In just under a decade, Swedish company Specialisterne has contracted out 35 consultants to 19 different companies. What’s so special about that? All 35 of them are people who have autism. Read more about The Autism Advantage.
High-tech businesses like The Dandelion Project in Silicon Valley are also taking advantage of the unique skillsets folks with autism offer. A recent study released in the November 2012 issue of Scientific American concluded that “tech savvy communities report exceptionally high rates of autism. And, they see that as a very good thing!
Got to wonder, where does autism fit in greater Cleveland’s efforts to reshape itself as a city of the future?
In just over a year, what started as a conversation has now become reality. In March 2012, when governor Kasich signed the executive order naming Ohio as an Employment First State, we at Koinonia knew that we had to step up to the plate and act. Today, we celebrated the opening of our new location in Mayfield Village, which focuses on employment and career preparedness for individuals with intellectual disabilities.
The mission of the program is to provide the training that will bridge the transition gap between school graduates with disabilities who wish to obtain and contribute to their community through competitive, integrated employment. Koinonia will provide the tools to all that participate in this program, regardless of disability, to obtain a job of their choice in which they are productive.
The Career Center will utilize an outcome-based curriculum with an Employment First focus tailored to all skills and abilities. Job development experience including career internships and volunteer opportunities will guide participants towards their personal goals including employment.
We could not do this alone. We sincerely appreciate the support of many, including the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities, The City and Community of Mayfield Village, Geis Companies, and CEVEC (Cuyahoga East Vocational Education Consortium) who have worked tirelessly to make this a reality. Thank you all for your support.