As we celebrate National Nonprofit Day, we take the time to recognize the immense effort nonprofits and charities put into serving their communities. Today, HDS Companies shines a light on our Foundation, a 501©3 nonprofit that was founded in 2008. The primary focus of our organization is to help facilitate the success of students on the Autism Spectrum, to work on social and independent living skills while also preparing for life after high school and a successful transition into post-secondary life and careers. Bridging the gap that can support the diverse abilities of young adults and facilitating college-level and other post-secondary education will strengthen this population’s chances for meaningful, long-term employment and self-sufficiency. Our Foundation is poised to help educate and provide information related to available, safe, and affordable housing options to further the possibilities of attaining independent or semi-independent housing.
Our programs are designed to further develop personal growth and independence:
- The HDS B.R.I.D.G.E.S. Program supports the development of school-based social and community life skills activities designed to meet the needs of ASD High School Students. Structured in the form of a grant, the Foundation encourages High School ESE Departments to create school-based programs that provide opportunities year-round for Social, Independence, Community and Personal Development to teens who have Developmental Disabilities within this population. The recipients of the B.R.I.D.G.E.S. Grant accomplish this by incorporating various community based-field trips to local businesses who are poised to provide potential future employment, life skills development initiatives such as establishing bank accounts, shopping opportunities, learning about transportation options, and social skills opportunities during the school year that allow for the inclusion of these students to typical high school activities such as Homecoming, Football Games, Prom, and many others. These are conduits to building better communication tools, peer mentoring, fostering friendships, and preparation for life after high school, including post-secondary.
- The Social Activities Program or S.A.P. is designed to enhance the lives of teens and young adults as they begin to transition to their post-secondary journey. The program is based on social activities leading to transition skills which provide students with disabilities a positive social interaction with their peers.
- The HDS College Mentors Program strives to identify the peripheral needs of students living with Autism Spectrum Disorder or related disabilities, who are seeking a College Degree and are living at a University or College Campus. Although the Program does not focus on academic course requirements mandated by the schools, it does focus on the guidance and supports needed by the students to achieve success in each of their academic fields.
- The ASDY-TECH Employment Training and Mentoring Program focuses on providing prospective employment opportunities to young adults who are on the Autism Spectrum. ASDY-TECH, coined after Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Young Adults (Tech Staff), is designed as a micro-enterprise entity of the HDS Foundation. The program focuses on technical projects that can be scaled to support the employment needs of the ASD population, while meeting the service needs of prospective clients, whether individuals or businesses. (This program is on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic)
Our programs work, and we have great success stories to demonstrate it! Check out our Happenings page to see what we’ve been up to lately!