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Vocational Programs & Career Development for People With Autism

Autism Training Center at Giant Steps Illinois
Life Skills Vocational Program

Mary Jo Conway
2500 Cabot Drive
Lisle, IL 60532
(630) 864-3800
DuPage County
Program's goal is to provide an opportunity for 10 adults who have the primary diagnosis of autism, to learn life skills and have meaningful employment. Program will offer two tracks: (1) supported track where individuals work in a sheltered environment within the Autism Training Center; (2) independent track that will offer opportunities for employment in workplace settings with the use of a job coach. Includes community outings to give participants opportunities to develop appropriate recreational and social skills.
Ages: 22 and up.
Private insurance accepted.
Cost: Please call Giant Steps for more information.
No wait list.

Blue Cap
Adult Day Services

Marge Pyzac
2155 Broadway
Blue Island, IL 60406
(708) 389-6578
Cook County
Offers individualized support and education to persons with developmental disabilities with an emphasis on vocational training and the teaching of daily living skills. Workshop provides a supervised work environment in which adults are trained to do a variety of jobs contracted from local industries. Supported employment offers individualized support to adults who are interested in community job placement, while providing local businesses with quality employees.
Ages: 18 and up.
Cost: state funded.

Family Manual - Transition to Employment and Adult Services for Youth with Developmental Disabilities in Illinois, The Arc of Illinois. The purpose of this manual is to assist families of young adults with developmental disabilities with the transition from the school system and services for children to the world of work and adult services.

No Boundaries is a program of Search, Inc.
Contact: Nicole Heimdal
824 Dempster St.
Evanston, IL 60202
(847) 869-0000, ext. 202
email: or
Experiential on-land and on-line training for transitioning teens through adults with disabilities to build essential skills for the workplace and for living more independently in today’s world. No Boundaries combines: structured classroom instruction, experiential learning, an integrated workplace and community setting, mentor support, and internship and work opportunities at social enterprises (–technology, communications and marketing; Planet Access Store-retail; Planet Access Warehouse-warehouse and order fulfillment; Keystone Alliance-office administration; Disability Awareness Players-training businesses in disability awareness; other community-based businesses).
Ages: 18 and up.
Cost: $19 (per hour) for part-time program, 9:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. or 1-4 p.m.; $16 (per hour) for full-time program, 9:15 a.m.-4 p.m.

PACTT Learning Center
Adult Vocational Services

Chris Thomas, vocational services director
7101 N. Greenview Ave.
Chicago, IL 60626
(773) 299-4010
Cook County
email: or
PACTT vocational services works to place people with autism in jobs that allow them to use their skills and take their place in the working world. Once a client is placed in a new position, a PACTT on-site job coach is there to help foster success. Currently, 23 teenagers and young adults in the vocational services division are employed, working in a variety of jobs out in the community (e.g. food pantries, restaurants, nursing homes, thrift stores, etc.) -- and getting great performance reviews from their employers and co-workers.
Ages: 17 and up.
Cost: funded by state.

Sertoma Centre, Inc.
Autism Services Program

Nicole Todd-Melquist, Program Manager
4343 W. 123rd St.
Alsip, IL 60803-1807
(708) 371-9700, ext. 266
Cook County
This program provides opportunities for individuals on the autism spectrum to participate in functional and meaningful activities within a structured environment. The program offers alternatives to production work with an emphasis on communication skills and functional life skills. Some of the components of the program include: functional life skills (e.g., communication, self-care, social skills, self-advocacy, cooking, money and safety skills, fitness, recreation), vocational skills (e.g., production work, recycling, janitorial, shredding, mailings, card company) and community integration (e.g., grocery shopping, restaurants, bowling, zoo, library, park/picnics, recreation center).
Ages: 19-50.
Cost: call to inquire about rates.

Turning Pointe
Grand Opening

Where: 1500 W. Ogden Ave.
Naperville, IL 60540
Please join us for the grand opening of the Turning Pointe Education, Career Development and Recreation Center.
When: April 12, 4-7 p.m.

Turning Pointe: Autism Foundation
Life Skills and Career Development Program

Contact: Chris Simler, director
1500 W. Ogden Ave.
Naperville, IL 60540
(630) 212-2249 or email:
For high school graduates with autism and other social, communication and/or behavior disorders. Career Development includes: work place readiness; occupational specific skills; and Walgreens and Office Max job skill and environmental development.
The student's program is completed by participation in an intern opportunity with our partner companies. Internship for all candidates managed collaborately with Turning Pointe and the corporate partner's management to provide real life experiences in a supervised setting.
Ages: 14 and up.

If you are interested in adding your organization or would like to make changes to a current listing on our website, please contact Natalie Forburger, LCPC, at (312) 563-2272 or