August 23 - December 17, 2021

Beacons Vocational Workshops
Beacons Vocational Workshops

Roundtable learning with a 5:2 ratio of trainees and instructors.

Beacons visits the YMCA
Beacons visits the YMCA

YMCA staff showing the mailroom to Beacons trainees.


Registration opens June 30, 2021

In the spring and fall, PathFinder offers hands-on vocational training workshops to help our trainees explore common workforce tasks and build skills aligned with local jobs to bridge gaps to employment. Our workshops are outcome driven, progress monitored and supported by evidence-based instructional practices, adapted pacing and assistive technology. Click here to go to application process.

Our 4 month workshops include soft skills for employment, person-driven planning, digital badges and skills certificates, and opportunities for community connections and engagement. When possible, simulated work environments onsite help our trainees learn skills to make great first impressions, become dedicated employees and learn skills to meaningfully contribute to the workforce. Eligible for funding by the SDRC.

Virtual or Onsite?  Two workshops are expected to be onsite, and one via zoom. If onsite, all trainees will have their own materials and plexiglass-protected individualized workspaces. If taught via Zoom, all trainees will have take-home kits with all materials needed for the workshop session. Our workshops will be held Monday - Friday for approximately 2.5 - 3 hours a day.

Person-Driven Planning Each workshop session includes a robust person-driven planning unit that explores community options, self-advocacy and post-workshop transition planning. The trainee will then present the plan to the trainee's "circle of trust" to set up supports and identify services begin the trainee's journey after completion of the workshop.


Ratio:  Our workshops have a maximum of 10 trainees with 3 instructors, and must have a minimum of 5 enrolled to proceed. Our virtual workshops are expected to have ratios of no more than 6:2 (instead of our regular 10:3), due to the challenges of virtual learning and to make sure trainees are sufficiently supported during the remote learning process. Beacons reserves the right to cancel a workshop in the event there are less than 5 trainees enrolled.


Entrance Criteria: Workshops are designed for those with mild/moderate disabilities aged 18+ who want to further their vocational training to improve employment options, and who can attend and follow directions without maladaptive behaviors or the need for medical support. Please review our application for more details on our entrance criteria. 

Payment: Beacons workshops can be fully funded through the San Diego Regional Center for eligible consumers (e.g. consumers who have exited their school districts by aging out or earning a diploma and who have employment IPP goals). For ATP students, please see information below. Vendor Code #PY1700, Code: 102, Subcode: Fall

*Our PathFinder workshops were made possible in part through funding from the National Foundation for Autism Research (NFAR),  grant funding from the Qualcomm Foundation and vendorization by the San Diego Regional Center. Beacons thanks these organizations for their vision and support.

Application process: 

1. Please complete our forms:

a) Application: Link to Fall 2021 application will be posted on 6/30/21.
Consent to Communicate FormLink

c) General Waiver: Link

d) Covid-19 Release & Assumption of Risk: Link (for those training onsite)

2. SDRC Consumers:

Please contact your service coordinator to discuss your interest in the workshop and the possibility of getting a "purchase of service" to fund the workshop. If one of these workshops support the IPP goals or and IPP addendum, the SDRC should send the following documents to email: Pathfinder@BeaconsNorthCounty.com.

a) a "purchase of service" or POS;

b) IPP and any addendums; and

c) the individual's "CDER."

3. Conserved Individuals: 

If an individual is conserved, please email a copy of the Letters of Conservatorship so that Beacons can document the legal status of the participant in case there is an emergency or need for legally binding decisions.


After these items have been submitted or received, a Beacons representative will contact you to set up an intake or screening meeting to review the application, admission criteria and materials.




Have questions? PathFinder@BeaconsNorthCounty.com


Are ATP students eligible?

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Under § 4648.55 of the Lanterman Act, the SDRC cannot pay for services for individuals aged 18 to 22 years if that consumer is still eligible for special education through a school district. Only if the IPP team agrees that the "consumer's needs cannot be met in the educational system" or grants an exemption under subsection (d) may the SDRC purchase vocational education services. However, payment for a workshop can be done through a school district if the IEP team agrees that a workshop is needed to help a student meet his/her ITP transition goals related to securing competitive integrated employment or a paid internship. (Payment per a settlement agreement may also be an option). Click here for more information.