The ACRES Project is an approved service provider 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 group programs at ACRES by talking to their OVR counselor. Each groups are typically comprised of 12 students with instructors to ensure a no greater than 1:4 student/staff ratio.
High school students with a documented disability may be referred to OVR by a family member or school personnel. Adults with a disability may also refer themselves to OVR by creating an account on the Pennsylvania CareerLink website.
What We Offer
ACRES provides several Pre-Employment Transition Services (PETS) to help adult OVR clients with autism develop the job skills required for success in the workforce. Participants work one-on-one with a trained ACRES staff member. The goal is to assist individuals in discovering not just a job, but a satisfying career which truly fits their individual needs and goals.
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 Training
This program is designed to educate students on independent living skills such as community resources, transportation, and laundry/hygiene.
- Understand basic budgeting skills.
- Learn about nutrition, shopping, and basic cooking.
- Learn about safety (food, fire, apartment)
- Learn safe use of the internet and social media.
- Understand how to do laundry and housekeeping tasks.
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.
Community-Based Work Assessment
- Learn to identify their personal strengths, likes/dislikes, and goals in relation to the workplace.
- With the support of a staff member, participate in a temporary "trial run" of paid employment at a community-based workplace which best fits the individual's stated goals.
- Determine what types of employment are appropriate vocational goals.
After completing the Community-Based Work Assessment, some individuals may require supportive employment services to transition into the workplace. These services may include:
- Job mentoring (e.g. assistance writing a resume or submitting job applications)
- One-on-one support in the workplace (until no longer needed)