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VOCATION

Two–Year Transition Program

Students build foundational skills through pre-vocational training in the Two-Year Transition Program. A variety of worksites provides hands-on experience, helping our individuals grow their knowledge base and identify where their strengths and interests lie. They develop their confidence as they practice working as a team, managing time, and communicating effectively.

LIVE Program 

Students in the LIVE Program expand on their vocational training through our three track options: art, music, and general vocation. This customizable approach is tailored to each person’s goals. The underlying objective is to provide innovative choices for our individuals to pursue meaningful, paid employment—instilling in them a sense of self-worth and promoting independence.

Two–Year Transition Program

Year One

In the first year, small groups of students participate in weekly internship rotations at local nonprofits. Each site requires individuals to demonstrate flexibility while learning different tasks and responsibilities. These volunteer partnerships allow students to establish basic work and social skills, build a resume, and give back to their community.

Year Two

In the second year, students participate in the Music & Human Services Seminar, which combines fieldwork and classroom instruction. Each week, ensembles of four to six individuals prepare, rehearse, and present music programs for older adults at over a dozen elder care facilities. Performances give students the opportunity to apply and enhance the skills they have learned in the first year.

LIVE Program

General Vocation

Students who follow the general vocation track receive support as they seek, apply for, and maintain jobs in the community. Vocational advisors teach the basics of how to write a resume and respond to interview questions, while preparing individuals to meet employer expectations and advocate for themselves in the workplace. BHMA has established connections with many area businesses and nonprofits, providing different opportunities for paid employment.

Music Vocation

BHMA offers individual and group performance opportunities as part of our music vocation track. Students may pursue solo careers through enrollment in the Music Management Program—helping them establish and market their identity as an artist. Those who join our working bands or dance groups dedicate daily time to practice, and are paid to perform at a wide variety of venues throughout the year. Sharing their passion on stage raises visibility, promotes acceptance, and changes perceptions of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Art Vocation

The Ascending Artist Program allows individuals who have demonstrated an interest in the visual arts to express their creativity, while fostering their vocational skills. Students meet at our off-campus studio and use accessible mediums to produce bright, engaging, and dynamic pieces of art. The artists instill beauty into our community, and keep a portion of the profits from the sale of their work.

48 Woodbridge Street

South Hadley, MA 01075

413-540-9720