Geneva Centre for Autism

“Student Internships for Trades Exploration (SITE)” Phase I & II


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. The Geneva Centre for Autism piloted the SITE project that combined pre-vocational classroom and hands-on training, offered at the 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 workplace appropriate social skills, hygiene and time management, workplace safety, college application processes, expectations of students, and job-searching and resume writing. SITE participants were then introduced to a minimum of six skilled trade career options over a two-week period on campus at George Brown College.  Here participants received hands-on experience in skilled trades, had the opportunity to ask professors 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.

In addition to exposure to several career options, participants also sampled the college experience by having access to the facilities at George Brown College such as the library, fitness centre, and trades studios. Most young adults do not get to try out their future career options and experience life on campus before deciding on post-secondary education. The unique experiential learning offered in this pilot project was especially important to young adults with ASD, as they often respond better to hands-on learning and have been shown to be more successful in jobs if they’ve first received employment support and training.

About Geneva Centre for Autism

Geneva Centre for Autism 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 psychologists, speech language pathologists, occupational and behavioural therapists. Their service delivery model is grounded on evidence-based practices of Applied Behavioural Analysis that lead to improved quality of life.  Also provide training opportunities for professionals in the autism field.