August 19 (Orientation) - December 16, 2022

Application process: 

Session:  August 19 - December 16, 2022

Step 1. Apply

To begin the application process, please complete the:

a) Fall 2022 application, and the

b) Consent to Communicate Form: Link.

Please note that an application by itself does NOT mean acceptance into the PathFinder program, but the date on which the application was filed is important as the workshops are filled on a first-come first-served basis.

Step 2. Send SDRC Paperwork

Please contact your service coordinator to discuss your interest PathFinder vocational training. (Applicants may need the IPP to be amended to include a vocational training goal if one is not already in the IPP.) The SDRC should send a copy of the following to Pathfinder@BeaconsNorthCounty.com:


a) SDRC consumer's IPP (and any addendums)

b) the individual's CDER (client developmental evaluation report), and

c) any other documentation on file relating to behavioral, mental health, self-care or medical history in the past 5 years.

Step 3. Intake Meeting
After the PathFinder team has received the completed application and the SDRC documentation requested above, a member of the PathFinder team will contact you to schedule an intake meeting so that the applicant and/or the applicant's family can meet with the PathFinder staff to determine if the PathFinder program meets the applicant's need and to discuss whether the applicant meets the entrance criteria for the program. 


Step 4. Waivers and Forms

If the applicant is accepted, additional paperwork will be needed to complete the process.

a) General Waiver: Link, 

b) Covid-19 Release & Assumption of Risk: Link, and

c) Consent for emergency treatment if needed (Conserved) (Not Conserved)

Conserved Individuals: 

If an accepted applicant 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. Beacons does not provided medical care onsite, but in the event of emergency 911 will be called to support the individual as needed. If personal assistance is needed with respect to activities of daily living, please discuss with staff whether the applicant can provide his/her/their own 1:1 self-care assistant. 


Abbi joins Beacons from Dream Catchers EDH, an organization similarly devoted to empowerment of individuals with disabilities, where she served as its social media director and as an assistant instructor. While at Dream Catchers, Abbi helped teach cooking, life skills, fitness training, skills for its theater program and other activities as well as plan for monthly activities.

Prior to Dream Catchers EDH, Abbi served a Kitchen Manager and Barista for Makework Market, and as a homeschool teacher for individuals with learning disabilities for several years.  

Abbi will support the Beacons instructional team with her talents in photography, social media, cooking, money management and numerous other areas to help our trainees explore and learn skills to bridge gaps to employment and increase their independence. Abbi brings her love of her older brother, who has a developmental disability, to all those she works with. Beacons welcomes Abbi and her husband to Carlsbad and to Beacons, Inc.!


Our workshops are held Monday - Thursday for approximately 3 hours a day. On Fridays we have extended hours for soft skills, individual assistance and group activities to build teamwork skills (approximately 10 am - 3 pm). Additional hours may be available if needed.

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. SDRC service coordinators are invited to attend to contribute their expertise, learn more about the trainee's goals, and support the transition plan in a manner that is consistent with the IPP.


Ratio:  Our workshops have a maximum of 10 trainees with 3 instructors, and must have a minimum of 5 enrolled to proceed. Beacons reserves the right to cancel or combine 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.  Approximately 50% of those who enroll have their high school diploma, but a diploma is not required.

SDRC Payment: Beacons workshops can be fully funded through the San Diego Regional Center for eligible consumers who have exited their school districts by aging out or earning a diploma and who have employment IPP goals. For eligible SDRC consumers, the SDRC will fund one workshop per session. Trainees with achievement levels of 3 for the majority of the units are not eligible to repeat without pre-approval from the SDRC. Vendor Code #PY1700, Code: 102, Subcode: Fall

Self-Determination & Private Pay: In order for funding to be allocated to an independent budget to be used in a spending plan, SDRC consumers/S-D participants will need a vocational goal in their IPP. If there is not one currently, please contact your service coordinator to express your interest in getting trained to get a job and discuss with the service coordinator that you will need funding to get the training at Beacons.  Please contact the Director of Pathfinder if additional assistance is needed.

*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.


Have questions? PathFinder@BeaconsNorthCounty.com


Creative Design (Level 1)
Monday - Thursday 9 am - 12 noon (Friday team building)

Instructors: AJ Robleza, Abbi Bringolf

Trainees interested in creative design will learn how to use graphic design programs and tools to make digital art, marketing materials, books, puzzles, websites, social media graphics and more as they work with others to develop their technical and soft skills. This project-based workshop will help trainees learn skills to work with real clients to possibly develop post-workshop employment opportunities


Trainees will also:

develop person-centered plans to help shape their futures,

work with templates to help them work with clients post-workshop, and

create websites for employment profiles to showcase earned digital badges and skill-specific certificates, and portfolios.

Pre & post assessments and progress monitoring for each unit are all included.

Post-Workshop Goal Pathway(s):
Post-workshop pathways will be driven by each participant's person-centered plan and may include further education, paid internships, job coaching, competitive integrated employment, and/or employment related volunteer opportunities. Ideally, the trainee will develop sufficient skills to make the trainee eligible for employment with the workshop client post-workshop.

Entrepreneurial Skills

for Creative Microbusinesses

Monday - Thursday, 1 - 4 pm (Friday team building)

Instructors: Courtney Smith, AJ Robleza, Abbi Bringolf, and Jessica Zaragoza

Recommended for: Trainees interested in learning about the skills and documentation needed to start their own business (or grow their existing business). Instruction includes assistive technology, creation of accommodations, and other tools to increase independence and sustainability of the business.

Workshop Highlights: Trainees will explore: 

  • community sales skills such as cashier and customer interaction skills;

  • photography and graphic design to help with branding and marketing, logo creation, and packaging,

  • basic office skills for record-keeping and order /inventory management;

  • creation of "forever" tools to support sales, order management, and inventory tracking;

  • SSI planning and reporting;

  • person-centered planning to devise a post-workshop transition plan or to help with Self-Determination planning if needed;

  • website design and support to help link to payment processor/merchant card carrier;

  • what documents they will need to start a business (e.g. business license and/or sales permit),*

  • and more!

Each unit includes pre- and post-unit assessments to measure progress, with extra hours for instructional support if needed to reach proficient levels in a targeted area, such as the creation of a marketing email tool, meeting with retailers to discuss possible product placement (where applicable), selling in community markets, and/or the making of items to help with product displays or marketing.

*Note: Trainees will learn about the filings needed to secure a business license or sales permit in this workshop. Meetings will be held with each trainee's Circles of Trust to discuss SSI, taxes and other considerations to make sure the trainee's team is aware of tax, SSI and other implications before proceeding with business filings.

Customer Service Skills (Level 1)

Monday - Thursday, 9:00 am - 12:00 noon (Friday team building)

Instructors: Courtney Smith, Jessica Zaragoza

Customer Service 1:

Trainees interested in community employment will learn:
workplace and soft skills such as cashier skills, soft skills and other tasks used in settings that require a high level of customer interaction (