Project SEARCH offers avail by CentralReach platform to assist individuals with cognitive disabilities at home and work
Farmington, N.M. – February 9, 2022 – Domino Tache, a 20-year-old Farmington, New Mexico resident, was striving to get a job and be more independent. And new technology has helped him achieve both.
Tache, who is autistic, loves the high-tech features of the software application he uses to help do his job as a hotel house person at Home2 Suites Hotel by Hilton in Farmington.
Tache uses a cutting-edge technology called avail by CentralReach to help complete various tasks like vacuuming, mopping, and sanitizing doorknobs and handrails.
“avail is perfect for someone like Domino and he’s exactly the type of person we had in mind when we developed our online and interactive platform,” said Lisa Marie Clinton, managing director of Avail Support at CentralReach, the leading provider of applied behavior analysis and related behavioral health software and services.
The digital solution provides person-centered prompts relating to tasks, activity, or employment skills and ongoing support for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, like autism, as well as brain injuries, mental health diagnoses, and cognitive disabilities to help them learn the skills needed to live more independent lives.
And in Tache’s case, avail provides digital job coaching with reminders and remote digital prompts like photos, videos, and audio instructions to help him complete certain job tasks matched to the employment setting, without the continuous need for a job coach on site.
Tache was introduced to the avail platform by Project SEARCH, a high school transition program that began at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center that provides real-life work experience to assist youth with significant disabilities make successful transitions from high school to adult life. Funding to help Project SEARCH purchase the avail platform was provided by the New Mexico Department of Vocational Rehabilitation.
“avail provides the necessary training and support that Domino needs to do his job successfully at Home2 Suites without having a skills trainer or job coach at work with him,” said Chelsea Chairion, the project manager at Project SEARCH Farmington. “Domino loves how easy it is to use avail and he enjoys showing me all the different tasks that are loaded onto his iPad to help him at work. avail helps Domino immensely.”
That sentiment is shared by Domino’s employer.
“I first met Domino when he started working at Home2 Suites as an intern placed here through Project SEARCH and everyone loves him and his work ethic,” said Deanna Rothlisberger, general manager of Home2 Suites in Farmington. “So when the opportunity presented itself for us to hire Domino after he completed his internship with us we jumped very high and very fast to do so to make Domino a permanent part of our team.”
Rothlisberger also believes using assistive technology like avail is a great way for employers to expand their diversity hiring programs.
“Domino’s position here at Home2 Suites has a lot of duties. When written out, those duties can fill up the front and backside of a piece of paper, and that can be a lot for Domino to digest and learn,” said Rothlisberger. “avail helps Domino look at one task at a time, one bite at a time to help him get through each task successfully. That’s one of the things that makes Domino such a valuable asset on our team and why I believe more businesses should take advantage of programs like Project SEARCH and avail.”