YMCA of Greater Kansas City
An individual with disabilities residing in Kansas City is more likely than an able-bodied counterpart to live below the poverty level, be unemployed/under-employed, and less likely to matriculate through the educational system at an optimal rate. For minorities, the disparity is likely even greater. Specifically, the Y will help impact employment outcomes for youth with autism spectrum disorders by holding Career Academies throughout the Greater Kansas City area in 2013. The YMCA serves more than 1,000 youth and young adults with special needs through our Adaptive Sports program (Challenger). Approximately 60% of our participants have ASD. In 2013, the Y will begin to expand the offering of the 6-week Career Academies to additional areas of the metropolitan area by working with local school districts, offering two Career Academies for out-of-school youth and one for in-school youth. As part of the Academy, the Y will provide wrap-around programming to create a full-day experience (7 a.m.-6 p.m.) to accommodate family schedules/care needs. Structured programming will reinforce social skills and include recreational activities to encourage physical fitness.