Hey ALL! Happy (hopefully) summer break to you! Since I’m in administration, I’m working all summer, so I am jealous of all of your who are lounging around by a pool! Any who, I wanted to talk to you guys about Post-Secondary Transition. More specifically a Program that I was able to help start in my county this past year.
If you haven’t heard of Project Search yet, I BEG of you! STOP! STOP what you are doing right now and head on over to their website to check out what the program is.
Project Search is a multi-organizational team approach to Post Secondary Transition for Students with Disabilities. It is truly a unique opportunity that really provides an amazing experience for students with disabilities to prepare them for a long-term job!
In the first year of our local Project Search, we had eight interns. Out of that eight, six of them have received long term jobs making anywhere from minimum wage to $11.00 an hour, which here in Ohio, is a substantial wage for ANY 18-year-old just starting a job. The other two are still searching for employment, but they only finished the program 4 weeks ago!
Whose Apart of the Team?
Like I said, It’s multi-organizational. We had 5 partners in order to make our year a success.
The business site, vocational rehab, department of disabilities, educational service center, and a job trainer through vocational rehab. Our first year of the program was 2016-2017 school year, but we started planning for our first year in 2015. First, we had to secure a business partner. As a representative of the ESC, we teamed up with our Local Board of Developmental Disabilities. We then needed to find a business to host the Project. We found ours in a local hospital. Once the business was in place, we need to secure funding for the one-time startup fee for support through the ladies that came up with Project Search. They seriously meet with you, train all the staff and business staff, and help trouble shoot through your first year! The startup fee is $10,000. Now many of you may stop reading at that, but I swear, the more people that know about the program, and what you are trying to do… well money just started to come out of every place! We had a local foundation donate money to cover the startup fees, after we applied for a grant through them. The rest of the costs to cover the program come through the organizations that are teamed up. And as transition services go, the program ends up being quite cost effective.
Where’d it Start?
The idea came about in 1996, between a Emergency Department, Erin Riehle, had an idea about hiring people with disabilities to help out at the hospital, since a large part of their patients had disabilities. Erin wondered if it would be possible to train people with developmental disabilities to fill some of the high-turnover, entry level positions in her department, which involved complex and systematic tasks such as stocking supply cabinets. She partnered with Susie Rutkowski, who at the time was the special education director at a nearby school. Project Search started as a one site program and has grown over the last twenty plus years to over 300 sites.
What’s So SPECIAL about the Project Search Model?
While the school, County Board of DD, and Vocational rehab are all big parts of the model, it is actually led by the business. This makes buy in from the employees of the business essential. We were lucky that when the project was announced at our partner business- A local hospital, had EVERY SINGLE department ask to have an intern in their area. We were blown away, and still are to be honest!
The focus of Project Search is made clear to interns at the very beginning of the year. The collaborative team wants them to get employment at least part time in an area of their interests.
To gain employability skills, the interns are given a 3 week in the classroom learning experience. During this time, the instructor teaches the interns the rules of the business including orientations and general training. After the initial three week training the job trainers work with the instructor to start and slowly train the interns in each part of the internship.
The interns get to experience three – ten week internships over the course of the school year. This challenges them by letting them learn many parts of different jobs. The skills they learn are transferrable to other employment areas with in the community. This means that students learn relevant, marketable skills while immersed in the business and those businesses are active partners in the internship process.
The standards that Project Search sets for students who are referred to as interns, is competitive employment in an integrated setting. Gone are the days of sheltered workshops. We want our interns to get a job in a real work place, that challenges them, and empowers them. We also encourage at least a part time work, that is year-round.
Some Other Basics!
We made the interns go through an application process- just like college or any other internship process. We also interviewed them and asked them t0 complete a skills assessment (which consisted of us watching them complete simple tasks like putting things in alphabetical order, transferring a patient down the hall in a wheel chair, or putting surgical tools on a tray in correct order). We didn’t expect perfection, but we were looking to see what skills they had or needed. Students had to have not graduated high school, but have met their graduation requirements. They also still had to be under the age of 22. Interns spend 6 hours a day at the business. With 4.5 hours working in the internships. Towards the end of the school year, the vocational rehab partner comes in to help the interns job search.
Overall, the Project provides a clear path to employment for many youth with disabilities and also encourages collaboration for the partners to the project. It’s truly a team effort.
It’s a huge project, and I’m sure I left some of your questions unanswered. If that is the case, reach out, email me, or comment with your questions below! I will do my best to answer any questions you may have!
This packet includes 8 short passages for students to read. All are written at the first grade level and include a writing activity, visual story cue cards, written questions, and a 1st grade leveled passage. The writing allows students to write their
Giveaway is now closed! Thanks for playing! With the TpT sale on today, I’ve got a $10.00 gift card to give away! As a bonus I’ll let you pick something from my store for free as well! Comment below with what you’d like! I’ll be picking a winner in the next few hours! ... See MoreSee Less
Many of you said you were interested in the Reading for bundle! As a taste of it, here's a flash freebie for you! It will be free for the next 15 minutes! https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Reading-For-Comprehension-Christmas-Edition-1614303#show-price-update
Your reading for comprehension!!
The reading comprehension bundle would be awesome for my students! We are really working hard on answering open ended questions based on what they read...
Adapted books for the whole year!!! <3
I would love this: The Ultimate in Handwriting & Sentence Work Practice MEGA Bundle.
I would love the Reading Comprehension Bundle!
The reading comprehension bundle looks awesome! https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Reading-For-Comprehension-Bundle-1787390?fbclid=IwAR0QlgtKXsgQa6jZoJOm7oEePTwlze42kkayQnyKJAqjq6PRQY0cQEaBNgA
I’d love the science bundle. We have no science curriculum for my class and the gen ed one is not any good haha
The reading comprehension or the handwriting bundle
The very hungry reindeer 😍 I will have to buy this when I get to work tomorrow!! 😂
Adapted Books for the Whole Year Bundle looks amazing!
Such a difficult choice! This looks great! https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Reading-For-Comprehension-Bundle-1787390?fbclid=IwAR1D5D8r14RU7lxnHx_OWFR7zIjBLHOSVp9eMtokY_gIUOfDBiFY1DTJM9Y Sarah
I’d love the visual dictionary or a jobs pack!
I would adore any of the turn it's or adapted books
Would 💚 anything comprehension 😍💚
I would LOVE to own The Ultimate in Handwriting & Sentence Work Practice MEGA Bundle. Thank you so much for the opportunity.
I’d love your science bundle! My students love science and can’t get enough! So I’m trying to stock up 🙂
I would love the CVC word work Velcro. ❤️
Centered for Christmas!
The reading comprehension bundle would be perfect for my Firsties!!❤️
Check out the freebies included!Happy Thanksgiving from all of us here at We Teach SPED. We're so encouraged by the online community. We appreciate the dedication you all show for your students each and every day.
Thank you for all of the things you do in your classroom. You are truly making a difference in the life of your students.
To show our appreciation, we've gathered up some of our favorite FREEBIES just for you! Head here to snag your freebies:
Make sure you grab them quick! They will disappear on 12/1! ... See MoreSee Less
I am selling these shirts to raise money for the #campfire in Paradise. 100% of money raised in this round will be going to The American Red Cross to help with the relief efforts.
I live about 100 miles from the origin of the Camp Fire. It is right next to where I went to college. This is another wildfire that is wreaking havoc on California. This is another wildfire that is hitting close to home for me.
My friend went up to help at the animal hospital last weekend and shared that the damage done is horrific. There are people who have lost everything. Every penny raised from the sale of this shirt will be going to help those devastated by the Camp Fire in Paradise.