Empowerment and the support of personal choice and self-direction has become somewhat of a hallmark for the Developmental Services Division of American Training.
– Survey and Certification
The Mission of the Day Services Branch is to affirm the dignity of all guests and residents, and support their right to participate in their communities as productive workers and valued neighbors and friends. We support activities that empower our guests and residents to initiate ideas, make choices and decisions, and share in resources of the community.
The Day Services Branch has three components:
Our Options Program is an innovative concept designed to provide our guests with meaningful and productive days. Each guest’s “Meaningful Day” may consist of a mix of employment, leisure/recreation, volunteer opportunities, community participation, and educational pursuits.
We work closely with each guest and their families/care providers to determine what opportunities will be the best fit. The perfect day will look different for each guest and will be customized to provide stimulation and promote success.
Assessments are completed with each guest to assist them in developing their goals. Meaningful Day activities are then designed to assist the guest in reaching their goals in a safe and supportive environment with the ultimate objective of fostering participation in their community.
Following are some examples of Meaningful Day activities:
- Career exploration and job placement, including on-going job support and training.
- Supported employment; working with a group of colleagues in a supervised work setting.
- Community volunteer opportunities.
- Education and instruction geared directly to the attainment of specific goals.
- Self-advocacy groups and activities.
- Community activities at the YMCA, local libraries, museums, and more.
The Options Program is unique because we are able to offer guests a combination of employment and day-habilitation services. The Options Program allows us to design a program to meet each guest’s unique needs.
Here’s an example:
One guest has a job at Market Basket three days a week bagging groceries. This guest loves animals and would like to care for animals. He is able to volunteer one day a week at the MSPCA as part of the Options Program. He also has challenges with communication. The Options Program gives him access to consultation services with a speech therapist. The consulting speech therapist is able to design a program to assist this guest with his communication needs.
What businesses and organizations do our Options Program guests work with?
For Individual Employment: Market Basket, Chili’s, Harrison’s, University Cap and Gown, Papa Gino, Bertucci’s, BJ’s, Rolling Ridge, Holiday Inn, Chunky’s, ACT (Affordable Computer Technologies), X-Ray Associates, Proxy, Domino’s, Target, Burger King, and more.
For Supported Employment (Enclaves): Ye Olde Pepper Candy Shoppe, Lawrence General Hospital, Lowell Sun, Ravensburger Puzzle Company, and more.
For Volunteer Opportunities: Cor Unum Meal Center, The Wish Project, MSPCA @ Nevins Farm, Mary Immaculate, Nursing Center, Little Sprouts, and more.
Andover, MA 01810
150 Industrial Way, Lowell, MA 01852
107 Audubon Rd, Building 1, Wakefield, MA 01880
Day Hab is designed to improve communication and self-help skills in both traditional and innovative settings. We concentrate on sensorimotor development, communication development, social development, independent living development, affective development, and behavior development. We provide nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech and language therapy.
Day Hab is a program for people with a wide range of abilities, interests, and skills. We work to promote our guests’ therapeutic, medical, and clinical needs. Activities are designed to address the developmental needs of each guest. Although the activities are goal-specific, they are also meaningful and functional to each guest, offering a fun yet challenging component to their day.
Each Day Hab program is staffed with quality in mind. Our highly-trained staff members are not just skilled at working with our guests, but also are compassionate and caring to their needs. Our overall philosophy is to provide professional quality support services with a focus on skill development, medical management, and therapeutic interventions.
Our registered and licensed practical nurses assist and support guests to meet medical and personal needs. Whatever those requirements may be — nutrition, seizure care and support, diabetic concerns, etc. — our nurses make guests’ medical needs their top priority.
Registered, licensed therapists, as consultants, help establish the individual developmental goals for each guest encompassing individual interests, needs, and preferences. This includes physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and behavior specialists.
Guests may require support with speech, and occupational and physical therapy to strengthen their skills. On-site, we have certified therapy aides (PT, COTA, and rehab) providing ongoing support to assist in meeting the goals established by the consultants. Along with regular scheduled hours, all of our therapists are available for consultation. Whether it is for a broken wheelchair, dietary needs, special equipment, or behavioral concerns, our aim is to address the needs of our guests.
Day-to-Day Therapeutic Fun
Each day starts with a morning meeting to discuss the day’s events. Guests have the opportunity to choose the activities they want to participate in. All activities are designed to meet the therapeutic goals outlined for Day Hab programming. Activities such as exercise, fitness, health and wellness, craft projects, puzzles, gardening, and cooking are just a few of the fun and therapeutic opportunities our guests may participate in throughout the day.
Our programs also utilize outside resources such as MSPCA Volunteer Projects, YMCA, fashion shows, libraries, and more.
150 Industrial Way, Lowell, MA 01852
11 Ballard Way, Lawrence, MA 01843
107 Audubon Road, Building 1, Wakefield, MA 01880
Removing Barriers to Make Life Matter
American Training’s StarWorks program allows people with disabilities the freedom to identify and nurture their prescribed potential. Receiving referrals from the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission and forward-thinking school systems, StarWorks helps guests reach their goals by providing dynamic and enhanced vocational counseling services and unique training… all in a WOW! atmosphere.
