The Guild for Human Services is pleased to announce it has received a $4,984 Allison Keller Education Technology grant from the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism. The grant will support The Guild’s Vocational Services department in teaching students critical employment-based skills.  

With this grant, The Guild’s Vocational Services department will be able to purchase iPads, mock debit card readers, and a cash register that students can use in mock community settings created by staff, like the Guild School store and coffee shop. The technology will enable students to practice employment-based skills and use apps to assist with their communication in the community. The funds will also be used to purchase basic cell phones with GPS technology, allowing students to learn navigation skills required to get to future job sites.

Access to pre-vocational experiences increases employment options and promotes skill development integral to everyday life. By the age of 14, pre-vocational goals become part of every student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP). This grant will help students achieve their goals by providing the technology to practice occupational skills, appropriate work habits, and communication skills.

“With this technology, Guild students will learn vocational and life skills that will prepare them for actively participating in their community and workplace,” said Dr. Amy C. Sousa, The Guild’s Chief Executive Officer. “Thank you to the Flutie Foundation for helping us fulfill our mission of ensuring each individual we serve enjoys a high quality of life with the greatest possible degree of independence.”

“The Flutie Foundation's Allison Keller Education Technology Grant helps our partner organizations address a variety of significant needs in the autism community,” said Nick Savarese, Executive Director of The Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism. “Programs like these are helping people on the autism spectrum live life to the fullest and we are proud to support their efforts.”

The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism, based in Framingham, MA awards grants annually through a competitive application and review process. The Allison Keller Education Technology Grant Program was created in honor of Flutie Foundation Board Member Kevin Lane Keller's daughter Allison. The goal of the program is to help fill the financial and technological gap for schools and organizations that assist individuals with autism.