Last Thursday 10 Houston based Brunellers came together to support the Autistic community. Brunel was happy to sponsor a table at the 2nd annual Bingo Bash supporting local school and organization serving those with moderate to severe autism, The Avondale House. Our colleagues participated in seven games of bingo and a silent auction while representing in true Brunel spirit with a ‘Bee Aware’ costume and table theme. Even though there was not a prize for the best team costumes, local Brunel Foundation committee lead and USA Finance Controller, Misty Geer stated "Our busy bees definitely kept the room buzzing!”
About Avondale House
Started as a place of respite for parents of children with autism on Avondale Street in Houston in 1976, the Avondale House has grown immensely over the years. They are now housed in a 33,000 square-foot facility, opened in 2008, thas been specifically designed by an architect that knew the necessary attributes for a school to serve those with special needs. Features such as elevated windows minimize distractions and bathrooms in most classrooms makes the building well laid out to meet the needs of Avondale’s amazing clients from over 20+ local school districts. Avondale House provide a variety of services, including:
The downstairs portion of the building provides services for children with a small teacher to student ratio of 1:4 or less. An education plan is set for every client with a goal of teaching their students mastery of life skills to return to their local assigned school campus classroom with their peers. Besides typical classroom instruction, the students also take a recreation class and art and music classes. During a recent school tour, Operations Manager Lisa Matthews and Special Projects Coordinator Lauren Branch got a firsthand view of the of the dynamic fine arts classes. An active music class gave a quick view of students dancing and singing, helping to improve their communication and socialization skills. Lisa commented, “The music classes are wonderful, seeing the children dance and sing makes me smile-it’s great to see that these children have the opportunity to grow in the best way suited for their needs.”
The second level of the school has been designated for resident clients that stay in a handful of Avondale House community homes as well as day program clients. While the community home members cook, clean, and live together as a family unit along with dedicated staff members, they are bussed to the school daily to learn life skills and pre-employment skills with the day program clients. Further, many of these clients are eligible to participate in Avondale House’s Employment Services program.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy, Americans on the autism spectrum experience substantial challenges to attaining competitive integrated employment opportunities that match their interests, gifts, and talents. They experience substantial unemployment and underemployment, according to the research literature.
In response, Avondale House contracts with Texas Workforce Commission to provide job placement for individuals on the autism spectrum who need assistance finding competitive employment. Clients learn specific skills to help them find and maintain a job of their choosing through our supported employment services.
Brunel and Avondale Working Together
Having now supported the Avondale House through the Bingo Bash, community home renovations, and a school carnival, Brunel Houston is excited for future opportunities assist the Avondale House while maintaining Brunel Foundation’s goal of creating a better future for professionals.
Passion for People
Brunel is world-renown for our expertise in recruiting/staffing, but what truly separates for us is our Passion for People that extends far beyond our business practices. We strive to change lives every day, whether it is with career placements or with community service projects such as our ongoing partnership with Avondale House.