Learn Skills, Make Choices, Be Productive – A Pathway to Work

A key transition phase in a person’s life is finishing school. We are here to support each individual and their families navigate this transition with a person-centered approach that focuses on one’s abilities, interests, potential, and choices. We are committed to employment first as a pathway for individuals to achieve independence while recognizing the supports provided are varied based on a person’s needs. This enables us to offer a breadth of options for individuals seeking employment services.

Employment Programs

People with autism and developmental disabilities may choose from an array of vocational supports depending upon their interests, talents and needs. Our expert staff engage each person in a process of discovery that evaluates skills and identifies unique abilities. Based upon the results of this process, individuals may choose from a variety of services including: prevocational supports that focus on developing work readiness skills, volunteer opportunities designed to promote employment experiences, paid internships and customized employment options that may lead to job acquisition and supported employment.

Our staff supports the individual to successfully demonstrate the skills required on site, navigate the orientation process and integrate into the work environment. They also facilitate effective communication between employee and employer, support the person in managing social dynamics and performance challenges, and work cooperatively with the individual and employer to ensure a successful and satisfying job experience. These programs are funded through the NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) and NYS Education Department through Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR).

Birch Family Services’ New Frontier program was recently highlighted on Fox5 News for an Autism Awareness Month special. Hear from several amazing New Frontier participants and Birch alumni about the unique challenges they face and how they are overcoming them in the video below!

New Frontier

This program was launched in response to the growing number of young adults with autism in need of community supports upon completing school. We focus on four areas - securing and maintaining a job, establishing social and community connections, maintaining health and wellness, and living in the community as independently as possible.
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