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Employment Works - Valley

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(EW) is a free program for adults with autism that offers employment preparedness and training, combined with job sampling and hands-on experience.

The 12-week program serves individuals who are:
- over the age of 15, not attending high school
- diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
- motivated to find a job
- able to commit to 5 hours a week, for sessions that runs for 2.5 hours (twice per week)

​There will be 4 participants in the program.

The first of the weekly sessions is a Structured Learning session, where participants engage in motivating learning activities regarding important social-communication and employment-related skills. Topics include resumes and cover letters, small talk, greetings, clothing and hygiene, networking, touchy subjects, expected behaviours on the job, disclosure and accommodations, giving and receiving feedback, perspective taking, coping with stress, and more. Additionally, participants practice searching for jobs each week, and are supported to build independence in completing job applications and attending interviews.

The second of the weekly sessions is a Worksite session where participants get the chance to apply learned skills in a real work environment through job shadowing. Participants sample jobs at a minimum of 4 different employers throughout the community, gaining work experience in a variety of job sectors while exploring their career interests, building their resume and gaining transferrable skills. EW aims to increase community engagement by expanding workplace hiring and accommodation practices and empowering individuals to build skills, reach employment goals and develop confidence.

After the Structured Learning and Job Sampling sessions, participants begin the final phase of Labour Market Participation. The final phase of the program supports the transition from weekly programming and job sampling to active job seeking and employment. The support in this phase will vary by program location and is individualized; participants can expect regular check-ins for 1 year.

EW is an evidence-informed program, utilizing teaching techniques proven effective by scientific literature. The program targets individualized goals for each participant addressing social-communication and employment-related skills. Goals are determined based on observation, evaluation tools, as well as client input. Data is taken throughout the program and evaluation tools are used to assess program effectiveness and participant goal progression. Upon program completion, participants receive a detailed report highlighting their amazing progress.

If you’d like to participate in EmploymentWorks, please contact Emelia Visca, Employment & Supports Coordinator, at 902.414.2291 or email for more information. 

This project is funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities Program