Stages Learning Materials
What they do
Stages Learning Materials is dedicated to creating quality teaching tools to help educators provide the best learning opportunities for students on the autism spectrum.
Angela Nelson founded Stages in 1997, informed by her experience as a psychology undergrad working in a clinical setting. She made learning materials at Kinko’s for her students, and soon, more and more people were asking for them. Stages grew out of a need for classroom curriculum; the more autism was recognized, the more it was being addressed in schools. Stages developed the curriculum and quickly saw sales triple.
Why we invested
With strong demand for their curriculum, Stages expanded its product line with Language Builder: Academic Readiness Intervention System (ARIS) Early Autism Curriculum, and needed support to move into a larger facility to produce and house their inventory. The funding will also allow Stages to hire more direct service staff to handle business related to ARIS.
Stages will leverage the expanded space to host students who visit their warehouse each week. Visiting high school participants from local transition services programs help assemble curriculum kits, pack boxes, and keep things organized—all part of a special partnership to offer real-life work experience and training.
With the additional space, Stages will expand this workforce development initiative to local companies in a self-sustaining program that provides employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
In addition to offering workforce training to people served by her company, Angela loves mentoring women newer to the workforce. “I love that I get to wrap a mission within a mission.”
For those founding their own companies, Angela says, “Follow your passion. You’re not going to find as much success looking to start a business just to chase a dollar.”