Vocational Programs and Training for Middle and High School Students with Autism

Vocational Programs and Training for Middle and High School Students with Autism

Job Coach/Personal Support Worker

Access Living

115 West Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 640-2100  

Access Living offers services and support for people with disabilities in Chicago including home and community based services (personal support workers, support group, independent living skills classes, etc.), housing services, youth programs and legal services. 


JVS Career Planning Center

300 Revere St., Suite 205 Northbrook, IL 60062
847-412-4300
312-673-3439
barbarafriedman@jvschicago.org; jvsdisability@jvschicago.org

The JVS Career Planning Center offers a variety of disability service programming:

  • Career Connectors (ages 14-21): Serves youth both in and out of school to assess their employment strengths and goals in order to provide further education, vocational skills training, job placement, volunteerism, work experience and more.
  • Supported Employment: Assist participants in finding employment in the community and are provided with job readiness training, individualized job placement and job coaching and support as needed to maintain employment.
  • Employment Services: Provides individualized job development, resume preparation, vocational planning, application procedures, job placement and follow up services.

Lifespeed Behavioral Support Services

721 South Blvd. Suite 210, Oak Park IL 60302
(312) 404-7225   
ADMIN@UPTOLIFESPEED.COM

LifeSpeed provides systematic, individualized behavioral support to children, adolescents, young adults, and adults to ensure that each person with whom we work is successful in accomplishing their goals in the community and at home. The services we provide are based on an individualized, inclusive model of care that continues during the specific times (evenings, weekends, etc.) that people in need usually experience limited support options. Some of the individuals we serve lack important independent living skills, struggle with interpersonal communication, under-perform academically, need to develop a better sense of personal accountability, and/or feel “lost” in their current career path.


Park Lawn

10833 S. LaPorte, Oak Lawn, IL 60453
(708) 425-7377
info@parklawn.com

Services include day programming, vocational and employment training, and personal support workers, as well as counseling, speech and language, occupational and physical therapy.


Progress Center for Independent Living

Main Office: 7521 Madison St., Forest Park, IL 60130
708-209-1500
info@progresscil.org

Satellite Office in Blue Island: 12940 S. Western Ave., Blue Island, IL 60406
708-388-5011

Provides assistance in advocacy, housing issues, independent living skills training, and resources for personal support workers. Also provide services and activities designed to prepare young people with disabilities for the transition to higher education and employment.

Programs for Training and Career Development

Ada S. Mckinley Community Services

1359 W. Washington Blvd. Chicago, IL 60607
312.554.0600
info@adasmckinley.org

Adult: Progamming includes day programs, employment services, and residential housing.


Access Living

115 West Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 640-2100  

Access Living offers services and support for people with disabilities in Chicago including home and community based services (personal support workers, support group, independent living skills classes, etc.), housing services, youth programs and legal services. 


Autism Workforce

Amy Willer
(773) 575-5100
amy@autismworkforce.com

Our services target businesses, neurodiverse people in Transition Programs or adults looking for the employment.  We are located in La Grange, IL and service the Chicagoland Area. Our research-supported employment model successfully prepares both the company and the candidate. This collaboration results in having the right person in the right job, and a great return on investment for the company. Provide opportunities for mock interviews monthly for 15+ (through adulthood). 


Chinese American Service League - Balancing Incentive Program

Felicia Li, employment specialist
2141 S. Tan Court Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 791-0418, ext. 3607

The pre-employment training program helps people with disabilities with interview preparation, resume writing, and assistance with online job applications. They target individuals who are transitioning out of high school or who are ready to work. To qualify, the individual must have a low income and a developmental disability or a mental illness. The employment specialists will bring clients to job fairs and provide job matching, based on the client’s interest. They also serve as a job coach, where they learn the client’s job and assist in training the client on his or her job. Employment specialist will check with the employer and follow up very closely for the first one or two months. Follow up is up to one year. Ages: 14 years and up.


