Hurricane Isaias

 

HDS is closely watching the forecast for Hurricane Isaias. Landfall is anticipated to occur north of our location sometime over the weekend, however we anticipate we will be fully operational throughout the weekend and into next week.

HDS continues to operate under our  Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plan. This is to continue to ensure the safety of our staff and our business operations during the COVID pandemic.

HDS will remain fully operational and you may continue to reach our staff via telephone and email.  Our hosting facilities will continue to be monitored and will operate normally throughout this timeframe.

We will continue to keep you posted via email with any updates and information.

Thank you all for your thoughtfulness as always.

Andrew Moffitt
CTO/CISO

Post-Secondary Pathways for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

The pathway between high schoolpostsecondary education, and employment can be quite daunting and challenging for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  Fortunately, nowadays, students have options when meeting their graduation requirements during high school or after graduation. Traditionally, students choose to attend a two-year college, a four-year university or go directly into employment. Today, young adults are choosing the Career and Technical Education (CTE) track while in high school, which also allows them to earn a standard high school diploma. 

As students begin to prepare for life after high schoolin the current competitive job market, choosing the CTE path affords students who do not want to attend a two or four-year college or university the option to learn a profession and provides invaluable trainingCTE provides career preparatory programs that allow students to pursue their individualized interests and help them reach their goals. It also prepares them for a highly competitive job market environment external to traditional schooling. 

When students choose CTE, they receive technical skill training, which can help them attain specific employment and credentials, such as a career certificate, applied technology diploma, journeyman’s license, college credit certificates, associate in science (A.S.) and/or associate in applied science (A.A.S.) degree. 

Project10, a program funded by the Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services (BEESS), within the Florida Department of Education (FDOE)provides an informational guide entitled: “Career and Technical Education Experiences in Middle School, High School, and Postsecondary Education.” If you are interested in pursuing a postsecondary technical path, we encourage you to read more about CTE’s benefits at the link below.  

http://project10.info/Documents/CTE_SSTIC_Product_with_CTE_Option_4.17.2020.pdf 

ADA Celebrates 30 Years of Progress in Access and Inclusion

Throughout the year, we have been celebrating 30 years of progress in access and inclusion, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the ADA Anniversary. The ADA was signed into law by President George H. W. Bush on July 26, 1990. Through passing this law, President Bush ensured that individuals in the United States of America will no longer be socially defined or limited in life by a disability. The Anniversary milestone is a celebration that promotes awareness of equality for people with disabilities. 

The ADA is the first comprehensive civil rights law that protects people with disabilities from discrimination based on their disability.  It protects people with disabilities from discrimination in all areas of public life, including the workplace, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the public. The law guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in public accommodations, such as accessible buses for wheelchairs, tactile exhibits at parks and museums, captions, or a sign language interpreter at a theater, concerts, or ball games. Other changes include accommodations in local, state, and federal government services, and telecommunications. These are just some of the life-changing accommodations that were made possible for people with disabilities because of the American Disabilities Act. 

We are grateful to the ADA for making a life-altering change for individuals with disabilities. If you have any questions, please visit the resources below: 

This Tool Kit is a project of the ADA National Network and its ten regional ADA Centers across the United States that provide comprehensive “one-stop” information, guidance, and training on the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). 

How Employers Can Provide a Supportive Environment for ASD Employees

Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) bring a variety of strengths and skills to the workplace. With a rising number of young adults entering the workforce, whose ASD ranges from mild to severe, it is becoming increasingly important for employers to provide an encouraging and supportive environment. When employers offer accommodations such as proper training, time management tools, and the opportunity to share workloads, the employees are given a better chance at being successful in the workplace.

Many employers have concerns about how to accommodate employees on the Autism Spectrum. Due to the varying characteristics of ASD, each person may need individual accommodations.  Some people with ASD deal with sensory stimulation distractions. These can include, employee chatter, everyday office noises (phone ringing, copy machine, etc.) Another characteristic is atypical body movements such as fidgeting, which can help calm the individual and/or help them concentrate on tasks they are given at the workplace. Lastly, stress management is key to helping employees with ASD succeed. Many situations at work can create a stressful environment for the individual, such as conflict among employees, deadlines, unrealistic timeframes, and workloads.

Employers should educate themselves on how to accommodate employees with ASD to create a positive and supportive environment. Below are tips supervisors can use as they orient, train, and encourage their employees’ professional development.

