Employment Programs

Historically, and to present day, individuals with disabilities remain one of the largest groups of unemployed adults. Facing numerous employment barriers to include unavailability of vocational/job skills training, accommodations, and assistive technology services, individuals with disabilities must hurdle immense stigma coupled with low societal expectations that fosters job discrimination and little to no opportunity for advancement or exploration of career possibilities. CAF has developed employment program models that provide individuals with disabilities the opportunities, skills and ongoing support they need to successfully work on-site at CAF, or integrate into the workforce within their community.

ABC Work Activity Program
CAF operates a Work Activity Program (WAP) in collaboration with the Regional Center of East Bay and the California Department of Rehabilitation. The Work Activity Program is CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) accredited, and has been providing individuals with vocational skills and paid work experience for more than 25 years.

Designed to provide individuals the opportunity to engage in meaningful work, CAF’s onsite Work Activity Program enhances participant’s self esteem and confidence while, as gainfully employed adults, participants enjoy a sense of accomplishment, productivity and independence.

Custom Assembly and Packaging
CAF developed a business model that is specifically designed to utilize the very specialized and focused skill-sets possessed by individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. This business division is called Custom Assembly and Packaging (CAP).  CAP operates an on-site Assembly and Packaging business at CAF’s Richmond facility. Working synergistically with Custom Assembly and Packaging,  individuals enrolled in the WAP program are employed by CAP and provide packaging, labeling and assembly services for a variety of businesses that have contracted with CAP to perform their production fulfillment. The CAP program model provides a valuable service to businesses while program participants earn an income and are provided resources enabling them to possibly secure more mainstream employment.

To augment the participants’ vocational training and developing employment skills, individuals are provided on-site adult education classes. Sponsored by West Contra Costa Unified School District, individuals receive a rich academic and social skills curriculum that is taught by credentialed teachers.

Moving Forward!
Nicole Narvaez is decidedly proud of her job with California Autism Foundation’s Custom Assembly and Packaging (CAP) program. She performs a variety of tasks, is constantly learning new things, and most importantly, Nicole’s job has enabled her to move out of her parent’s home! Nicole works Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the 60,000 square-foot Richmond facility that offers individualized, full-service fulfillment programs to businesses needing assembly, packaging, labeling and mailing solutions.

For Nicole, working at CAP means independence and a feeling of accomplishment. Because she has a steady job, she has been able to move into housing operated by ABC Supported Living Services, which is also affiliated with California Autism Foundation. “I like to learn new things, and when new projects come in, I like to learn how to do them,” she said, adding that her goal is “to keep moving forward!”

A win-win situation for both businesses and employees, CAF’s work activity program is a model that has provided Nicole and countless others, the education, training and skills to live an empowered and independent life.

Schedule a Tour Today!
Work Activity Program
Adria Carson, Senior Director of Adult Services
acarson@calautism.org
(510) 758-0433, Ext. 108

ABC Supported Employment
ABC Supported Employment Program provides assistance to participants who are employed at various off-site businesses. CAF Job Coaches secure appropriate positions for individuals by assessing skills and interests; coordinating with employers to match jobs to skill sets, and providing ongoing, individualized support. As the liaison between the employer and CAF employee, Job Coaches facilitate any necessary accommodations and ancillary services. Utilizing a four step process that includes (1) Assessment (2) Job Development (3) Pre-vocation Coaching (4) Job Coaching, CAF’s comprehensive services enables individuals with disabilities to access and succeed in community employment, and opens doors to an inclusive, enriching and fulfilling life.

Schedule a Tour Today!
ABC Supported Employment Program
Adria Carson, Senior Director of Adult Services
acarson@calautism.org
(510) 758-0433, Ext. 108

ABC Adult Programs Online Calendar

ABC Work Activity Program Holiday Schedule (Printable)