ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) – There’s a new partnership that will provide a work internship for locals on the autism spectrum in one of the most exciting places in the greater Rochester area, The Strong National Museum of Play.
The museum will open its doors to 16 adults on the autism spectrum that will learn and gain valuable job skills through a new internship. It’s a collaboration with Arc of Monroe, Autism Up and Monroe One BOCES.
“This is a segment that we think we’re uniquely positioned to offer job training skills to, in a very welcoming, fun environment,” said Steve Dubnik, CEO & President Strong National Museum of Play. “For people who may struggle with different challenges, to see themselves in the people who work here in the museum, and that’s part of being inclusive. Is give the people to recognize themselves in people and the environment that they’re in.”
The students will participate in numerous activities and jobs that need to be done both in front of the public at the Strong museum and behind the scenes.
“We’re just so excited to expand our opportunities at the Strong, and students are so excited,” said Cathy Hauber, Assistant Superintendent at Monroe One BOCES.
According to Autism Speaks, more than half of young adults with autism remain unemployed and unenrolled in higher education after graduating from high school. Nearly half of 25-year-olds with autism have never held a paying job. Job activities encourage independence and reduce autism symptoms while increasing daily living skills. Statistics local organizations hope to lower.
“They will be able to be immersed in a setting that is unique as the strong museum of play. That will have a lot of opportunities for them to grow and to develop those employability skills,” said Hauber.
The new work internship program at the Strong Museum will kick off this September. The 16 students are eight from Monroe One BOCES and the other eight from the greater Rochester area.