Sparks Vocational Training Institute

Vocational programs offered to young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) typically focus on training individuals for a specific job in a specific field and often rely on wage subsidies to help individuals obtain employment. Sparks Vocational Training Centre for Autism combined pre-vocational classroom and hands-on training, offered at the training centre, with classroom and lab integration at a post-secondary institution. Through classroom instruction and hands on assignments and tasks, participants worked on topics like

  1. Workplace appropriate social skills
  2. Hygiene and Time management
  3. Workplace safety

Here participants received hands-on experience in skilled trades, had the opportunity to ask teachers and other professionals questions about working in the trades, and learned the prerequisites and skills needed to pursue several vocational and post-secondary options in the skilled trades.

Individual goals are targeted through a series of structured learning and development activities; exposure to varying workplace settings and teams; and the application and practice of skills through peer mentor support. SVTI addresses various areas of employment preparedness training, including self-development, social and communication skills, life skills and confidence building. Through the 12 structured learning sessions and 12 workplace experiences, the program aims for:

  • Participants to acquire and/or advance their employment relevant skills
  • Participants to develop and work towards achievable employment goals
  • Participants to build confidence and broaden community engagement for greater social inclusion and enjoyment
  • Community reach to build capacity and awareness of the contributions individuals with ASD bring to the workplace and to identify ways to create autism-friendly environments that foster success
  • Mentors and co-workers to develop an understanding of the importance of mentorship and how they can support participant’s efforts to achieve employment skills and vocations goals

Sparks Vocational Training and Research Institure is dedicated to serving the needs of children, youth, and adults with ASD in diverse communities. As a full service agency, develop and deliver a wide range of innovative programs and services that meet the unique needs of each child on the autism spectrum. Services are provided by a multi-disciplinary team that includes

  1. Psychologists
  2. Speech Language Pathologists
  3. Occupational Therapists
  4. Behavioral Therapists

Their service delivery model is grounded on evidence-based practices of Applied Behavioral Analysis that lead to improved quality of life. Also provide training opportunities for professionals in the autism field.