Mission Market—a retail shop and transitional work environment operated by individuals with autism is a project of Quality Services for the Autism Community (QSAC). As part of QSAC’s larger vocational training initiative, Mission Market provides a supportive work environment for individuals with developmental disabilities to improve their vocational, communication, and socialization skills in a community-based setting. The program is unique in that it is a work-based learning environment that is open to the public.
All of the products sold by Mission Market are made by individuals with autism enrolled in QSAC’s day habilitation programs or day schools. As part of their vocational skills training, students and day habilitation participants learn how to make greeting cards, soaps, candles, and other craft products—showcasing their talents, skills, and interests.
QSAC’s vocational skills development program and transitional work environments help individuals with an autism spectrum disorder develop valuable professional skills while realizing the personal satisfaction associated with the creation of an end product. Through these programs, individuals learn about using design tools, product production, quality assurance, marketing, sales, and overall business operations. All of the proceeds from the products sold are reinvested back to the vocational skills training programs.