New Heights: A Vista Life Innovations Program, Southeastern Connecticut Campus
Vista recently launched a new program in Southeastern Connecticut, New Heights! A program of Vista Life Innovations, New Heights is a Post-Secondary Training/Day Services program for neurodiverse young adults age 17 and above located at 101 West Broad Street in Pawcatuck, CT. This Vista designed and led program offers curriculum-driven instruction Monday through Friday from approximately 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
New Heights has five core areas designed to teach, train and promote independence amongst individuals:
1. Life Skills. Achieving essential skills to develop autonomy through experiential learning, such as:
- Meal Planning and Preparation
- Nutrition and Healthy Living
- Time Management
- Household Management
- Community Integration
- Personal Safety
2. Cognitive and Social Behavior. Utilizing a student-centered approach, students are supported individually and within group settings to develop and practice their social skills. Across settings, students are presented with opportunities to demonstrate effective conversation and social skills, practice advocacy and self-awareness skills all while navigating healthy relationships and day-to-day events. These skills become the foundation to developing meaningful relationships with their peers and community members.
3. Community Involvement. Vista refers to the community as our classroom. Supporting student’s independence and real-life skills leads to students becoming an active participant within the community, as well as developing skills to safely navigate the community. Access to public transportation such as a local shuttle, a train system and downtown area provides daily opportunities for transportation training. Developing these skills fosters student’s independence in connecting with peers, getting themselves to and from jobs, medical appointments, and community events.
4. Vocational Training. New Heights supports students vocationally throughout each step of the way. Providing training and skill development such as personal appearance, mock interviews, and resume building and writing, becomes the foundation of student’s vocational success. Collaborating with local community employment partners supports experiential learning opportunities such as job assessments and hands-on training, volunteer opportunities and paid employment
5. Post-Secondary Options for Training and Education. In addition to the core curriculum previously outlined, certain students may choose to explore additional options for training and education. Taking an individualized approach, New Heights will explore community-based options that may include the following based on individual’s interest:
- Driver’s Education/License Obtainment
- Community College Programs
- Access to Certificate Programs (Support in Accessing)
- Paid Employment (Coupled with the Vocational Exploration Process)
Components of Skill Building:
The curriculum consists of two training components that are within each of New Heights’ core training areas:
- Thinking Skills: the ability to think about, think through and plan ahead for handling tasks or the desired plan.
- Doing Skills: the ability to carry out the task or situation at hand.
It is important students learn both training components, as this promotes success through experiential learning within each core area.
To be eligible, individuals with a neurodiverse disability must have:
- Demonstrated levels of self-care, medication and behavior management
- Demonstrated levels of decision-making
To read an educational brochure about New Heights, click here.
If you would like to learn more about New Heights, fill out our Inquiry Form to speak to a member of our staff!