The New England Center for Children Receives Technology Grant from Staples Foundation

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Funds to Support Technology for Vocational Training of Students with Autism

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“The New England Center for Children is grateful to the Staples Foundation for awarding us this grant,” said Julie Weiss, Director of Vocational Services.

The New England Center for Children® (NECC®), a global leader in education and research for children with autism, announced today that it received a technology grant from the Staples Foundation, the private charitable arm of Staples, Inc., through a program called 2 Million & Change that allows Staples associates around the globe to direct more than $2 million in donations each year. The grant will fund interactive technology, including iPads and an iPad Pro cash register, to support vocational training of students with autism.

The technology will be used in the Student Store inside NECC’s newly remodeled Student Center. The Student Store provides students with autism the opportunity to learn vocational skills including cash register operation, payment processing, stocking merchandise, bagging, customer communications and etiquette, practical math, and organizational skills. The Student Center also houses NECC’s Career Development Center, a classroom for exploring vocational strengths and interests, and for developing a variety of vocational skills.

“Staples is committed to giving back to the causes our associates are passionate about,” said Regis Mulot, chief human resources officer, Staples, Inc. “The 2 Million & Change program helps associates make an even greater impact on the organizations they support in their local communities.”

“The New England Center for Children is grateful to the Staples Foundation for awarding us this grant,” said Julie Weiss, Director of Vocational Services. “By improving technology we can provide our students with practical store experience, which improves opportunities to transition to jobs in the community.”

NECC vocational skill development begins at age 14, in accordance with Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and state labor laws, and includes up to four hours per week of vocational exploration within the school, often starting within the Career Development Center. As students age, the amount of time spent on vocational training increases, as does paid and volunteer work. The goal is to both advance their skill set and develop work endurance. Students may work in the community or within the school.

Around age 18, when the transition to adulthood is not far off at age 22, the Vocational Training program focuses on developing career goals and mastering skills in their chosen career area.

About Staples Community and Giving

Staples contributes to educational and workforce development community efforts with a primary focus on disadvantaged youth, from literacy and mentoring to career skills development, through in-kind and monetary donations and grants from Staples Foundation, the private charitable arm of Staples, Inc. In 2016, Staples awarded more than $2.3 million in grants to 1,000 local organizations in support of education and job skills programs, including job readiness for homeless individuals, career exploration for high school students, academic scholarships, mentoring and more. For more information, visit http://www.staples.com/community.

About The New England Center for Children

The New England Center for Children® (NECC®) is a world leader in education, research, and technology for children with autism. For more than 40 years, our community of teachers, researchers and clinicians have been transforming lives and offering hope to children with autism and their families. NECC’s award-winning services include home-based, day, and residential programs; public school partnerships and consulting; the John and Diane Kim Autism Institute; and the ACE® ABA Software System used by more than 4,620 students in 24 states and nine countries. NECC received the 2017 Award for International Dissemination of Behavior Analysis from the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis (SABA). A 501c3 non-profit, The New England Center for Children is based in Southborough, MA, and also operates a center in Abu Dhabi, UAE. More information is available at http://www.necc.org.

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Michele Hart
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