The Entrance Program
The Entrance Program is designed for students transitioning from home or a secondary school program. Typically it lasts 2-3 years.
Comprehensive, tuition-based, residential program.
- 2 years in the Residence (dormitory style living) in Westbrook, Connecticut
- 1 year in the Transition Apartments (apartment living) in Guilford, Connecticut
Students receive a full range of services and around-the-clock support in the Residence. Through work experiences, individual and group counseling, classes and hands-on instruction, life skills training, community access, and recreational support, students develop the skills and behaviors necessary for success in adulthood. Each student has an Individual Program Plan prioritizing successful employment, independent living, wellness, satisfactory peer and interpersonal relationships, confidence, and community involvement.
Students who have completed their training in the Residence continue with a bridge year focused on the transition to living in the community. They reside in the Transition Apartments, and life skills and counseling focus on how to live independently in an apartment setting.
Upon completion of the Entrance Program, students graduate and most become members of the Outreach Program and live in the community with supports from Vista.
The Outreach Program
The Outreach Program is a fee-for-service program with a full menu of selective services to meet the needs of the Vista member who is living independently in his/her own apartment or house. Individuals who have not graduated from Vista’s Entrance Program, but who are living nearby with their families, may also apply for Outreach Program services.
Vista believes that our students and members have tremendous potential to live in the community. Community living is the culmination of the young adult’s efforts. Vista also believes that learning does not end upon completion of the Entrance Program. Students can become Outreach Program members and receive Outreach support services as needed.
Individuals in the Outreach Program live in local towns on Connecticut’s shoreline, near their jobs, close to community activities, and within Vista’s service area. They receive supports and training from a menu of services including vocational, life skills, counseling, transportation, and recreation. Members belong to an Outreach Club that offers opportunities for recreation and socializing.
Within the Outreach Program, there is also a service option that includes a full day of well-rounded and purposeful activities for participants who need a higher degree of structure and support built into a scheduled routine. This option is available from 1-5 days a week.
The Community Supports Program
The Community Supports Program is an option for individuals with disabilities who live along the south central Connecticut shoreline. These individuals may live independently, coordinating and overseeing essential supports for themselves, or live with family members or in another supported environment where their essential supports* are provided.
*Essential supports are defined as coordination and oversight of all health and safety needs including medical services, 1x1 supervision or personal care as needed and access to 24 hour supports, regular household monitoring and oversight, vocational coordination and oversight, communication and collaboration with funding sources and service providers
Community Supports members can purchase Vista services “a-la-carte” for supports such as life skills, vocational, the Day Program, recreation/activities/clubs, and Benefits Counseling. Instead of utilizing a Vista Program Counselor, members in the Community Supports Program have either shown the potential to manage their basic life skills and problem solve independently or they have another support system in place that will provide these essential supports as needed. Members in Vista’s Community Supports Program must have an identified support person in the local community (within two hours drive from Vista). The local support person may be a friend, family member or another professional.
A five day Vocational & Life Skills Evaluation is required for individuals, who are not part of Vista’s Entrance Program, to determine acceptance into the Community Supports Program. Individuals in this program must meet the Community Supports Program Acceptance Criteria.
Intensive Supports Program
This is a program designed for members who require intensive external supports and structure.
Vista offers an Extended Supports Program for a small group of members who need intensive external support and a highly structured routine in order to maintain the motivation to accomplish the tasks of daily living, integrate into Vista and community-based activities, and to benefit from opportunities for increased positive social interactions. Services are based upon Vista’s four major areas of focus: vocational skills, life skills, social-cognitive development, and community involvement. This program is customized to meet the individual needs and interests of the member. It allows those members who may not be able to sustain independent daily living to maintain their autonomy, self-worth, and peer relations in a community that they know and where they are accepted.