Youth Development

Tact Kids Inc

Building with TACT

aka Teaching the Autism Community Trades

Denver, CO

Mission

The Mission of TACT is the encourage and empower the full spectrum of individuals with autism through education and employment in the skilled trades.

Ruling Year

2016

President and Founder

Mr. Danny Combs

CEO

Mr. Christopher Boyle

Main Address

2733 W. 8th Ave

Denver, CO 80204 USA

Keywords

Autism, Workforce Readiness, Transition services, Education, Trades

EIN

81-3015819

 Number

2130632127

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Autism (G84)

Employment Training (J22)

IRS Filing Requirement

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

Through its immersive, hands-on vocational training, TACT is effectively preparing youth and young adults with ASD for skilled trade careers. Research has shown that individuals with ASD are uniquely suited to these careers, yet it is estimated that 90% of adults with ASD are under- or unemployed. This presents a significant challenge to individuals, families and society. The annual U.S. cost of treatment for individuals with ASD is nearing $300 billion—with approximately $200 billion of this spent on adult services. If trends continue, these costs could exceed $1 trillion by 2025. TACT is committed to breaking the historical cycle of unemployment and poverty that countless individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) experience. Its programs help these individuals become self-sustainable and less dependent on government, familial and medical support—while also meeting workforce needs that promote job creation and economic growth.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

4 8 10

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Career Track Program

Where we work

Charting Impact

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 they accomplished so far and what's next?

TACT's goals include 1). Provide job education, training, and job placement to young adults with autism spectrum disorder via partnerships with local and national for-profit businesses. 2) Assess and implement the best ways for TACT to expand its reach, both scaling number of client-students served and adding services locations throughout Colorado and beyond through community partnerships. 3) Strengthen TACTs program logic model by conducting third party validation of our outcomes and evaluation and of our inputs. We currently have Children's Hospital of Colorado completing third party research on a subset of our career track participants to measure progress on their motor, social and processing skills. 4) Build, strengthen and diversify funding relationships. 5) Take TACT's employment model to a national level

TACT’s plan to implement the objectives and purposes include to increase and continue to collaborate with local businesses and organizations that value our mission. Organizations such as Sturgeon Electric, 5280 Waste and Recycling, McDonald Auto Group and Priority Property Services have already begun to hire our participants and are actively working with us toward improving that objective. Partner organizations such as Easter Seals of Colorado, Foundations for Successful Living in Colorado Springs and Tandem in Fort Collins, CO have also actively sought out to bring TACT to their clientele and to open TACT affiliates. Starting January 2020, Children’s Hospital of Colorado Occupational Therapy department began a three-year longitudinal study on TACT participant's outcomes on their motor, social and processing skills as well as employment outcomes. TACT has also recently become a Program Approved Service Agency which is a Medicaid provider for the state of Colorado and is a vendor for the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR). TACT’s training and education programs are designed to meet the following goals: 1) improve soft skills: Improve participant interpersonal relationships; workplace etiquette; and flexibility and problem-solving abilities; 2) improve hard skills: Increase participants’ work-related trades skills in one or more trade professions; and 3) prepare participants and the community to support the gainful employment of individuals with ASD: Ensure individuals with ASD are motivated to be a valuable part of the job market; and increase public knowledge that individuals with ASD are capable of understanding trades skills. TACT uses observational and qualitative data, including feedback from participants and parents, to assess the impact of its programs. This is completed through the use of the Transitional Behavior Scale, by Stephen B. McCarney, both pre-/post-program to evaluate improvements made over the course of participation. This measures a student’s readiness for transition to employment and independent living. The TBS-3 is based on the most current literature on behavioral evaluation and predictive reliability for employment and transition success. The TBS-3 has been standardized in students from 22 states and represented all geographic regions of the United States. TACT expects that 80% of its for-credit students will show measurable post-program improvements in at least two of the three areas addressed on the TBS-3. This tool has both a self-reporting and a teacher reporting evaluation. TACT also regularly assesses participant’s improvements in tool usage, safety, and compliance. However, the ultimate measure of TACT’s success is the placement of our participants in integrated, competitive and living wage careers which is measured by the percentage of TACT participants placed.

TACT’s principal personnel include: 1) Danny Combs, the founder and President of TACT, has a Master’s Degree in Education, is a Board-Certified Cognitive Specialist, a Certified Autism Specialist, and a classic car junkie. He has two incredible children, Dylan and Ellie. When his son Dylan was diagnosed with Autism he pulled from his family legacy and put together TACT. 2) Abigail O’Loughlin, TACT’s Special Education Instructor, has a B.A. in Special Education from Michigan State University and a Masters in Special Education from Ohio State. She is also a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst who has over ten years of experience working with individuals with ASD in both schools and residential settings. 3). Christopher Boyle, TACT’s CEO, has a MBA in Finance from the University of Denver. He has led and facilitated teams and projects spanning several industries including Fortune 100 companies to garage-level start-ups. 4). Becky Mershon is a Colorado native, mother of a son with ASD, a Registered Nurse, a Certified Autism Specialist and is working on her Masters in Behavior Analysis. She is a founding member of TACT and currently serves as the Program and Development Director. TACT’s plan to implement the objectives and purposes include to increase and continue to collaborate with local businesses and organizations that value our missionTACT partners with schools, community centers, churches, camps, and parents, as well as local businesses, to bring high-quality, transformative education and training to individuals with ASD. Its school partners, including Humanex Academy, Denver Public Schools, Laradon, the Temple Grandin School, Douglas County Schools, Boulder Valley Public Schools, Jefferson Country Public Schools, and more offer elective credits to students who take TACT courses. TACT also partners with local businesses, such as Sturgeon electric, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, FinArt Co, McDonald Auto Group, Build Colorado, 5280 Waste and Recycling, Adolfson and Peterson Construction, Priority Property Services, Sketch Up and Dirt Coffee to offer first-rate job training opportunities with trades professionals and organizations. creating a pipeline to future employment opportunities for participants.

Our organization will know we are making progress when we are meeting and/or exceeding the aforementioned goals and staying within our budget. As well as by increasing our partners and our reach, not only in Colorado but also nationwide.

Since its inception, TACT’s offerings have more than doubled in an effort to meet a distinct community need and high demand for quality education and training for individuals with ASD. In three years, TACT has: reached over 500 families; been named Top 5 “Special Needs Resource” by Colorado Parent Magazine for three years in a row; gotten students fulfilling jobs; taught over 2500 classes; partnered with over 50 businesses; become the first ADA-compliant chapter of SkillsUSA; launched the first for-credit career training classes in skilled trades for individuals with ASD; remodeled Dirt Coffee Bar,a local business and employer for people with ASD; held multiple workshops to support families and the local autism community; won a car show with the talents and strengths of TACT students; remained run by parents of children with autism; and, most importantly, changed the perception and heart of more young men and women than can be measured. Through this program, TACT students see how amazing they are and gain the confidence to share their gifts with the world.

External Reviews

Financials

Tact Kids Inc

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

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Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

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?

No

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

No

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

No

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

No

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

No