With the growing prevalence of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and the rising numbers of ASD young adults aging out of secondary education, the need for employment opportunities for this population is increasing by the day. The HDS Foundation launched ASDY-TECH to help leverage the natural skill sets this group of emerging workers possess, and to provide these young adults with opportunities to learn and acquire specific technical, organizational and creative skills. We have embarked on a journey to create a “Business Mentor” model that supports an “Entrepreneurial Service” that will generate meaningful employment opportunities for young adults on the Autism Spectrum. Our goal is to create a workforce that can meet the emerging needs of companies in our community and beyond.
Our pilot program involved the digital conversion of paper files for a business that transitioned their workflow from paper to digital files. This initial project was designed by eHousingPlus, an HDS Company, to make certain employment opportunities available to this population by creating a model that was viable. Leveraging the HDS Companies’ assets and experience with technology and this special population, we were able to create a workflow that allowed the eHP Digital Docs Project to be launched successfully, and on-time. This project also afforded the HDS Foundation the opportunity to identify critical areas that needed focus, capture demonstrated strengths, and generate the basis for creating our micro-enterprise and model.
The HDS Companies (HDSCompanies.com) support this program, because we are deeply rooted in the affordable housing and community development markets. Our two main business divisions, eHousingPlus (eHousingPlus.com) and Housing and Development Software (hdsoftware.com) have been utilizing ASDY-TECH’s services. This opportunity is fitting since many of the clients we serve are in the business of providing and supporting mission-based community programs. The impact of this group to the organization has strengthened our commitment to our products and services, improved morale, and heightened overall productivity.