We take the time to assess abilities and then further develop those abilities into marketable skills that are attractive to employers looking for a specialized and committed workforce. Our guests leave our facilities not only with a valuable skills set, but with a new found confidence and belief in themselves.
Unique Customized Services Leading to Rewarding Successes
It is the mission of StarWorks to go beyond simply helping people who want to better their lives the chance to do so. StarWorks’ emphasis is to work directly with people who have varying physical, developmental, or mental health challenges and bring out their best.
Customized programs are person-centered and developed according to interest and potential. All levels of competency and challenges are welcome, including those with marketable skills, limited skills, no skills, or no experience.
The services provided by StarWorks include:
- Customized vocational assessments
- Targeted career exploration
- Practice job applications
- Development of a results-oriented resume
- Polished interviewing skills
- Strategic job searches
- One-on-one assistance with job placement
- Targeted soft skills/workplace essentials, such as attendance, punctuality, appearance, interaction with co-workers and supervisors, and communication
- Confidence boosters and encouragement to take initiative and promote self-advocacy
This represents just a short list of services. All guests can be assured they will gain
much more in terms of what they have to offer a potential employer and the positive manner in which they can present their newly developed skills.
What sets StarWorks apart are the dedicated and talented colleagues who work
tirelessly to make certain all guests leave their program with the knowledge that they are worthwhile human beings, and that their LIFE Matter! The skills guests learn through their involvement with StarWorks are geared to secure work alternatives here and now. The intrinsic value of those skills, coupled with self-confidence, is meant to last a lifetime.
Our Guarantee to Employers
Employers can be assured that StarWorks guests have received high-quality training and effective vocational counseling.
It is our guarantee that guests bring with them to each job the skills necessary to do the job well. The unique WOW! attitude guests adopt is carried
over to your facility and company. This means that a prospective employee from StarWorks appreciates the opportunity to work and looks forward to contributing their best. They maintain an upbeat and positive attitude as they balance FUN while remaining PRODUCTIVE. Our guests do not let a potentially disabling diagnosis distract their work ethic, or, more importantly, their lives.
Equally important is the acknowledgment and recognition you get by giving people a second chance at making their LIFE Matter. Meaningful employment has proven over and over again as the best way to ensure dignity and respect are a part of any person’s life. The same is true for people with disabilities. Knowing it is all made possible because of your direct involvement is the kind of feeling money cannot buy.
Our Business Partners
We are proud to say our list of partners continues to grow, as does our list of success stories. The companies we work with and in which we have placed our guests have made a corporate commitment to work with people with disabilities because it makes good business sense.
Following is a sampling of the types of industries in which American Training guests have been placed:
Medical professional and related occupations:
- Medical Secretary
- Medical Billers
- Warehouse Workers
- Sales and Retail Workers
- Office & Administrative Support
- Construction and Trades
- Installation, Maintenance, and Repair
- Production, Assemblers, Material Handlers
- Transportation & Material Moving
- Management, Business, Financial
Requesting more information from the people at American Training’s StarWorks can benefit your business operations in ways you may never have anticipated. Please feel free to contact any of us below for further information:
Denise M. Michaud
Career Counselor/Skills Instructor
Residential Options: Home and Support Services
Homes are built around learning, community participation, health and safety, and independence through an atmosphere incorporating choices while having fun.
There’s no place like an American Training home…
Residential Options provides residential support services to over 50 individuals throughout the Merrimack Valley. Some of these individuals live in group-living environments, while others live in apartments with a roommate. We also support people who live in their own homes, tailoring our services to their particular needs. All our residential support services are geared towards affirming the dignity of all individuals and defend their right to participate in their communities as productive workers and valued neighbors and friends.
Individuals are afforded the opportunity to customize their living situation to their own preferences, aspirations, and goals. They choose how they spend their time, where they go, and who they go with. Supports are offered to people around managing their own money, taking medication as prescribed, preparing healthy meals, pursuing leisure options, community membership, and leading a full and meaningful life.
American Training provides specialized nursing and clinical services as need dictates. Residential Options works closely with community medical providers to ensure that medical treatment aligns with people’s vision of their lives and needs.
Residential Options FAQ:
1) How do I get my family member into an American Training Residential Program?
People who live in Residential Options are eligible for services through the Department of Developmental Services and are referred through the area office.
2) What kinds of activities do people do on weekends?
People do all kinds of things, like go to the movies, go out to dinner, concerts, sporting events, visit friends, and pursue leisure activities that interest them.
3) How long can people live in a residential program?
Our programs are designed for people to live in their homes as long as physically possible. Many people will live out their lives in the same home, while others, because of specific health issues, may need to move to a more supported setting. Extreme care is taken to match a residential program to the person with the idea of establishing a lifelong home.
4) Who funds the home?
Funding is provided through the Department of Developmental Services and people themselves contribute financially to their homes through their social security entitlement payments.
Methuen, Haverhill, Lawrence,
Newburyport, Andover, and North Andover
Vice President and Director of Residential Services