ACT! Blog

 

A New Future

A few months ago, when Chandler Doucet looked to the future, all he saw was uncertainty. Uncomfortable in the “regular job” positions he sought, as one who was born in the age of technology, with a passion for video games, Chandler dreamed of a career where he could put that passion into play. A dream that Autism CanTech! (ACT!) helped him realize.

Autism CanTech! is a new Canada-wide program aimed at empowering Autistic Youth (ages 18-30), to enter into roles in the digital workforce. With four months of in-class curriculum that takes a holistic approach to building the skills sets of participants through employability and technical skills, the program also offers two months of paid work experience. But what truly sets Autism CanTech! apart from other programs are the supports it offers. 

Supports that include Career Coaches that work weekly with participants to build their resume and interview skills, a centralized support known as the ACT! Centre which will continue to offer participants support long after they have completed the program, and new assistive technology developed by Technology North known as RoboCoach, which offers both communication and task management tools to ensure successful employment outcomes. 

An outcome that Doucet himself has now achieved, having found a full-time position in the tech sector. 

The ACT! program helped me move from government support to paying taxes,” says Doucet. “My life took a literal 180 degree turn and me realize that [Autistic people] are in fact incredibly capable.

Doucet’s role was just as beneficial to his employer, ATB. Following his 8 week ACT! paid internship, supervisor Chris Gignac says he immediately knew they had to have him as a team member full-time. Doucet’s work was so valued by ATB that within 9 months of working full-time for them, Doucet was awarded one of ATB’s prestigious quarterly employee awards. “This is an award that goes out to just a few select individuals,” says Gignac, adding “He got the award for excelling in his functions at ATB and actually contributing above and beyond his job specifications.” 
 
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If you are an employer, looking for new employees with a passion for all things data to hire in Data Analytic roles, reach out to our Employment Engagement Coordinators and enjoy two months of a paid internship with one of our participants. Hosting an intern, not only does not cost your organization anything, it also comes with a host of other supports from a Career Coach, to Assistive Technology, and an Inclusion and Accessibility Consultant. All at no costs to you. 

Contact Cheryl Wang: Cheryl@autismcantech.ca or Tara Langan: Tara@autismcantech.ca to learn more, or visit our website at: https://autismcantech.ca/employers.aspx
 

NorQuest College
Edmonton Campus

10230 108 St NW
Edmonton, AB T5J 4Z7
contact@autismcantech.ca
1.833.405.9919

Douglas College
New Westminster campus

700 Royal Avenue 
New Westminster, BC V3M 5Z5 
778.628.5823 

Humber College
North Campus

205 Humber College Blvd,
Toronto, ON  M9W 5L7
416.795.5561

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Treaty Acknowledgement

Amiskwac√ģw√Ęskahikan

The ACT! Program is honoured to teach and learn across many traditional and treaty lands including the unceded territories of the Coast Salish Peoples of the QayQayt (KuhKite) and Kwikwetlem First Nations to the West; through the treatied lands and traditional territories of the Nehiyawak, Dene, Stoney Nakoda, Nakota Sioux, Tsuutina, Annishnabe, Metis, and Inuit; all the way to the traditional lands of the Mississaugas of the Credit in the Place of the Alders along the Humber River Watershed in the East. The Autism CanTech! Team is dedicated to ensuring that Indigenous voice is centered, honoured and respected. In this spirit, we invite you to reflect on your relationship to the lands on which you are currently located, and take action for positive change in your community in this time of reconciliation.