HANDSmade™ Transition Network

Support, learning, and growth in the workplace

The HANDS Transition Services network provides a wide variety of Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) and Vocational Rehabilitation services to address the many roadblocks to employment success autistic individuals and others with social, communication, or behavioral challenges may face.

Our highly successful HANDSmade™ program was founded in 2010. This initiative provides a structured work environment using a supported employment program model. It enables coaching and service opportunities for individuals who are working to engage successfully and meaningfully in work settings. It also provides a forum for professionals to shadow and observe best practices in supporting, teaching, and including co-workers with disabilities in employment settings and worksite life. This increases awareness, access, equity and acceptance both within and outside the employment setting.

Opportunities within the HANDSmade™ program not only provide assessment, teaching, and monitoring of outcomes related to employment and training, community participation, and living skills but also creates an environment for occupational growth, skill acquirement, and support leading to higher quality of life for participants as measured through individualized transition goals and outcomes.

HANDSmade™ participants work independently—alongside or with the support of HANDS trainers—on a wide variety of projects ranging from hospitality to supply chain, environmental services, data entry, filing, material assembly, sensory kit assembly, and more. For example, when you order materials from the HANDS in Autism® store, you are ordering materials that have been handmade and filled by a HANDSmade™ intern or team member.

The HANDSmade™ program has seen great success thus far in setting up mutually beneficial transition, postsecondary, vocational, training, and employment opportunities. Since the inception of the partnership, strong leadership support from collaborators within the HANDS in Autism® Center, IU Health and Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health leadership teams have helped foster increased participation by departments, divisions, units, and offices within these settings. With steady, successive increases in partners, more than 20 unique participating HANDSmade™ sites are engaged with interests in long-term partnering to foster increased meaningful opportunities by HANDSmade™ interns and participants.

Interested in a HANDSmade internship?

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Learn more about us

If you are interested in finding out more, feel free to e-mail Drs. Swiezy and Neal at hands@iupui.edu and let us know your interests.