Lebanese Autism Society (LAS)
In the fall of 2017, OpenMinds and LAS collaborated to relocate and refurbish the LAS Center for Autism Intervention and Research (CAIR). The center provides support to individuals with autism in adaptive living skills, independent living arrangements, supported employment, education, social skills development and recreational opportunities. It was inaugurated in March 2018 in the presence of HE Minister Pierre Bou Assi and members of OpenMinds.
Step Together Association
The I Can Work program, developed by Step Together Association and funded by OpenMinds, is designed to integrate students with learning difficulties in the workplace within the community, under the supervision of a coach and coordinator. The program, established in October 2017, is geared towards students 16 to 18 years of age. Goals are to equip students with job-readiness skills and ways to be successful at work through real work experiences, didactic teaching and analysis of experiences. In April 2018, provided work opportunities included a restaurant, two hairdressing salons, a supermarket and a home appliance shop. The workplace within Step Together also includes a bakery workshop. Over the last six months, students in this highly successful endeavor have improved social skills and this has heightened their self-esteem. Future plans include searching for new work opportunities that welcome more students with special needs.
I Can Work Program
Next Step AUB
In continuation of its support of Next Step AUB, OpenMinds provided smart classroom equipment to the program, including an interactive panel and tablets for all students. Next Step AUB is a higher career education program for young adults with intellectual disabilities like Down Syndrome.
Next Step AUB students - Smart Classroom