The career center will use the latest evidence based research on Autism Spectrum Disorder and Career Development. Individuals on the autism spectrum without an intellectual disability can be properly followed in such that progress is made in areas of weakness, and strengths are reinforced for career opportunities. The Social Tree Foundation Career Center’s structure is designed to improve quality of life throughout the lifespan of an individual on the autism spectrum. Career development research suggests, a person starts to work on their career in childhood, explores their interests in adolescence and later works on their establishment during early to late adulthood years (Super, 1975-81). Therefore, in line with research findings, our center promotes opportunities for parental learning in such to increase the child’s future possibilities.
The Career Center Structure is also designed to help equal opportunity employers prepare, guide, integrate and onboard individuals with autism without an intellectual disability into their companies. Our ongoing continued support program is also available to employers in order to promote a successful and ongoing relationship between employer and employee.
EMPLOYER TRAINING – The Social Tree will train employers to understand, value, and integrate the unique perspective and capabilities of individuals on the autism spectrum without an intellectual disability within their corporations. This will further The Social Tree’s charitable purpose of helping individuals on the autism spectrum without an intellectual disability to improve their career prospects. Placing the organization within the category of poverty relief of the two-part test requested from the Federal court of appeal. Our yearly golf tournament event is established exclusively to raise funds for employer training demonstrating how the Social Tree is using this activity exclusively for charitable purpose.
Please keep in mind that research studies such as Richards, 2002 have discussed how employers do not have the financial means to train their staff or the employee with disability in such that they do not hire individuals with a multifaceted diagnosis. Reasons, such as these increase the value and importance of the Social Tree Foundation, as we are providing new possible incentives, through our fundraisers such as the golf tournament, to the community and public for the sole purpose to increase work opportunities for individuals with autism and reduce their poverty line. Therefore, this activity is used to further our charitable purpose.
COACH TRAINING – Training on autism will be provided to the coaches working directly with adolescents and adults, on the autism spectrum without an intellectual disability, who are interested in acquiring a part-time or full-time paid job within a company. The coach-training component of the Social Tree consists of educating job coaches on autism for better understanding on how to create an individualized and personalized coaching model for this population.
The job coaches also bridge the transitional gap between schooling and employment for individuals with autism. It is important to note that transitions, social anxiety, language and communication deficits are all part of the diagnosis as stated in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Therefore, the importance of job coaches in the employment component will not only advance knowledge of autism outside of the education and psychological fields, but will also support the maintenance of employment as that too has shown to be difficult for this sample population reducing their poverty line (Roux et. al., 2013-15). Therefore, this places the Social Tree organization within the category of the advancement of education and reduction of poverty, while also devoting resources and activities carried out to further its charitable purpose.
CORPORATE CAREER DAYS – This will be a future endeavour where the Social Tree will work alongside corporations to plan a career day to help the individuals on the autism spectrum without intellectual disability understand their strength and talents. This component of the Social Tree organization is extremely important as we bring together both the employer and employee in such to make a connection between the two. Showcasing to the employer the employee’s talents, values and integrating the unique capabilities and strengths that an individual can bring to the employer. While at the same time allowing the individual with autism without an intellectual disability attain a career choice and feel included within society. Allowing these individuals to decrease the unemployment rate, because they are given the opportunity to demonstrate their talents and obtain employment. Therefore, again this qualifies the Social Tree organization to fall within the poverty relief category.
CORPORATE FINANCIAL ASSISTANT PROGRAM – This will be a future endeavor where The Social Tree will work the logistics alongside corporations willing to sponsor individuals on the autism spectrum without an intellectual disability after the age of 21 (where the government does not provide subsidies) in receiving financial aid for specific individual related assessments and therapy. This program component will once again qualify the Social Tree organization within the category of poverty relief because this program will help the individual on the autism spectrum qualify for financial aid to improve or develop their weaknesses due to diagnosis toward a career or job once they receive the proper assessments and therapy.
INDIVIDUAL ACCOMPANIMENT – The Social Tree when required will provide accompaniment to an individual on the autism spectrum without an intellectual disability to help reinforce structure and self discipline related to job searching. This person will help and guide the individual to put together an action plan, job search, interview role play, fill necessary forms, job counselling and help prepare for any work decision making. This component qualifies the Social Tree organization within the category of both poverty relief because of the efforts placed on the team work between individual and accompaniment for success of employment and within the category of the advancement of education because of the knowledge and methods that are presented to the individual on the autism spectrum without intellectual disability when it comes to successful employment.
WORKSHOPS – The Social Tree will provide various workshops to educate the autistic community, employers, educators, care givers and schools on various topics as outlined in the workshops section of the table below. This component will also qualify The Social Tree organization within the category of the advancement of education. All workshops provided are free of charge and will create a hub of educational information provided to either the individuals on the autism spectrum without an intellectual disability, families affected by autism, and/or all those working or caring for individuals on the autism spectrum without an intellectual disability.
RESEARCH FUNDING – This will be another future endeavour where the Social Tree will help fund some research (This could only happen once the Social Tree can obtain funds to cover the studies, as mentioned above some money from the conference can be placed on research funding). At this current time, the Social Tree advertises research just as Autism Speaks and Autism Canada does in order to support students after the age of 21 in the province acquire opportunities as these are not funded by the government any longer. The sole research study “A Career Developmental Perspective on Autism Spectrum Disorders” currently placed on our website, is solely present for publicity. The Social Tree foundation doesn’t fund this study but once having completed this study, Francesca Dansereau, M.Ed, PhD (candidate) president of the Social Tree Foundation, plans to further research in the field alongside her supervisor Dr. Tara Flanagan associate professor in the faculty of Educational and Counselling psychology at McGill university. All initiatives developed by the Social Tree plan to be research in such to ensure research-based quality for the community. Therefore, this component qualifies the Social Tree organization within the advancement of education because of the studies that will take place to continue bringing autism awareness to the next level.
CONFERENCE – The Social Tree will hold a yearly conference educating the public on the latest cutting edge research, methods and tools available for the development of an individual on the autism spectrum without an intellectual disability throughout their lifespan. This event is a paid event by the Social Tree Foundation for the purpose of the advancement of education with the hopes of eventually supporting and funding some research with money generated by this activity.
INDIVIDUAL EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT – Wager Adult Education Centre is partnering up with The Social Tree Foundation to provide adult educational courses for free when a group of twelve adult individual names are compiled for a course. This initiative will support the category of educational advancement and the relief of poverty since it enhances knowledge and opportunity for individuals on the autism spectrum without an intellectual disability. Once again, a charitable activity that will further the Social Trees charitable purpose in providing individuals on the autism spectrum a quality of life through education and employment.