In recent years, autism or autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) is the most commonly diagnosed children’s developmental disorder. Approximately 1-in-68 children will receive an autism diagnosis. Autism impacts more children and their families than childhood cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined.
Children with autism grow into adults who need jobs. In honor of National Autism Awareness Day, Toner Buzz looks at a local New Jersey business making a positive impact by creating meaningful jobs for adults with autism.
Green Vision Inc., located in Randolph, NJ, is an innovative program that teaches adolescent students and adults with autism how to properly dismantle and recycle unwanted electronics (E– Waste). Each year Americans discard over 400 millions units of E-waste. Less than 12% is recycled.
Green Vision challenges students and adults with tasks that allow them to use problem solving skills while dismantling a wide variety of devices. Green Vision is 99% landfill free, and all of our recycled materials go to federally licensed facilities. Not only is Green Vision Inc. providing a service to its students and adults by giving them meaningful paying jobs, it is also providing an environmentally sound “green” service to the local community.
Green Vision believes that through vocational training and continued education, participants with developmental disabilities can maximize independence and enhance essential skills.
Green Vision’s goals include:
- Train and employ developmentally disabled students and adults in the practice of dismantling and recycling unwanted electronics (e-waste).
- Convert waste from local residents and corporate partners into reusable materials such as copper and aluminum.
- Develop problem-solving skills as participants disassemble e-waste and sort components for recycling.
- Instill pride and independence in the participants, providing them a means to earn money while learning transferable skills.
- Continue to enhance educational skills gained throughout life in the classroom and improve functionality and socialization.
“I started in the field back in 1999, teaching people with severe developmental disabilities in a school setting,” explains Green Vision owner/CEO Tim Butler. “Being in a special needs classroom made me realize the need for more vocational and daily skills training, so I decided to create “Tim’s Tool Time,” which focused on those skills.”
The in-school program, started in 2005, was a success. But Butler was frustrated watching kids graduate and have nowhere to go after graduation.
“I decided to open Green Vision Inc. in 2010,” Butler says. “This is definitely not an easy job, but seeing ‘the guys’ improve their quality of life has greatly enhanced my life, so I couldn’t be happier with my decision to start this company.”
Why It’s Important
Autism is the fastest growing developmental disability in the US. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported that 1 in 68 children in the US have an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). About 1 in 6 children in the US had a developmental disability in 2006-2008. These ranged from mild disabilities to intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, and autism. According to US Bureau of Labor statistical data for June 2014, only 32.1% of Americans with disabilities are part of the nation’s workforce. Autism Speaks found that 9 out of 10 adults with Autism are unemployed or underemployed, regardless of their IQ or educational level.