Rusty is an adult with autism who is part of Global Autism Project’s RAISE program. Rusty is the Spreadsheets and Data Manager for the Global Autism Project and has been working with the Global Autism Project since 2010. Rusty wrote this bog entry as a response to the question, “What is RAISE?” For more from Rusty, check out this video of his adventures in the Dominican Republic.
RAISE-Real Advancement Independence Social Skills and Empowerment is an important part of The Global Autism Project because it helps people with autism feel more confident and independent when it comes to doing their jobs. RAISE is a helpful program because it helps individuals with autism keep their jobs so that they can earn self-sustaining income. RAISE consists of work readiness and vocational skills training for people with autism so that they can be part of a team of people who do their work efficiently.
RAISE began when I started working for The Global Autism Project in 2010 to help me and my coworkers develop life skills and work skills while working for The Global Autism Project. My coworker and I did a poster presentation about how The Global Autism Project established RAISE at The 40th Annual ABAI Convention in Chicago in 2014 so that RAISE would help us improve on our social skills when it comes to working at The Global Autism Project. When Alex and I did our RAISE poster at the 2014 ABAI Convention in Chicago, we talked about how RAISE would really empower us to become official employees of The Global Autism Project in the future.
I started working with The Global Autism Project in 2010 when I participated in the 2009 Paddle For Autism Awareness at Louis Valentino, Jr. Park in Red Hook, Brooklyn where I went kayaking for individuals with autism around the world. I feel that The 2009 Paddle for Autism Awareness at Louis Valentino, Jr. Park in Red Hook, Brooklyn empowered me to become more directly involved with The Global Autism Project so that I could eventually seek employment. I was hired by The Global Autism Project in 2010 and The Global Autism Project established the RAISE program in 2014 so that my coworkers and I would be able to work independently with minimal support.
RAISE has allowed me to participate in two SkillCorps Trips with The Global Autism Project to Peru in February 2014 and The Dominican Republic in February 2016. RAISE is part of The Global Autism Project, which also train behavior analysts and speech therapists and occupational therapists to work with individuals with autism in India, Kenya, The Dominican Republic, Indonesia, and Nicaragua through international domestic conferences and presentations and conventions as a result of poster and paper presentations and conference sessions. I feel that being a part of RAISE has enabled me and Alex and Edwin to be able to work independently at The Global Autism Project so that we would need employment specialists to lesser degrees. Alex and Edwin and I have RAISE tasks lists whenever we are at work at The Global Autism Project so that we can do our tasks correctly and efficiently and get points for the tasks.
I hope that the future of RAISE is bright because I want The Global Autism Project to establish programs similar to RAISE in countries like Nigeria, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, China, Israel, South Africa, Mexico, Argentina, Egypt, Tanzania, Japan, Zimbabwe, Canada, Namibia, Greece, France, and Brazil so that people around the world can have access to jobs and life skills training. I became a COMPASS member to help support The Global Autism Project and RAISE. I would like to continue traveling with SkillCorps in the future as part of The Global Autism Project staff members through RAISE.
In conclusion, RAISE is what helps people with autism become more independent at work so that they can do their tasks correctly and efficiently, with minimal support. RAISE can really help people with autism develop great work habits like always showing up at work on time and always having to do their tasks without receiving constant reminders. RAISE always has weekly meetings just to be sure that everything is going smoothly whenever my coworkers and I are doing our tasks at The Global Autism Project and to be aware if there are any improvements that my coworkers and I need to make when it comes to doing our work at The Global Autism Project.