Autism CanTech

Autism CanTech! is a program that helps Autistic youth gain long-term employment. It takes an Autistic-centred approach to education for digital job skills.

Autism CanTech! (ACT!) combines supportive programming for participants and employers with career coaching and innovative assistive technology called RoboCoach developed by Technology North Corp. In this program, Autistic youth gain entry-level employability and technical skills for the digital economy through coursework, work experience, and a range of additional supports. Employers gain entry-level employees with unique perspectives, and the supports that they need to enhance accessibility and inclusion in the workplace.

Participants, employers, and the wider community are further supported by the ACT! Centre, where they have access to workshops, skills development, mentorship programming, peer networks, and larger community connections.

The ACT! Program

Participants will complete a six-month program that includes four months of coursework and a two-month work experience. Participants will also have the chance to make friends and network with other Autistic youth. The ACT! Program is tailored to participants’ individual needs. We work with participants in small classes to help them learn practical work skills. The program has Career Coaches ready to work with participants one-on-one. It also offers assistive technology, and a curriculum based on portfolio assessments, so participants face as few barriers as possible.
In the 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 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.

Program start date: September 1, 2021

Program end date: February 28, 2022

Tuition and fees: $0

Delivery: Online, NorQuest Edmonton campus

Pre-requisites and requirements:

  • Diagnosed or self-diagnosed as autistic
  • Between the ages of 18-30
  • Citizen or permanent resident of Canada
  • Can legally work in Canada
  • Not currently employed, in a transitional program, in training, or enrolled in school
  • Confident using a PC and software programs (Microsoft Office, Google Workspace, etc.)
  • Can stick to routines; has some flexibility; is ready to learn new skills and find a long-term employment
  • Passionate about technology, computers, gaming, hardware and software
  • Independent, functional communication is required to participate in the program. This may take the form of verbal communication or communication with an AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) or something comparable.
  • Participants can still be on AISH or other government supports while in the program, however, should discuss any impacts the paid employment may have with their AISH or support worker. Please reach out to our team for further information and discussions.
  • Not on Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD) Funding/Programming.

For additional information, contact us at autismcantech@norquest.ca or call 780.644.5900

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