Career and Work Readiness

CareerAlly™  is provided by the ASI Career Allies

Our Work and Career Readiness program, CareerAlly™, provides both training and wraparound employment support for individuals with autism over the age of 14.

Services are provided year-round and unlike traditional job placement services, the support is provided at no direct cost to the individual for as long as each individual requires support. The level and duration of supports vary based on each individual’s needs.

We work one-on-one with each individual to determine what they want do based on their own goals, dreams, and interests, and then help them to achieve those goals.

Our primary goal is to improve outcomes for individuals affected by autism who face challenges and barriers to meaningful employment with competitive wages.

Specific supports and services provided through this program include: 

Community Based Work Evaluations (CBEs) to provide a person-centered, individualized and systematic process to determine viable vocational options, develop employment goals, determine skills gaps, and identify required accommodations at the workplace.

Work Experience. In combination with the CBE, the Career Ally works with each individual to identify potential work experiences based by developing personal outcome measures and long-term goals.

Job Shadow Experiences are used to expose each individual to a variety of job settings based on both goals and skills gaps. ASI works with a variety of local businesses and organizations who are interested and willing to employ individuals with developmental disabilities, specifically autism.

Job Readiness Training is provided to prepare each individual served for the world of work. Training is customized to match the anticipated environment and expectations of each individual’s future employer. Specific topics covered may include: appropriate work behaviors, time management, interview skills, appropriate dress and grooming, communication skills, and basic computer skills.

On-The-Job Supports. Hourly on-the-job support services are provided to individuals placed in employment in order to stabilize the placement and enhance job retention. Such services include short-term job coaching for individuals who may not qualify for VR Supported Employment Services.

Currently, ASI provides Work and Career Readiness employment support in the following counties:

  • Allen
  • Boone
  • DeKalb
  • Hamilton
  • Hancock
  • Hendricks
  • Huntington
  • Johnson
  • Madison
  • Marion
  • Noble
  • Shelby
  • Wells
  • Whitley

If you are interested in being part of the CareerAlly™ program, please fill out the New Participant Enrollment Form.

If you have any questions you can contact Kathy Darling at kdarling@inautism.org or call 800-609-8449 ext. 95. 

The face of autism is changing, as the generation of children entering adulthood over the next five to ten years’ increases.  As a society, we are particularly ill-prepared to deal with the probable explosion in demands for housing, employment, and other critical services that are needed by young adults, adults, and their families who are affected by autism and other developmental disabilities.

Autism is a developmental disability that, by definition, manifests itself prior to the age of three.  Unfortunately, while Providers are getting better at screening for autism at a younger age, there are many individuals who are entering adulthood, who have only recently been diagnosed with autism or another disability, and will need the same services and supports as those who have received the supports throughout their adolescence.

According to a survey done by Easter Seals in 2010, 34% of parents believe that their child is under employed and capable of more.  Currently, only 11% of adults with disabilities are employed full-time, 19% are employed full time, 16% are not employed, but are looking for work.

The individual features of autism are not more or less significant than those of many other disabilities.  However, the range of potential features among this population is remarkable.  For example, one person on the autism spectrum might have sensory issues that keep him from being able to be in a bright office space or from wearing a certain uniform.  A different person on the spectrum, might not have any sensory issues, but might not be able to verbally communicate with others.  Yet another example is someone who perseverates (strong focus) about one object, way of doing something, schedules, etcetera.  Each of these potential employees has barriers to employment, each of which can be overcome with the proper supports.