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Trying to start Autism-specific I.T. training & work experience company

(1 Post)
jbean66 Wed 22-Jul-15 13:40:03

My son has Asperger's. When he left his Autism-specific special school at 18 he was unable to attend college, so I secured funding from our LA for an 'elective' home education programme so that I could employ an I.T. technician (who had worked at the special school) to help him gain trade certifications and work towards becoming a technician himself.

My son is now 20 and has completed his CompTIA A+ certification, is about to take the Network+ exam and we have a final year of funding ahead of us for him to do Security+ and Kalipen courses. The tutor, my son and I decided to start a company that can provide secure employment for my son in an Autism-friendly workplace. That original idea has evolved to wanting to offer the same opportunities to other young people with Autism. We are trying to set up a company that offers Autism-specific CompTIA A+ training, work experience and employment within the repair service side of the company. We want to build a kind of 'village' so, instead of being expected to adapt themselves to a mainstream 'neuro-typical' world (which not all can do), these youngsters can also have a real peer group and a safe and appropriate social life.

We believe that this sort of company, staffed by young people with Autism working to help young people with Autism, is essential (especially since only 15% of adults with Autism are in full-time paid employment) but cannot seem to move it forward as both the local authority and Jobcentre are less than enthusiastic about funding any trainees and as we are not a charity or CIC we are not eligible for pretty much all of the funding we have looked at.

We are just about to launch a CrowdFunding campaign as our Jobcentre says they have youngsters on their books who could be candidates but no funding and we need to at least rent an office in which to train them. If we dont have premises on our local high street, we wont attract customers and build the repair service side that we need so that we can employ our trainees. But we need funds to do that!

Has anyone else out there tried to do something similar and, if so, do you have any advice/suggestions?

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