The Workforce Readiness and Preparation (WRaP) Workshop is a three-week program for students ages 15 - 20 who are on the Autism Spectrum. The program uses a strengths-based approach to help young people prepare for success in the workforce through the following channels:
1. Students learn to solve real-world problems in collaboration with others. WRaP uses robotics-based approaches to teach employable skills for workplace success.
2. By characterizing prospective employees' abilities using robotic kits and other activities developed by Vanderbilt, the methods used within the program assist participants to identify jobs that match their gifts.
3. The program provides the opportunity for students to connect with prospective area employers through Vanderbilt’s partnership with The Precisionists, Inc.
4. The program provides the opportunity for students ages 18 and older to apply for internships with partner organizations.
This program is a collaboration between Currey Ingram Academy and the Frist Center for Autism and Innovation
at Vanderbilt University. The program uses the methods designed by Specialisterne USA
, a nonprofit social enterprise that pioneered the Autism @ Work movement in the United States. Specialisterne USA partners with corporations, universities, high schools, and community agencies to create change by examining traditional recruiting, training and on-boarding practices to help companies to employ work ready neurodiverse talent.
Check out this 60 Minute special, "Recruiting for Talent on the Autism Spectrum," for more on the Frist Center for Autism and Innovation at Vanderbilt University.
- Student must be between the ages of 15 - 20 years
- Student must be diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Students must have at least average cognitive abilities
- Student must have an interest in technology
(Students who are accepted into WRaP will take the PAIRIN assessment
prior to the start of the program. This assessment will take approximately one hour. PAIRIN measures essential skills such as initiative, problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, productivity, grit and interpersonal skills. The results will help WRaP teachers better assist the students in areas needing growth.)
Like Specialisterne and Vanderbilt University, Currey Ingram understands that “the special skill-set that often goes hand-in-hand with autism: attention to detail, strong logical and analytical skills, an above-average ability to concentrate for long periods of time, diligence and zero-fault tolerance,” which gives individuals on the autism spectrum an edge when it comes to a wide range of tasks within the field of IT.