Wins for Kansas: Greater Expectations

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

The people at the Independent Living Resource Center started the Greater Expectations program to give real world training to young people with autism. 

"They may have graduated from high school or college, may not have gone on to college, but they are looking for the chance to work out in the community," Executive Director Cindy Unruh said. "They want that same chance, but they need help with the social skills they need help interacting with others in the community."

Unruh says the program is partially funded through sales at its Autism Avenue gift shop on 13th street in Indian Hills. The shop employs many of the people it serves. 

"They want to be able to live in an apartment on their own. They want to be able to go to the movies, learn how to drive and things. This program is geared around getting them to that point," Unruh said.

"A lot of families who have who have sons or daughters who have autism tend to, once they get out of school, to sit at home. And parents know at some point who is going to take care of my son or daughter? They've got to have some type of skills to live independently," she said.

Along with training and work experience, Greater Expectations is also hoping to help connect employers with an untapped labor force. 

"We're continuing to look for employers to sit down and have a conversation with us and to give these people a chance. That's all they're asking for," Unruh explained.

To help them with their efforts our partners DeVaughn James Injury Lawyers are joining KAKE in honoring them as this weeks Wins for Kansas.