    COACH (Career Opportunity ACHievement) at College of DuPage

    425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, IL 60137
    Tracy Kline, Program Coordinator: klinet940@cod.edu
    (630) 942-3779

    COACH (Career Opportunity ACHievement) is a two-year cohort program for young adults with mild to moderate intellectual or developmental disabilities. In addition to an academic focus on reading, writing, math and computer literacy, COACH also promotes social skills, independence and career exploration. To apply for COACH, please submit a completed application. It is recommended that COACH applications and supporting documents be scanned and emailed to vocskills@cod.edu.  


    Have Dreams

    2020 Dempster, Evanston, IL 60202
    847-905-0702
    info@havedreams.org

    Career Launch: Your First Job, Have Dreams Academy, Life SCILS


    iCan Dream Center

    708-798-4200
    info@icandreamcenter.com
    18501 Maple Creek Drive, Suite 200, Tinley Park IL 60477

    Services include a transitional program, recreational after-school program (ages 12-21), early childhood programming (ages 3-7), and ABA services.


    JVS Career Planning Center

    300 Revere St., Suite 205 Northbrook, IL 60062
    847-412-4300
    312-673-3439
    jvsdisability@jvschicago.org

    The JVS Career Planning Center offers a variety of disability service programming:

    • Career Connectors (ages 14-21): Serves youth both in and out of school to assess their employment strengths and goals in order to provide further education, vocational skills training, job placement, volunteerism, work experience and more.

    Little City - Adult Programs

    1760 W. Algonquin Rd. Palatine, IL 60067
    Main Campus: 847-358-5510
    700 N Sacramento, Ste 201 Chicago, IL 60612
    Chicago office: 773-265-1539

    We provide adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities with supports, programs and services that help increase their potential for lifelong productivity and success. Services include residential and employment, home-based supports, recreation and leisure programs.


    Marriott Foundation-Bridges Program

    850 W. Jackson, Chicago, IL 60607  
    (312) 432-6240 ext 0
    kelly.pavich@marriott.com

    We provide job-readiness training, resume building, interview preparation, retention and advancement employment services to individuals with disability. We help you find the right job match customized to meet your specific needs.


    Midwest Asian Health Association - Balancing Incentive Program

    230 W Cermak Road, 2nd floor Chicago, IL 60616
    (312) 225-8708

    The free pre-employment training program helps people with disabilities (14 years and up) with interview preparation, resume writing, and assistance with online job applications. They target individuals who are transitioning out of high school or who are ready to work. To qualify, the individual must have a low income and a developmental disability or a mental illness. The employment specialists will bring clients to job fairs and provide job matching, based on the client’s interest. They also serve as a job coach, where they learn the client’s job and assist in training the client on his or her job. Employment specialist will check with the employer and follow up very closely for the first one or two months. Follow up is up to one year. 


    No Boundaries

    824 Dempster St., Evanston, IL 60202
    (847) 869-0000, ext. 202
    noboundaries@search-inc.org

    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.


    PACTT Learning Center

    Adult Vocational Services
    Oak Park and Rogers Park
    (773) 299-4010
    learningcenter@pactt.org 

    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.


    Shore Community Services

    info@shoreservices.org

    1827 Brummel St, Evanston, IL 60202
    (847) 864-5980

    8350 Laramie Ave. Skokie, IL 60077
    (847) 982-2030

    Shore Joseph Koenig, Sr. Training Center is a vocational program supporting persons with intellectual and other developmental disabilities ages 16 years and older.


    UCP Seguin of Greater Chicago

    Building Bridges to the Future Program
    3100 S. Central Ave, Cicero, IL 60804
    708-222-4866 (Alessandra)
    aarreola@seguin.org

    Some of the services they provide: Help apply for Medicaid, SSI, Guardianship; attend IEP staffings as part of each student’s interdisciplinary team; work with special education department staff to ensure the transition is part of the IEP; provide an in-service training and coaching sessions for parents, guardians and students.