Many young adults with disabilities attend mainstream schools where they receive special education services, but will inevitably need help making the transition from the highly supported school environment to adult work life. For special education students, ages 14-21, Abilities First is ready to facilitate that transition with our School to Work Program.
This unique program offers students the opportunity to gain community based work experience and career development while still attending school and earning credits toward graduation.
Students receive mentoring and assistance from an encouraging job coach to assess their strengths, interests and areas of need. Work-study opportunities are arranged as hands-on, unpaid work experiences similar to “internships” in an area of interest that the student determines. These work-studies give each student the chance to spend time on a job site inspiring the student to learn and work toward independence and giving them the confidence to feel comfortable in the workplace.
"These work-studies give each student the chance to spend time on a job site inspiring the student to learn and work toward independence and giving them the confidence to feel comfortable in the workplace."
As the student becomes more confident and adept, the job coach fades support as the business supervisor takes on a more direct role. The experience gives each student invaluable education specific to their field of interest, as well as networking opportunities and a broad understanding of the realities of working life. As a school-sponsored program, the student’s home district provides insurance coverage and may provide transportation, making it very accessible to interested students.
For additional information about these programs see our Frequently Asked Questions page or contact Renee McCormick by calling 845-454-7750.