- Students are guided and encouraged to use various forms of media to explore options within their local community for work, recreation and community access. Such examples include: CareerBuilder.com for job searches, CTWorks for free classes, EastConn for adult education and extracurricular activities, the local newspaper and the Turnpike Buyer.
- Each student develops and submits a weekly schedule which is submitted to Staff. Staff goes over the schedule independently with the student to ensure that there is a balance between ILS, work and community access, there are activities related to both IEP goals and personal goals, and that transportation needs can be met.
- The students meet as a group to share ideas and to provide feedback regarding their experiences. Often, the students choose to participate in activities together such as going to the gym or library.
- The students who have not secured gainful employment are connected with volunteer opportunities in the community. To date, they include an animal shelter, day care and nursing home facility.
- Students are encouraged to access local community resources throughout their week. Each new student is taken into the community to explore the local area. Examples in the immediate area include; the Laundry mat, library, CTWorks, bank, restaurants and post office.
- Representatives from the community are invited to come in and meet with students . For example, a representative from Jewett City Savings Bank comes into the program to talk to students about banking and finances.
- Students engage in community outings in order to learn about community living. For example, the Briggs students attended a trip to an apartment complex with a landlord who presented information and allowed the students to ask questions about the rental process.
- Students in the program have been connected with Special Olympics when appropriate.
- On site adaptive skills trainings are provided for when the students are on site. Examples include: travel training, interviewing skills, resume writing, soft skills in the work place, filling out applications, conflict resolution, job maintenance skills, organizational skills, budgeting, social skills, relationship skills (interpersonal, family, sexual), self regulation, problem solving, personal health and safety, activities to recognize interests and preferred work conditions, budgeting, self advocacy and nutrition. Many of these activities have been presented, discussed, and role played in an attempt to generalize these skills in less structured settings.
- Students have participated in on-line courses. As a group, the program did an on-line CPR certification course. Individually, students have participated in on-line trainings based on personal interests such as first aid, screen writing and dog grooming.
- Students participate in a weekly cooking group at Briggs. The process includes finding a recipe, creating a shopping list, cost comparison, shopping and meal preparation.
Self Regulation and Executive Functioning
- Staff requests that the students use a variety of organizational aids. Students create and print out a weekly schedule that they use as a visual reminder. Students file their items in color coded folders. The students also use time organizers such as cell phones, alarms clocks and digital watches.
- Information may be provided orally or in written format depending on the individual needs of the student. When lists are utilized, students are taught prioritization skills.
- Students are taught to be flexible in thought and in process. Often due to staffing and transportation needs, schedules may vary or change. The students have worked on how to cope with and manage such changes.
- The students are required to have a clean and organized work space. Clutter is kept to a minimum. Staff utilizes separate work areas for different activities.
- Each student has long term personal goals as well as weekly goals in which they are able to break down larger goals into smaller more manageable steps.
- The students are encouraged to use a myriad of self regulation skills such as self restraint, relaxation techniques, and self checks.
- Staff gives feedback to the students in a timely manner and helps students to resolve issues.