Posted — 03.15.23

Life Enrichment Program Director

Ascendigo Autism Services
Carbondale, CO
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Position Summary
Destination Ascendigo: Ascendigo’s mission is to elevate the spectrum by empowering people, inspiring lives, and shattering expectations. We apply this mission to both the people we serve, such as our participants and clients, and the people with whom we serve, such as our co-workers and other stakeholders.


Ascendigo is a nonprofit organization that enhances the lives of children and adults living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) through therapeutic recreation, employment, community integration, education and an array of behavioral health services. We are headquartered in Carbondale, CO. Currently, Ascendigo employs more than 50 full- and part-time year-round staff members and approximately 30 additional employees during our seasonal summer camp programming.

The Ascendigo Promise to our employees is to provide meaning and purpose in the work we do and a culture of R.E.S.P.E.C.T. We support high performance through thoughtful on-boarding and training and acting with integrity. We offer 360° compensation with a path to financial security, personal well-being and fulfillment, and housing assistance.

Job Summary: As Ascendigo undergoes a strategic planning process, it is seeking an inspired and experienced leader to guide the vision and management of the Life Enrichment (LE) program – an innovative, comprehensive, and effective suite of adult programs (ACE, Residential, A2A, Vocational). With support from BCBA’s, managers, and coordinators, the Director is responsible for the design, delivery, and overall success of all LE programs, supervising LE staff, and being a strong liaison to the Ascendigo Leadership Team and the Board. Certification and graduate degree in IDD-relevant discipline (BCBA, PsyD, MSW, Therapeutic Rec, etc.) is encouraged but not required.

Roles & Responsibilities
Key Responsibilities:

Strategic Leadership: Lead the vision and management of all programs within LE:

· Guide LE programs and services from strategic plan to program delivery, coordinating w/ all stakeholders, including staff, parents, partners, agencies, etc.

· Program oversight of clinical (primarily behavioral) and activity programs, such as vocational, recreational, social, activities of daily living, community connections, etc.

· Develop and implement long-term goals/objectives to achieve agreed-upon outcomes for staff and the program, as well as a methodology to evaluate performance.

· Consistently deliver effective communication and build/maintain strong working relationships with stakeholders, while mentoring staff to do the same.

· Serve as liaison to the Ascendigo Leadership Team, the Board, committees, and other stakeholders.

Operations Management: Develop and oversee annual budget, operations, and compliance.

· Identify and implement strategies that enhance the quality and financial performance of programs.

· Ensure that programs operate within the approved budget and strategically oversee/address areas for improvement or needing improvement, including billing procedures and cost recovery.

· Develop/improve templates to guide and/or document program activities, such as contracts, ILPs, schedules and checklists, business plans, parent and staff handbooks, etc.

· Ensure program operations and activities adhere to legal guidelines, internal policies, professional standards, 3rd-party payee regulations, safety, and confidentiality requirements such as HIPPA.

· With support from Ascendigo Leadership Team, consistently assess program operations to minimize risk to Ascendigo clients, staff, and the organization.

Staff Leadership: Empower, inspire, and mentor talented and dedicated Ascendigoers.

· With assistance from Human Resources, program managers and other Ascendigo staff, recruit top talent for all positions in LE, including creating job descriptions, setting wages/salaries, interviewing, and oversight of on-boarding and training.

· Support and retain Ascendigoers by enhancing Ascendigo’s culture of R.E.S.P.E.C.T., leading by example, demonstrating accountability, fostering honest and open communication, encouraging a collaborative team environment, and through other creative and supportive approaches.

· If applicable, supervise BCBA candidates, RBT’s, and support other behavioral staff in their professional development. Assist with caseload support periodically and provide guidance on ILPs and client goal development.


Working knowledge of the field of autism, which ideally includes Applied Behavioral Analysis, and the principles of Naturalistic Developmental Behavioral Interventions (NDBI), as it pertains to adults.

Minimum of five (5) years of experience in a program for individuals with IDD, including day, residential, vocational, and/or community-based programs; and minimum three (3) years’ experience in a position of leadership with supervisory experience.

Strong working knowledge of Medicaid and private insurance compliance, as well as other state regulations pertaining to the support of individuals with IDD, ideally in Colorado.
Working knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel, and Outlook; and billing software such as Therap.
Strong listening, leadership, and teaching skills, as well as excellent written and verbal communication skills.

Strong analytical and problem-solving skills with the ability to work independently, set priorities, delegate, and meet deadlines.

Bachelor’s degree in behavioral science, psychology, therapeutic recreation, social services, or related field; graduate degree with a certification in a relevant field such as Applied Behavior Analysis is preferred.

Occasional evenings and weekends are required to accommodate meetings, on-call shifts, and special events.

In addition,

Must be age 21 or over and have legal working status.
Must maintain a valid driver’s license and excellent driving record.
Must have a clean background check with no felonies or flags.
Must provide a current CPR/First Aid certificatio
Must have flexibility to travel for occasional professional development and program activities.
Applicants are required to have and use their own smart phone for work duties. Ascendigo provides a monthly cell phone stipend for this use.
Basic computer skills (MS Office, email, social media)
Must be able to lift and move heavy objects (up to 25 pounds)

Personal Characteristics: should be committed and passionate about the Ascendigo mission of a holistic, active, community-based, independent, and person-centered life. They should believe in the dignity and potential of our clients. We also have a commitment to a culture of R.E.S.P.E.C.T. which stands for:

R-Recognize the inherent worth of your coworkers.
E- Eliminate derogatory words and phrases.
S- Speak with people- not at them- or about them.
P-Protect the culture of your organization- report and support!
E- Empathize- consider what it is like in others’ situations.
C-Consider your impact on others before speaking and apologize when you make a mistake.
T- Treat everyone with integrity, dignity, and respect.