OTF Presentation

OTF $75,000 Grant Announcement

$75,000 Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant Gives Autism Community Access to Employment

On Friday October 26, 2018, ATN Access Inc. welcomed local employers and community representatives to its social enterprise grocery store, the Old East Village Grocer, to recognize its 1-year pilot project, Ready, Set, Shine. With a $75,000 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), the program began the development of an evidence-based model to help individuals on the autism spectrum find employment. Local MPPs Terence Kernaghan and OTF volunteer Linda Lustins were on hand to celebrate the outcomes of the investment. ATN staff and clients were delighted to share how projects like this increase opportunities for the autism community, and assist employers to explore wider avenues in the face of local and global talent shortages.

“It is very exciting to see the excellent work of Londoners be honoured and supported by an OTF grant. Our community is a great place to live because of outstanding community organizations like ATN and innovative projects like Ready, Set, Shine. They deepen community connections, harness untapped potential and expand access to opportunity for more people.” –Terence Kernaghan, MPP for London North Centre.

“The Ontario Trillium Foundation’s investment has allowed ATN to take a giant step forward in creating employment support services for job seekers on the autism spectrum, a clearly under-served population. The Ready, Set, Shine project is a strengths-based training program with customized job matching that creates new opportunities for both employers and our clients. We’re inspired by the people we serve and excited to put the data we’ve collected to use in service of our community.” – Andrea Topham, Executive Director, ATN Access Inc.

Quick facts:

• The pilot project was geared towards developing evidence-based best practices to support sustainable employment for jobseekers on the autism spectrum

• ATN partnered with local employers to provide employment opportunities for individuals on the autism spectrum

• Project included specialized pre-employment preparation, modified recruitment processes, and onsite job coaching to increase accessibility and support job retention

• ATN is a not for profit registered charity whose mandate is to provide opportunities for individuals with disabilities to gain access to employment, reach their educational goals and improve the quality of their lives. This is done through a variety of assessment, skills upgrading and personal development services. ATN specializes in computer training and computer assisted learning.

• The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. OTF awarded more than $120 million to some 700 projects last year to build healthy and vibrant communities in Ontario.

YES Program

Register Today for the YES Program

The ATN YES (Youth Employment Strategy) Program combines 5 weeks of in class pre- employment training with 10 weeks of employment placement for a total of 15 weeks. Class pre-employment training consists of 30 hours a week. Each work placement week consists of up to 25 hours per week and participants accepted into the program are paid minimum wage (for the time they attend in class or work at their placement).

To Qualify for the program participant must be:

  • Between 15 and 30 inclusive
  • In need of assistance to overcome barriers to employment and/or have a disability
  • Out of school
  • Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or people who have refugee status
  • Legally entitled to work according to the relevant provincial territorial legislation and regulation
  • Not in receipt of Employment Insurance benefits

An Intake session is required before we can establish registration.
To book an Intake session call Kathy at 519-433-7950 ext 618 (8:30am – 4:00pm) or email k.kaill@atn.ca or c.gibson@atn.ca

For more information on this program please view our YES Program page.

OEVG Store

Registration Open for the Grocery Skills Program

The ATN Grocery Skills Program is a seven week in-class program that provides participants with the opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to function as part of a retail team focusing on the grocery store environment. Participants will also have the opportunity to gain practical work experience in a retail operation to help prepare participants for employment in customer service and grocery store positions.

To Qualify for the program participant must be:

  • In need of assistance to overcome barriers to employment and/or have a disability
  • Out of school
  • Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or people who have refugee status
  • Legally entitled to work according to the relevant provincial territorial legislation and regulation

An Intake session is required before we can establish registration
To book an Intake session call Barb at 519-433-7950 (8:30am – 4:00pm) or email b.williamson@atn.on.ca

For more information on this program please view our Grocery Skills Program page.

Phil Rutledge

Client Success Story – Phil Rutledge

Phil Rutledge received his first computer training, in IBM mainframe technology, while attending the Business Information Systems program at Fanshawe College in the late 1970’s. He was introduced to Windows in 1997, as a student in ATN’s Introductory Computer Program. Over the years, Phil’s connection with us continued as he regularly returned for job search assistance or to update his resume. In 2011, Phil began to give back to ATN through volunteering. For three years, he assisted clients in the Learning Disabilities Lab as a math and reading tutor.

Phil’s computer skills have come a long way since he learned to use Windows 95 over 20 years ago. Today he is a technology entrepreneur, running a business which specializes in converting 8MM and VHS recordings to digital format, then burning the files to DVD, and optionally loading them on a USB memory key. Phil is enthusiastic about his work and how it can help families preserve special moments such as birthdays, vacations, and weddings, that were recorded on video cassettes and might otherwise be lost.

If you have something you would like converted, contact Phil at: DigitalizeIt4VHS@gmail.com

Andrea Topham

New Executive Director – Andrea Topham

Everyone here at ATN Access Inc is excited to welcome Andrea Topham as its new Executive Director. She replaces Vicki Mayer who retired on July 27, 2018 after 28 years of dedicated service.

Andrea has more than 15 years of experience leading teams in the not-for-profit, public and private sectors. She holds a Masters in Business with a Specialization in Innovation Leadership. She is also enthusiastic about employing innovation to produce positive community impact.

Most recently, Andrea has been working as the Director of Corporate Services for London and Middlesex Housing Corporation. During this time she acted as a key change agent to develop and implement a forward-thinking strategic plan, shifting the organization’s mission, vision and culture.

Prior to her work in housing, she held the position of Director, Finance and Administration with Youth Opportunities Unlimited. Andrea currently serves as Board co-chair of Changing Ways, Caring Dads and is passionate about giving back to the community and empowering people.

Welcome Andrea!