Youth Programs and Services
Independence Associates is dedicated in supporting youth with disabilities in our service area in learning the skills to be as independent as possible through our two youth programs. Both programs operate using the agency’s five core services.
To sign up for TIP, TAP or other youth services, please visit the Youth Referral Page.
Independence Associates is committed to assisting all youth with a disability regardless of their eligibility status for TIP or TAP.
MA CareerACCESS's motto is Independence through Employment. Based in Salem and Lawrence, young adults between the ages of 18 and 28 are advocating for SSI to change the incentives for working. MA CareerACCESS wants Massachusetts to pilot a change in SSI to assist more young men and women living with disabilities to be able to have a Career.
The TAP Program provides services to youth with disabilities to help them prepare for transitioning to adulthood and greater independence. Services are provided using a peer modeling approach and based on the Independent Living philosophy of consumer control. The program assists consumers in developing independent living goals, and provides individual and group services that are designed to assist youth in attaining their goals.
Youth enrolled in TAP will work closely with their assigned Skills Trainer on skill development and completion of tasks to meet the goals and objectives outlined in their Independent Living Plan. The goal of the program is to give youth with disabilities the experiences to gain confidence, knowledge, and skills in preparation for leaving high school and transitioning into adulthood while supporting the parents of the youth in learning the community resources that are available.
Who is Eligible for TAP Services?
- High school students between the ages of 14-22 with a disability
- Students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 plan
- Youth with the desire to learn independent living and self-advocacy skills including but not limited to driving, work preparedness, improved social skills, college preparation, seeking housing or public benefits, transportation skills, etc.
The program may serve individuals between the ages of 16 and 22 who are currently out of school, however these individuals must have a goal in their ILP to return to school.
TIP provides job and skills training, and internship placement to youth with disabilities to help them gain work experience to prepare for future employment. TIP will provide initial and ongoing training, support and guidance to participating youth on both an individual and group basis before and during their internship.
Youth participating in TIP will earn a competitive hourly wage for the hours worked at their assigned internship site. The goal of the program is to expose youth to work opportunities and assist them with developing employment skills and marketable experience as an effort to bring more individuals with disabilities into the workforce. Students selected for TIP will be placed in an internship site in the community aligned with their vocational goals and their ability to travel.
Who is Eligible for TIP Services?
- Enrolled students (secondary or post-secondary) between the ages of 16-22 with a disability
- Be a consumer of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Services
- Referred to Independence Associates by consumers’ MRC VR counselor
Independence Associates will assist in making the referral to the local Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) Area Office for those individuals that are not currently working with MRC.