TECH KIDS UNLIMITED
Teaching Technology to Students who Learn Differently
Tech Kids Unlimited (TKU) is a not-for-profit education organization, which teaches 21st century technology skills and computer science principles to students ages 7 to 21 with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other learning and emotional disabilities. TKU's work-based learning programs empower and inspire the next generation of digital natives to learn, create, develop and share the tools of technology in a supportive and structured and nurturing environment.
2 MetroTech Center, 8th FL
Brooklyn, NY 11201 USA
disabilities, special needs, technology, education
IRS Filing Requirement
This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.
About half (53.4%) of young adults with an ASD had ever worked for pay outside the home since leaving high school, the lowest rate among disability groups. Young adults with an ASD earned an average of $8.10 per hour, significantly lower than average wages for young adults in the comparison groups, and held jobs that clustered within fewer occupational types. Technology evens out the playing field for these young adults whose interests and strengths lend themselves well to technology jobs.
What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Tech Kids Unlimited Youth Sunday Program
Tech Kids Unlimited's Youth Sunday Program meets two Sundays each month. Each Sunday, kids ages 7-13 work on a project. Topics include "Make a Vintage Game", "Make a Mini App", "Remix a Video," and more. They then eat and play games together, socializing over common interests.
People with learning disabilities
People with intellectual disabilities
Where we workNew!
Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
How will they know if they are making progress?
What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
TKU’s mission is to open up the field of digital technology and computer science to students with disabilities, especially those with ASD, and to help them become the techies of tomorrow. TKU is helping to change the paradigm for education and employment for young people with disabilities. With dismal employment options for individuals with ASD, TKU is working to open the doors to the field of technology so students can be independent and learn the essential tech and computer science skills needed to prepare for internships, post-secondary education and ultimately jobs.
By focusing on a strength-based and project-based approach we are able to engage our students in a way they might not have been able to be engaged prior to our program. We have different pipelines for students based on age and level of interest and experience. Our youth program is for kids ages 7-13 where students learn technology foundational skills and geek out. They are able to work on their social/emotional, and learning skills in a safe and nurturing environment. Our teen/young adult program for ages 14-21 is for students who are work on real client work. This allows them to work on job readiness and transition skills. We also have an internship program for students who have taken multiple classes of ours. This allows them to prepare for a real internship or job.
We have a very supportive and nurturing environment with trained social workers, occupational therapist, tech teaching artists, and tech counselors. We try to maintain a 3:1 student to teacher ratio which allows for students to get the support that they need. We also have dedicated administrative staff who work on curriculum to ensure that we maintain an adaptive classroom. Our curriculum utilizes Universal Design for Learning which allows for different kinds of learners to be engaged in class. We therefore can take all levels of experience and work with them to ensure they are working towards a goal.
We have an evaluator in our program who evaluates all of our different branches. We survey our students, parents, and staff to make sure we are constantly working towards our goal and improve. This feedback is incredibly important to us and we regularly reevaluate our program throughout the year to adjust for each semester.
We have expanded our program into different branches, creating our internship program and young adult/teen program. We have been featured in news outlets for our work and won awards for the projects our students have worked on such as Emoticon and the Spark Contest. We have also released an app, LOLA to help students with their social and emotional learning outside of the classroom. We are working towards making our program even more robust and creating even more branches of our program to reach more students with multiple goals.
TECH KIDS UNLIMITED
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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.
This organization has no recorded board members.
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Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?
Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?
Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?
Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?
Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?