Our employment program matches clients who want to work and employers that need team members. 96% of our clients who want to work are working in paid jobs. CSN collaborates with and amazing array of employers in the Madison area. We provide training, job placement, and ongoing coaching.
Learn More About Client Participation
Nelson works at Balisle Family Law, Legal Counsel SC. He stocks and cleans their break room, stocks their fridge, and shreds documents. Nelson loves routine and moving throughout his day. Work is such a stabilizing part of his weekly schedule because it incorporates both of these. Additionally, he’s an important member of the team, performing important work!
Andrew and Bartek have worked at the Great Dane Pub and Brewing Company since 2003! They help prepare the dining room and take out the recyclables every weekday morning before the restaurant opens. Bartek and Andrew are highly valued members of the Dane team. Of the many qualities they are appreciated for, one manager pointed out what great role models they are for the other employees. They show up every day ready to work, excited to pitch in and do their part! Bartek is an excellent cleaner and Andrew is an expert table setter. Both enjoy working together (they’ve been partners for almost two decades!). Andrew watches out for “B” and has been known to call Bartek’s mother when he has concerns about his friend.
Social & Emotional Learning
Our social and emotional learning staff facilitate groups supporting deep emotional connections, self-regulation, self-awareness and growth for our clients.
Some Examples of Strategies
Talk, Breathe, Listen: Clients support one another around a variety of topics, in a group format.
I am Brave: People with anxiety share coping strategies.
I Can Handle It: Clients explore effective approaches to difficult
life challenges. For instance, blowing bubbles to learn breath control
(such as taking a deep breath).
Music-oriented groups: Rhythm is used to learn how to start and stop physical motions. This is a useful technique to support emotional
self-regulation and positive responses in stressful situations.
“I gained a great sense of friendship and community between all the people we met at CSN. Everyone was very upbeat and very enthusiastic about everything they were doing.”
— Adam, Participant: Empathy and Training participant through Widen
“I love the SALSO video - I was very impressed by the ladies featured, as well as the narrator. I was also impressed by the entire facility, staff, and clientele. It seemed clear to me that everyone was engaged and pleased to be there. Thanks very much for taking the time to share with us.”
– Becky, Participant: Empathy and Training participant through Widen
Our wide array of activity options help our clients build and maintain competence and confidence.
Three Of Our Most Popular Activities
Gym: Clients are able to work on their
strength, stamina, and coordination,
which allows people to live healthier lives.
Reading groups: Every month, the Madison
Public Library sends over a selection of books that are both appropriate for
the learning level of the people we support and also timely,
given community-wide interests. For instance, we learn about
the history of African Americans in our nation during
February. Our reading groups are very popular with those we
Strong Artistic Ladies Speak Out (SALSO): SALSO is our
Speaker’s Bureau spreading the word about what it takes to
create an inclusive and welcoming community, dispelling myths, and educating the community about our services. This group is an integral component of yet another project, which provides Empathy and Diversity Training for employees of Widen (this project will be expanding to other businesses shortly).
The skills that our clients learn at CSN further weave them into the fabric of this community. This allows our clients to share their competence while teaching others. It helps others who may not know anything about people with developmental delays to learn about all the things the folks we support CAN DO, and do so well. Art is one of the many areas where our clients have the opportunity to shine. Additionally, by using recyclables for some projects they learn about and participate in caring for the environment.
For over a decade our clients have participated in different aspects of greeting card design, construction, packaging, labeling, and delivery. First Business has ordered thousands of handmade birthday cards personalized for their employees. Clients have also filled special orders for cards and related handmade items for weddings, births, and a host of other special occasions, in addition to creating a variety of cards for sale through our boutique. Their motto is “We’ve been labeled disabled — you decide!”
First Business has ordered thousands of handmade birthday cards for their employees.
In the lab we grow plants such as herbs for use during cooking classes and also to donate to a local food pantry. We also prepare simple no-heat recipes, such as salsa, fruit wraps, and parfaits. People learn how to bus tables and wash, sort, and sanitize recyclables. These skills help our clients become more independent and are also great practice for potential employment. Our recyclables get sorted and are used in our Maker’s Space after sanitizing.
Culinary & Science Lab
Vintage, Mod & More
Our store is located in a strip mall and is a unique blend of client-made goods alongside estate-donated items. We want to showcase our clients’ talents within a context that highlights how well their handiwork can fit into any decor and within any lifestyle.
Some of the items clients have created that are currently in stock include jewelry, greeting cards, photos, paintings, ceramics, scarves, and pillows. Our newest addition is growing our stock of items that are created from recycled materials. The store is an incredible way to facilitate our clients’ connections with this community!