Transitions to Employment for Autistic Individuals

Welcome to the Autism CanTech! Program, a national federally-funded program for Autistic youth between the ages of 18-30, where participants will develop the skills and strategies that they need to work effectively within the digital economy.

With four months of coursework, two months paid work experience, and access to a range of additional supports, Autistic youth develop the skills they need to succeed in the workforce. Participants work in small class environments to develop employability skills such as communication and teamwork, as well as technical skills such as data processing, data management, and software literacy. Participants who complete the program might work in many fields in the digital economy such as education, finance, government, software, or healthcare.

This has been the best thing to have happened to my career and life!

Michael Babcook

Supports

  • Throughout the program participants will work with a  Career Coach to prepare for their work experience placement and employment, including working together to identify participant strengths and interests; to prepare resumes and cover letters; to practice interviewing to develop comfort and confidence in the process; and, to provide support throughout the work placement, answer any questions, and support participant success in the workplace.

  • Participants will also use a break-through application known as RoboCoach a unique and scalable assistive technology that addresses specific employment barriers for individuals with Autism. It has the ability to integrate into workflow management, and offers connection with all main stakeholders including employers, Autistic workers, their parent or guardian supports, and their Career Coach. Key features of RoboCoach include: Task management, wellbeing check-ins, communications panel, and Wiki functionality.

What you will learn

By the end of the program,you will be able to successfully enter the workforce with confidence. Autism CanTech! program participants will learn: 

  • employability skills such as how to use communication and productivity tools, process management, and teamwork
  • career development skills such as resume writing, job searching, and interviewing; and,
  • job-specific technical skills for either Data Analytics, or Digital Asset Management.

Do I need any specific technical equipment?

  • The Autism CanTech! program operates out of a "Virtual Machine" which will have all of the necessary software and application programs needed to complete coursework.
  • A laptop or desktop computer is suggested, along with a second monitor, to make the coursework easier to complete. If equipment is needed, the Autism CanTech! has equipment that it can loan to participants, at no cost.  

How do I apply

Simply click on Apply Now and choose the College located nearest to you.

  • British Colombia residents: Douglas College
  • Alberta and Saskatchewan residents: NorQuest College
  • Ontario residents:  Humber College

What happens next?

After hitting "Submit" on the application form, someone from the College you are closest to will reach out to you to arrange for an interview/assessment.

What should I expect for the interview/assessment?

The interview is an opportunity for us to get to know you, and confirm that you are  both eligible and a good fit for the Autism CanTech! program. You will have the chance to ask any questions you may have. We will provide any accommodations or supports that will help you feel comfortable and confident in the interview. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, it will take place over Microsoft Teams.  You are welcome to have a support person present, however, we will be looking to you as the applicant to answer questions. The interview will take about 1 hour depending on how conversation flows. A 15-minute break will be offered during scheduling. You will be sent an online questionnaire in advance. You will also be given the interview questions in advance to help you feel prepared. Hear past-participant Chandler share about his experience in the program:

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

Program information


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Treaty Acknowledgement

Amiskwacîwâskahikan

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.