The goal of New Vista Career Academy vocational program for individuals with high functioning autism is to help each participant learn skills for the adult world specific to managing and maintaining employment and healthy living. Participants will be engaged academically, socially and vocationally as we help determine the appropriate path for careers and employment and model activities that lead to independent living. Participants will generalize their social competencies in the workplace and learn to become a desirable employee while working towards honing skills that align with their vocational aspirations. We begin generally and adapt the work specifically to the individual over time, and once each intern has demonstrated the ability to take on higher level tasks. The overall goal for participants is to gain the career and social skills necessary for a career pathway and to obtain a job in their desired field while demonstrating healthy and sustainable habits for the adult world.
Self Care – Each participant learns to be prepared for weekly life at work inclusive of proper financial planning, proper nutrition, proper time management, transportation requirements, proper grooming and proper physical fitness. This includes planning meals for time at work with a budget and a plan for eating breakfasts and lunches, coming to work with appropriate attire and grooming, and creating a schedule that includes exercise as part of a weekly routine.
Phase 1: Phase 1 teaches interns how to be a good employee, on the job, with the goal of helping each understand how to earn their way to the role they desire. Each intern works through up to four levels of competencies.
Level 1: Effectively work with predictable patterns, keeping busy and attentive at all times. Learn mastery of tasks. More complex processes will be built over time.
Level 2: Learn to multi-task and to manage a change in predictable patterns mid-stream while on the job. Participants will be able to effectively change processes and go back to finish their initial task.
Level 3: Master interactive skills including appropriate customer service activities.
Level 4: Become adept at managing higher level, self-directed tasks and become an effective problem solver, take initiative and be proactive in approach to work.
Phase 2: The goal of Phase 2 is to develop the required skills for individuals to be successful in the workplace within their career pathway, successfully understanding how to interact, provide acceptable work product, and advocate for their career goals. Phase 2 concentrates on providing internships within experience in an individual’s career pathway that lead to a better understanding of the profession and development of skills in a professional setting that lead to job hire.