Center for Living & Working provides assistance to youth with disabilities to help them achieve independence.

Transition to Adulthood Program (TAP)

The Transition to Adulthood Program (TAP) at Center for Living & Working provides consumer-directed services to youth between the ages of 14 and 21 who are in high school with a disability. Through the provision of four core services: Skills Training, Peer Counseling, Advocacy (both individual and in the community) and Information and Referral, Center for Living & Working works with students who are motivated or want to become motivated to reach their independent living goals.

Through Skills Training, Center for Living & Working utilizes the “Peer Model” approach.  Meaning, trained Skills Trainers work with consumers to develop an independent living plan and together, work towards attaining consumer-directed goals. TAP provides support around:

  • Individualized Education Plan (IEP) understanding and advocacy
  • Individualized Transition Plan (ITP) Support
  • Support to family
  • Community Education and Recreation

TAP offers social and focused group workshops and networking events to build and sustain social opportunities. For parents, Center for Living & Working partners with Easter Seals of Worcester to host a parent group where professions discuss pertinent topics and offer assistance to parents navigating the services system.

Pre-Employment Transition Program (Pre-ETS)

Pre-ETS programming is intended to emphasize vocational and educational awareness, exploration and preparation. The goals of Pre-ETS is to provide students with the skills needed to be successful for employment or education after high school.

To qualify for Pre-ETS, students must be 14 through 21 in high school or secondary-education with a disability. All students must have documentation to verify their disability. Documentation can include a 504 Plan, Individualized Education Plan (IEP or other medical documentation).

Pre-ETS services include:

Job Exploration Counseling

This includes, but is not limited to, counseling, guidance, and training provided to students with disabilities designed to assist them in identifying and learning about job opportunities in particular occupations and industry sectors, including career assessment and planning. An example of this service would be career exploration or completing an interest inventory.

Self-Advocacy & Mentoring

This includes, but is not limited to, services provided to students with disabilities to promote self-advocacy and leadership skills, including peer-mentoring, or to assist with successful transition from school to post-secondary education, employment, and independent living. An example of this service is an after-school program where students would meet with peer mentors for guidance and support.

Workplace Readiness Training

This includes, but is not limited to, workplace readiness services provided to students with disabilities designed to assist them in preparing for employment through soft-skills training, job search training, resume writing classes, and other related training. For example, these services could be comprised of a workshop on workplace etiquette, web-based social media training modules, or a combination of classroom and web-based training services.

Post-Secondary Education Counseling

This includes, but is not limited to, assistance and support provided to students with disabilities regarding various opportunities for enrollment in comprehensive transition or post-secondary educational programs at institutions of higher education or vocational training programs based on their goals, needs, and preferences. This also includes assistance with identifying educational opportunities and applying for programs and services. An example of this service could be assisting students with understanding the process of preparing applications for enrollment in post-secondary education or training.

Work-Based Learning

Work-based learning is supporting a student’s employment-related skill development through an internship. This internship opportunity meets the student’s needs, interests, and ability level, in order for them to gain more experience and exposure. The goal is to have the student build skills for future competitive employment.