The ACRES Project is an approved service provider to individuals aged 14-21 through Pennsylvania's Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR).
These state-sponsored, outcome-based programs are designed to give individuals with disabilities the skills they need to transition into independent living and meaningful employment. OVR clients may access these programs at ACRES at no cost by talking to their OVR counselor.
High school students with a documented disability may be referred to OVR by a family member or school personnel. Individuals may also refer themselves by registering at PA CareerLink's Job Gateway website.
What We Offer
Work Based Learning Experience (WBLE)
This program helps students transition into employment by participating in temporary paid work experiences at local businesses which fit their personal strengths and interests. An onsite coordinator assists the participant at all times to help teach job tasks.
- Practice and improve their workplace skills.
- Consider their career interests.
- Obtain real-world work experience which may lead to lasting employment.
Workplace Readiness Training
Group instruction that gives individuals with disabilities skills and behaviors needed to obtain and maintain competitive, integrated employment.
- Learn about appropriate communication (e.g. verbal and nonverbal communication, email etiquette, voicemail) in the job setting.
- Gain strategies to support independence at work such as time management, self-monitoring performance, working with others, and accepting constructive feedback.
- Understand appropriate work behaviors, including but not limited to timeliness, performance, and hygiene.
- Learn how to apply for jobs, create a resume, and prepare for a job interview.
Independent Living Skills Instruction
Group instruction that gives individuals with disabilities skills to to increase self-reliance, self-confidence, and independence in the workplace and in life.
- Gain an understanding of personal finances.
- Be able to identify transportation options available to them and learn to safely navigate in their community.
- Gain an understanding of social service agencies available to them and how to apply to and navigate them.
- Learn about wise social media usage and how to safely navigate the internet.
- Learn about housing options and practice independent living skills such as laundry, basic hygiene, cooking etc.
- Understand how to obtain photo ID and other vital records
- Learn about healthy eating habits and the management of personal health needs such as medication and accessing healthcare.
- Learn about fire safety and what to do in an emergency.
This program prepares participants to travel in their community safely and independently.
- Learn how to identify, select, and use different methods of transportation (bus, van, Uber, etc.)
- Learn what to do during an emergency.
- Understand traffic signs and signals.
- Become aware of their surroundings when traveling.
- Understand how to travel to and from a workplace and other locations.
Group instruction that teaches individuals with disabilities to make their own decisions, advocate for their needs, and understand themselves and their disability.
- Become better prepared to make decisions and plan their futures.
- Understand how to make friends, manage stress, and stay mentally and physically healthy.
- Learn how to explain their strengths and needs to others.
- Understand their disability and how to advocate for themselves.
- Learn how to ask for assistance if needed at school or work.