will turn 18 each year as part of a surge of children diagnosed in the 1990’s. Of these 50,000 Americans, a significant number have graduated from high school with average to above average GPA’s. These individuals have a desire to get a job, dream of attending college, and anticipate a future much like their peers. However, due to subtle deficits that often times go unnoticed, their opportunities for success are often limited, and the pathway to adulthood can be riddled with difficulties and disappointment.
As they graduate from high school, many individuals and families are faced with the daunting reality that the supports and services they relied on during their formative years have now come to an end. Compounding this fact is the unfortunate reality of a community that is not always prepared to understand the unique talents and needs of these individuals.
THE GREATER GOAL
As part of the Independent Living Resource Center, the mission of the Greater Expectations program is to become a catalyst for growth and opportunities for individuals ages 15 and up with high functioning autism/developmental disabilities. Using evidence-based interventions and strategies, our mission is to comprehensively understand how autism spectrum disorders, as well as other developmental disabilities, impact each individual. Developing personalized visions and goals, identifying appropriate supports and strategies, and folding that into an individualized structured program is the starting point for each individual.
Within an environment of structure and support, our highly qualified staff facilitate:
• Skill acquisition, and job completion
• Social connections, and advocacy efforts
• Meaningful employment
Ultimately, each individual is set up to experience a much more fulfilling, and gratifying quality of life.
WHAT MAKES US DIFFERENT
We promote and facilitate inclusive employment not sheltered employment. Sheltered employment provides employment opportunities and locations that exclusively employ individuals with disabilities. Our program provides the necessary curriculum and training to allow our clients the opportunity to explore employment options within their community with confidence as any other individual would aspire to do.
Individuals and staff create professional profiles
- Highlights the qualifications individuals completing the program have to offer a potential employer
- Individuals and staff create portfolios
Compilation of individualized supports which may include:
- Work Systems
- Visual Supports
- Organizational Systems
- Data and Job Performance Rating Scales
Our Teaching Style:
- Rather than teach one job skill that is specific to one job being completed; we are teaching the process of working which can be applied to multiple jobs across various settings.
- Generalizing the skill set to increase the opportunity to work at various jobs rather than one task or job.
Collaboration With the Community
Working with other businesses and organizations allows us to expand opportunities for individuals seeking employment upon completion of our program. While our individuals have been prepared and are ready for employment, businesses can benefit from information to better understand autism as well as other developmental disabilities and their value as employees. We also share the structure and supports used to enhance the workplace setting for all employees.
For more information, fill out a brief contact form or call us at (316) 866-2464.