The UAS West Side Transition Academy is Urban Autism Solutions' initiative to teach Chicago Public High School students and young adults with autism and related disorders vocational and social skills for post-secondary success.
CHICAGO, Il. (January 30, 2020) — Urban Autism Solutions (UAS) recently launched the UAS West Side Transition Academy to provide services that help Chicago high school students with autism and related disabilities prepare for adulthood and future employment. It is the first transition program established on Chicago's West Side.
To develop work-related and social skills for future employment, participants partake in a series of activities such as:
Job observations in the community
Social-emotional learning modules
"What we know from research is that job exploration and employee training is a crucial step for transition-aged individuals with autism, intellectual or social disabilities in order to secure employment in the future," explains Christina Hovattor, program manager at Urban Autism Solutions, "In more affluent communities, these kind of transition services are more accessible. However, these same services are not afforded to CPS high school students. Our goal is that the academy will act as a buffer between high school and adulthood for these students who would otherwise not have access to these transitional resources."
The academy's staff is composed of graduate students in Occupational Therapy, professionals in Speech Therapy, and social service workers that provide person-centered planning to help students with autism and related disabilities prepare for future employment. Each room in the academy's facility is dedicated to a different learning module in speech, vocational training, behavioral work, and communications.
The team at the academy also helps participants work through external factors that could inhibit their ability to secure and maintain a job; participants learn how to access public transportation, how to navigate the city, and even how to get to a food pantry if necessary.
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ABOUT URBAN AUTISM SOLUTIONS: Urban Autism Solutions (UAS) is composed of vocational, social, and residential programs that help individuals with autism navigate adulthood. We provide opportunities that help our participants develop social and soft skills, prepare for interviews, use public transportation, and achieve their personal goals. With our team of experts, we empower our clients to become self-advocates and live life with confidence.