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. 


Bravo Behavioral Health

Jayme Crooks BCBA
8140 McCormick Blvd Suite 141 Skokie, IL 60076
833-272-8624
support@bravobh.com

Bravo is an Applied Behavior Analysis Agency that sets out to serve all age groups and abilities. We aim to help aid in issues including in-home sessions, IEP support, transitional living, behavioral issues, and vocational training while providing a fun and engaging environment. 


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.

CareerTracks: A program for Jewish adults (ages 18-24) to aid in the transition from high school to employment and/or sustaining a college education. 

Additional programs include MentoringMatterns, youthability, and Ticket to Work.


Lifespeed Behavioral Support Services

721 South Blvd. Suite 210, Oak Park IL 60302
P: (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
Phone: (708) 425-7377
Email: 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.


Rockin the Spectrum

Respite Care Services
Elizabeth – 224-538-9736, email: rockinthespectrum@yahoo.com
Located in Antioch – They serve, McHenry, DuPage, Cook and Lake Counties

Offering in-home support and care for your loved ones with disabilities, specializing in Autism. Services include: Respite/Care for all ages, Daily Living Skills training/Personal Support Worke, Parents support group and siblings support group.

Programs for Training and Career Development

Ada S. Mckinley Community Services

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

Child: Head Start & Early Learning, educational services, and clinical services.

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 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 years and up.
Private insurace accepted.
Cost: Please call Giant Steps for more information.
No wait list.


Autism Workforce

Contact: 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). 


Blue Cap

Adult Day Services
2155 Broadway St., Blue Island, IL 60406
(708) 389-6578

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 years and up.


Chinese American Service League - Balancing Incentive Program

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

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.
No wait list.
Cost: state funded.


Have Dreams

Adult Services Program Coordinator
2020 Dempster, Evanston, IL 60202
Phone: 847-905-0702
Email: info@havedreams.org

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


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.

CareerTracks: A program for Jewish adults (ages 18-24) to aid in the transition from high school to employment and/or sustaining a college education. 

Additional programs include MentoringMatterns, youthability, and Ticket to Work.


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

Kelly Pavich
850 W. Jackson, Chicago, IL 60607  
Phone: (312) 432-6240 ext 0
Email: 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

No Boundaries is a program of Search, Inc.
Nicole Heimdal
824 Dempster St., Evanston, IL 60202
Phone: (847) 869-0000, ext. 202
Email: nicole@jjslist.com or 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
Chris Thomas, vocational services director
Oak Park and Rogers Park
Phone: (773) 299-4010
Email: learningcenter@pactt.org or cthomas@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.


Sertoma Centre, Inc.

Autism Services Program
Nicole Todd-Melquist, Program Manager
4343 W. 123rd St, Alsip, IL 60803-1807
Phone: (708) 371-9700, ext. 266
Email: ntodd@sertomacentre.org

This program provides opportunities for individuals on the autism spectrum to participate in functional and meaningful activities within a structured environment.


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.


Spectrum Vocational Services (Little Friends)

2302 Wisconsin Avenue Downers Grove, IL 60515
630-852-7520

The Supported Employment Program helps adults with disabilities find jobs in businesses throughout their community and provides training in the form of job coaching, transportation training, and vocational advocacy. Funded through DRS.


UCP Seguin of Greater Chicago

Building Bridges to the Future Program
Alessandra Arreola
3100 S. Central Ave, Cicero, IL 60804
Phone: 708-222-4866 (Alessandra)
Email: 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.