The path that leads a young man or woman with a disability from being a student toward becoming an adult is not an easy road to travel.
The Nemasket Group understands this. We recognize that young people with disabilities and their families have dreams and visions for the future. We also understand that there are very real concerns as well as to what will happen when the student graduates from school. It is never too early or too late to start preparing for the future! It does require thoughtful planning and commitment from all involved to ensure that students have the same opportunities as typical teenagers to start a career, further their education and to be active members of their own communities.
By working in partnership with students, families and school systems in Southeastern Massachusetts, the Building Futures Project offers a menu of services and flexible supports in five areas: Person Centered Planning, Career Exploration and Job Placement, Community and Life Skills Building, Continuing Education and Friendships. Services and supports are customized for each student to help them move closer toward reaching their vision for the future.
The services we provide include:
(1) Person Centered Planning – It is never too late or too early to plan for the future. Some form of planning is involved in most of our important life decisions: where to work, should I go to College, where do I want to live, how do I want to spend my spare time? Person centered planning is a way to assist people with disabilities to plan for their future and to help the student start to answer some of these questions. With the support of family, teachers, friends and neighbors we help the student identify what they want their “dream” future to look like and what steps need to happen to start working towards these goals.
(2) Career Exploration and Job Placement – The key to finding a good job is careful planning and selection. For some people it may require observing and trying out different jobs in local businesses. With these experiences, students gain greater insight into their own work preferences, interests and strengths. Once suitable employment has been found, on the job training will be done by the employer with the assistance of project staff. We pride ourselves in finding jobs where students have the same access to the same pay and benefits as other workers.
(3) Community and Life Skills Building – This component of the project will focus on teaching students the skills and providing the supports to be participating members of their communities. For some it could be learning how to operate a bank account or use an ATM machine while for others it may be learning how to go grocery shopping, prepare a simple meal or use the local bus system.
(4) Continuing Education – It is important that all of us have opportunities to further our education. Learning does not stop once you leave school. The project offers support to students to explore post secondary opportunities that exist at community colleges and with adult continuing education classes.
(5) Friendships – For all of us friendships often start because two people share a mutual interest. The school years are an important time to start strengthening these relationships. Students receive support in exploring the different after school clubs, organizations and interest classes that exist in the community with the idea of meeting other young people who share the same interests.
The Building Futures Project offers the following services to students, families and schools:
- person centered planning
- career exploration and job placement
- community and life skills building
- continuing education
- developing friendships
We are proud of the services we provide. Our project has also been warmly received by parents:
“We are so grateful for the services and support provided through The Nemasket Group. Our son’s self esteem increased dramatically over the summer…..”
“The staff were very open and easy to talk to.”
“It’s been for my daughter the difference between having a life and no life”.
“The goals have always been clear and the way to accomplish them explained well”.
Please contact Ross Hooley for more information.
Also please view the two short videos below that explain our project further.