Keywords: Canada, autism, intellectual disabilities, supported employment
Avalon Employment Inc. Autism Employment Facilitator
|Name of Organisation||Avalon Employment Inc.|
|Type of organisation||National NGO and/or Service Provider, Social enterprise|
|Canada, was also part of an International Development Project in Bangladesh, India and Nepal.|
|Funding model||Self- financing, Public Funding
Avalon Employment Inc. is funded by the government of Canada and the government of Newfoundland and Labrador under a shared Labour Market Development Agreement. On-going resources are provided to supported employment agencies to assist individuals in making a connection to labour force and provide on-going support. The Autism Employment Transition Program is funded by the government of Newfoundland and Labrador as part of an ongoing provincial strategy for Autism Supports and Education Models.
We have an organizational budget of $1.7Million Canadian, we also run a large social enterprise that does $6.5 Million in payroll and finance for other not for profits and private business that helps support our various other projects and general organizational activities.
Impact and growth
- Reduced dependency on social income programs
- Increased ability to build employment options, based on skills
- Connecting capable adults to long term, meaningful employment
- Work=money=independence=choices=decision making=spending power=voting=being a contributing member of society as all of us have the right to do
- Matching individual’s skill sets to a need within a company
Avalon Employment Inc. has been using this model since 2010 to support individuals. In 2014 we were asked to support an international development project called Disability Rights Promotion International working with individuals and groups on employment in Nepal, Bangladesh, and India. Since that project, Avalon Employment has adapted the process of skills identification and job matching to work with individuals with autism. It currently serves a population base of over 540,090 people.
We moved from the long-established practices of “training to go to work” as it does not address the long-term employment needs of individuals with autism. This approach has been established to work with other marginalized communities in other countries but had not been adapted to service the unique needs and highly skilled individuals in our community on the autism spectrum in Canada.
- Adults 18 years of age or older with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder who can work independently
- May have differences in learning or adhering to social nuances in workplace behaviours, communication, organization, or sensory needs. This will be addressed and developed into functional and successful interventions and strategies with the facilitator.
The Job Matching and Skill Identification process works for many marginalized groups. The key process is to support the individual with autism.
We have demonstrated the support model that works for individuals. We have ongoing data points to assess distance travelled so that individuals can measure their own success and progress. We hope to continue to expand the Autism Employment Model to another 15 locations in the province of Newfoundland in the coming 24 months. We have data from our social return on investment project that validates the support process and skills identification model that is being used in this program.
THEORY OF CHANGE
We asked projects to outline their impact model (also called Theory of Change) – their main target groups, the key activities they offer these target groups, and what impact they want to achieve:
|Individuals With Barriers Seeking Employment||Two stage development of Job Goals and Skills Identification||Identification of Current Skills both formal/hidden to match to the current employment needs of employers in the community.||Just in Time Virtual Employment Supports|