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Venture Advancement Center – Realizing Possibilities
Services will be based out of our offices located at 1 Picker Road, Sturbridge
The Venture Advancement Center benefits young adults (18+) in the central Massachusetts community who have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This transitional program focuses on assisting with the training, education and social skills required to find meaningful employment. In general, engagement in meaningful work provides a host of benefits in addition to compensation and self-sufficiency. Most people, regardless of ability, will derive a sense of purpose from their work.
The program can be customized for participant’s needs:
- Assessment – program staff (Registered Behavior Technicians) will meet with individuals to complete a job interest inventory and a skills assessment and help identify employment or educational options. We also use tools such as Virtual Job Shadow, Coursera, BodySwaps and DataCamp.
- Clinical Support – Venture offers rigorous, ongoing work-related social skills training administered by a Licensed Applied Behavior Analyst who has extensive experience working with people with ASD. Clinical staff will complete assessments related to the individual’s goals and potential obstacles and an individualized treatment plan will be developed. Treatment goals are individual-specific but could include managing emotions, coping skills, receiving feedback, engaging in cooperative task, active listening, understanding rules or procedures, and self-regulation skills. Sessions will be conducted both individually and in groups.
- Internship Program – The internship model allows participants to gain real-world experience in a safe setting while developing their skills and building their résumé. Venture will collaborate with its own human resources department, other agencies, and local businesses to provide site-specific internship opportunities.
- Competitive Employment – once individuals have completed the internship track, program staff will work with them to secure permanent employment. The final stages of employment readiness activities will include resume writing, practice interviews, job searching, application assistance, and other preparation. Transportation for these activities will be provided as needed. Venture is a community partner with Work Without Limits.
- Job Coaching – individuals will receive personalized, comprehensive job coaching based on input from their employer and program staff. These plans will include fading support over time, based on the individual’s work performance.
- College Navigation – staff will help individuals manage the college exploration and application process, if applicable. Staff will also be available to provide ongoing coaching and support during the student’s academic career, connecting them to available resources. Our partner school is Quinsigamond Community College.
- Family Support – Venture provides support to parents and families while also providing opportunities for them to connect to each other.
- Employer Education – Venture provides education and training to potential employers and internship sites to explain the benefits of hiring people with disabilities, such as remarkable employee retention rates and a diversified workforce for the business. Staff will also assist the employer with any questions they may have about ASD and offer strategies and solutions for any issues that may arise. Learn more about the benefits here
Our program teaches I.T. skills to program participants using memberships donated by:
NEW ASD TRANSITIONAL HOME IN WEBSTER
Our newly renovated home in Webster is set to become a transitional home for four people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This will be a first of its kind program for Venture as we start to expand our ASD support offerings. Here are a few details how this program differs from our typical residential group home:
- This is a transitional program with time-limited programming (ideally no longer than 24 months)
- People will work on daily living skills such as routine hygiene, grocery shopping, cooking, health management, money management, and travel training so they can eventually move into their own apartments
- The residents will receive a total of 40 hours of staffing per week for all of them
- The house is equipped with upgraded technology that includes: Hero med minders, an automatic stove shut off (in case someone wanders off or forgets to turn it off), smart TVs, ring doorbell systems, tablets for FaceTime in each bedroom to they can connect with Venture staff if they need assistance while staff isn’t in the home.
- They will receive social skills training from staff so they can assimilate into their new living environment
- Once they have “graduated,” we hope to follow them with Individual Supports in their new apartments
We are currently offering Adaptive Yoga and Mindfulness in person in Uxbridge on Thursdays for ages 12 – 22 years (see calendar below)
Venture Community Outreach Team sponsors free events for kids with autism and other special needs throughout the year like: interactive music & drum circle, cooking skills, a spring fling with Animal Adventures, a sensory-friendly Halloween event and more… For more information on these events please contact Kelsey Mondor at 774-922-1135 Below is a calendar of scheduled events