  • Reduce auditory and visual distractions
  • Reduce the clutter in the employee’s work environment
  • Use hand-held squeeze balls and similar objects to provide a calming effect
  • Provide positive reinforcement
  • Modify the work schedule
  • Provide sensitivity training for the other employers

Below you will find a link for the Employer Guide to Supervising Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders from the Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education. This useful resource will help employers interested in hiring a group of capable yet under-employed individuals: those with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

https://www.rit.edu/emcs/oce/student/stu_alum_pdfs/Employer%20Guide%20to%20Supervising%20Individuals%20with%20Autism%20Spectrum%20Disorders.pdf

 

Summer Fun!

Summer Fun!

Summer is back and teens are looking for some “safe” fun during this unprecedent time during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although, activities will not look the same as they did last summer, teens can still find activities to do and have lots of fun. Traditionally, teens can attend summer camps, volunteer, or get a job but COVID-19 has disrupted summer plans and have changed those possibilities for teens.

Thanks to the internet, teens can find a multitude of activities online whether it is some type of fitness class, art and cooking class, taking a virtual trip to a theme park, or visit a museum. We have compiled a list of resources for families to explore with their teens to keep them engaged during the summer and having fun.

Health & Fitness

Special Olympics: School of Strength

Work out videos to help you stay fit and reach your athletic goals.

specialolympics.org/school-of-strength

Planet Fitness: One of the country’s largest gym chains, Planet Fitness, has been live streaming free online workout classes on its Facebook page on weekdays at 7 p.m. ET. https://www.facebook.com/planetfitness/

Nike Training Club: This app lets you download free 15-, 30-, and 45-minute workouts designed by Nike trainers. Most of the workouts are equipment-free and use GIFs to demonstrate how to do each exercise — from squats, to walkouts, to lunges.

https://www.nike.com/ntcapp?cid=4942550&cp=usns_aff_nike_content&cjevent=afd5c040bb1011ea804e00180a240613

Corepower Yoga: The national yoga chain is offering free 30- and 60-minute classes.

https://www.corepoweryogaondemand.com/keep-up-your-practice

Downward Dog: This company is offering its suite of fitness apps — from the seven-minute workout, to Barre, to Yoga for Beginners — for free, with no subscription required – www.downdogapp.com/schools

Cooking

Accessible Chef – online free visual recipes and resources to help teach cooking skills to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Cultural and Virtual Museums

Google Arts and Cultureshttps://artsandculture.google.com

CNN Style- https://www.cnn.com/style/article/what-to-do-at-home-streaming-art-museums-concerts-coronavirus-trnd/index.html

Online Free Puzzles

Jigsaw Planet – https://www.jigsawplanet.com/

Educational Online Games for High School & College Students-

https://www.learn4good.com/games/for-high-school-students.htm

Kahoot-Family Fun- https://kahoot.com/home/family-friends/

Virtual trips to the Zoo & Aquarium

San Diego Zoohttps://kids.sandiegozoo.org/videos

National Aquarium–  http://samuraivirtualtours.com/example/nadc/index.html

 

Hurricane Isaias

  HDS is closely watching the forecast for Hurricane Isaias. Landfall is anticipated to occur north of our location sometime over the weekend, however we anticipate we will be fully operational throughout the weekend and into next week. HDS continues to operate...

Summer Fun!

Summer Fun!

Summer is back and teens are looking for some “safe” fun during this unprecedent time during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although, activities will not look the same as they did last summer, teens can still find activities to do and have lots of fun. Traditionally, teens...

HDS Celebrates 22 Years of Commitment

Dear valued client and industry partners and HDS Family,   This year we celebrate 22 years of commitment to affordable housing and community development, bringing technology and service solutions to this industry.  Our mission for over two decades has been to support...

ASDY Tech Reunites Through Zoom

ASDY Tech Reunites Through Zoom

Our HDS Companies ASDY-Tech (Autism Spectrum Disorder Young Adult Technicians) team joined us for a Zoom “Party” to surprise their mentor, Terri Scharnow. Everyone was so happy to see one another after being in quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic. Program...

Cypress Bay B.R.I.D.G.E.S. Student Spotlight

Cypress Bay B.R.I.D.G.E.S. Student Spotlight

In today's edition of our B.R.I.D.G.E.S. Student Spotlight, we are highlighting Matt. He is a graduate of the Cypress Bay High School Class of 2020.  Matt is an avid sports fan and follows everything related to sports. On any given day, Matt wears his favorite college...