Project search is helping special needs students to transition into society by offering training and internship opportunities to them. The training takes one year to complete.
The journey for special needs student transition into employment and colleges is not an easy one. Normally, these students require help to help them adapt to their new environments. Project search helps in mitigating such problems by providing training to these students with training on how to transition into working environments.
Project search is a Drexel university project geared towards the provision of job training and internships to help high school students with special needs. It also helps them in the spectrum transitioning into the workforce. The program takes students one year to learn these skills.
Project search changing special needs students for the best
In Philadelphia, the Project Search is collaborating with Philadelphia district schools such as Hill-Freeman World Academy. Students from these schools are then taken through the required training and placed in appropriate jobs.
The school has had success in training students and modeling them into workforce-ready individuals. In its first year, seven out of its eight graduates were able to secure jobs after high school. The second-year was also very successful, with all 18 students who participated in the program being able to find employment. Their preferred companies were Stitch Data, CVS, Fresh Grocer, Best Buy, and the Philadelphia International Airport.
Jane Cordero, a transition specialist at Hill-Freeman, praised the project emphasizing how the connections created by this project have been life-changing for the entire school. The life experience gained through this training was also life-changing, according to Cordero. She was really thankful that such a project was being implemented and her school was taking part in it.
IDEA regulations NOT implemented due to ignorance
In the past, schools and policies have not always protected students. For instance, the Individual with Disability Education Act (IDEA) regulations is supposed to implemented by all schools. On paper, this is supposed to be adhered to, but some schools do not implement the act due to a lack of resources or ignorance.
The students protected under law for students with disabilities mostly range from 18 to 21 years. Students over 21 years are left on their own to fend for their own, which can be detrimental to their well being.
Diane Malley, project director of Transition Pathways at the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute said it best by stating that,
All schools are following the same Individual with Disability Education Act (IDEA) regulations around transition planning as required, but what that ends up looking like can be very different district to district.
The understanding of what special needs students require to cope with life is at the center of project research. The project will benefit a lot of special needs students who would otherwise have gone without any help from the government or their schools. A lot needs to be done to protect these students.
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