Headquartered in Princeton, NJ, Eden is a community-services provider and not-for-profit organization, serving children and adults with autism for over 40 years. Founded in 1975, Eden began as a small, family-oriented school for individuals with autism and today offers classes from pre-K through age 21. In addition, Eden provides services for adults with autism including residential and employment programs, as well as providing clinical and training support for families and professionals.
We have an exciting career opportunity for a Recreation Specialist who will promote a positive and interactive learning environment for adults with autism by creating and integrating recreational and community activities for both the Day and Residential Programs within Adult Services. The Recreation Specialist will also oversee all aspects of Eden’s participant in the Special Olympics. The schedule is Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. The highly talented individual must demonstrate a passionate commitment to Eden’s mission and the desire to deliver in a high-value and mission-driven organization.
- Plan and develop activities and facilitate the engagement of participants in community settings.
- Create and ensure implementation of daily, weekly and monthly community and recreational activities including but not limited to music, dance, arts and crafts, cultural arts, and social recreation games.
- Develop goals and objectives for specialized recreation programs.
- Supervise and train staff on community inclusion and recreational activities.
- Interact with community members and groups to build community support and integration of specialized recreation programs.
- Develop contacts and develop a database for off-site activities.
- Evaluate the overall need, cost, quality, and effectiveness of activities and programs; recommend improvements and changes as needed.
- Coordinate meetings with Day and Residential programs to identify recreational interests and needs.
- Adapt the recreation program to meet the needs of individual participants.
- Coordinate and escort staff and participants in the community and recreation activities.
- Promote and encourage participants to participate in programs and activities.
- Conduct regular safety inspections of recreation equipment and grounds.
- Work with program supervisors to create and implement schedule of recreational activities and outings.
- Transport staff, participants, supplies, and equipment as necessary to and from recreational activities.
- Oversee all aspects of Special Olympics for adult participants.
- Ensure that all participants remain eligible for Special Olympics events by working with parents, group homes and supervisors to keep up-to-date medical records and other paperwork pertaining to eligibility.
- Work on required guidelines, equipment, and necessary paperwork to ensure continued eligibility as required by Special Olympics New Jersey.
- Ensure Adult Services staff are eligible to coach/chaperone during Special Olympic events and ensure compliance in training for sport specific skills and protective behaviors.
- Oversee and ensure appropriate staffing and scheduling.
- Maintain consistent communication with parents, Day program and group homes regarding upcoming events and time off for participants.
- Accompany groups to Special Olympic events.
- Schedule trials and practices as needed before upcoming events.
- Develop Special Olympics teams beyond winter and summer games (year-round).
- Conduct individual assessments, planning and evaluation processes related to recreation and community inclusion as needed.
- Utilize and integrate picture schedules and alternate teaching programs.
- Utilize Professional Crisis Management strategies as needed.
- Assist in the monitoring and assessment of recreational activities and the appropriateness of activities scheduled.
- Review and edit individual data sheets including participant progress reports.
- Conduct and assist in conducting individual assessments based on recreational interests.
- Ensure accurate and timely completion of weekly timesheets.
- Manage new projects and/or take lead role in organizing recreational activities to elevate and/or expand the program.
Communications and Meetings
- Maintain responsive professional and proactive communication with community member, parents and colleagues
- Collaborate with Program Supervisors to conduct monthly or as needed staff meetings to review policies, procedures, discuss progress and participant concerns as well as provide training.
- Notify appropriate personnel immediately of any situation which compromises the safety of Adult Services participants
- Cooperate with Eden Autism Services and Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) in any inspection and/or investigation.
- Attend staff meetings and trainings as needed or requested.
(The responsibilities listed are representative and not all inclusive; other duties may be assigned by supervisor/s.)
Education: Minimum high school diploma and/or GED equivalent; Bachelor’s degree strongly preferred.
Experience: Minimum two (2) years’ experience working with developmentally disabled individuals, preferably with autism.
Training and Other Requirements: Must complete and pass Entry Level and Professional Crisis Management Training, along with all DDD required trainings; valid driver’s license is required with record in good standing (less than 5 points).
- Ability to sit, stand, bend, squat, kneel, stretch, stoop, and/or reach above shoulder level for extended periods of time (up to 30 minutes) during the work day.
- Vision requirements to include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus.
- Ability to lift and/or move up to 50 pounds.
- Ability to pass and maintain Professional Crisis Management (PCM) certification at a P2 level on an annual basis, including implementation of all strategies and techniques.
- Ability to move or be moved freely and quickly to ensure the safety of students/participants at all times.
Specialized Skills and Knowledge
- Knowledge of recreational activities and a strong community presence.
- Interest and comfort in working with diverse adult participants with autism.
- Strong interest in expanding day to day activities for adult participants with autism.
- Ability to understand Applied Behavior Analysis and its application
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including the ability to read, write, and comprehend simple instructions and correspondence.
- Comfortable speaking in front of groups (average size of 8-10+).
- Commitment to providing excellent customer service on a consistent basis.
- Basic math skills including: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division in all units of measure, using whole numbers, common fractions, and decimals.
- Ability to effectively interact with individuals and groups, both internally and externally, in order to achieve desired results.
- Ability to apply common sense understanding to carry out instructions furnished in written, oral, or diagram form.
- Ability to implement physical techniques including personal control, crisis, and restrictive procedures as trained; may be required to provide physical assistance and/or prompting to an individual.
- Beginner to intermediate proficiency in MS Office including Word and Excel.
- Ability to travel locally.
Eden offers a comprehensive salary and well-rounded benefits package including medical and dental, life insurance, disability insurance, retirement savings, paid time off, and more.
The qualified candidate must successfully complete a background check, including criminal check and fingerprinting, mandatory drug testing, motor vehicle check, reference checks, and completion of a medical/ health physical and Mantoux test.
Required: Cover Letter
Eden is an Equal Opportunity Employer.