The purpose of CSAAC’s supported employment program is to enable adults with autism to find and keep jobs in the community. It is the premise of this program that workers with autism can make valuable contributions to the workforce. The CSAAC supported employment program offers a wide range of supports and expertise which allow individuals with autism to succeed at competitive employment. These supported individuals have constituted a valuable labor pool to employers throughout the Washington, D.C. area. Workers with autism, supported by CSAAC, can be found in companies of all sizes, doing a variety of jobs and earning wages, alongside non-impacted co-workers.

Each transitioning youth and adult who is served by the CSAAC vocational program is assessed for their own interests, skills and characteristics of autism that will influence employment. Assessments are done by a team of supported employment professionals to determine the best possible job match.  The need for auxiliary training, such as social skills, work-place safety and transportation skills, is also assessed.  The CSAAC Job Developer assists in finding the individual a job. A Job Coach is trained on how to support the individual with autism at his or her new job.  The Job Coach will remain working with the individual until continuous support is no longer warranted.  CSAAC’s supported employment personnel help prepare the worksite for the individual, provide task and behavioral support and intervene to overcome obstacles to keeping the job.

Individuals in the CSAAC vocational program are provided with specialized supports aimed at maximizing success in the job market because staff understand the learning needs of workers with autism.  Additionally, psychological services, applied behavior analysis, counseling, instructional training, and ongoing training of the job coach are all available, as necessary.  Support services are provided onsite, at work, in cooperation with the employer.  In cases of unemployment or underemployment, individuals receive a structured, enriched schedule of job training and training in related areas such as social skills for the work place, until employment is found.

Worksites include more than 60 private and public businesses, nonprofit organizations, and agencies, such as home improvement businesses, manufacturing companies, retail sales companies, pet care facilities, grocery stores, restaurants, fitness facilities, offices, and government agencies.

To learn more about CSAAC’s supported employment program, contact Sade Thomas at (240) 912-2220.