Via of the Lehigh Valley
Via of the Lehigh Valley is a community employment program that works with individuals with significant disabilities to become employed in their home communities. the applicant recently completed a successful NISH-sponsored Customized Employment grant which increased their skills, produced many successful Customized Employment outcomes and helped increase their general community employment success rate over the past year by over 38%. in addition, Via of Lehigh Valley is a mentor agency for the Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)'s Employment Start initiative. One of the challenges with Customized Employment implementation is the needed focus on getting better at supporting the individuals with autism in the workplace and the staff time necessary to research and cultivate greater numbers of partnering resources. Via is proposing to work with six customers and their "people" to create additional positive outcomes and further increased systems change. the proposal is seeking funding to cover one half of the salary for one dedicated Customized Employment coordinator to facilitate even greater success for one year. Through the use of the discovery process, creating creative employment scenarios and increasing partnerships, Via will advance the employment of people with autism.