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Project SEARCH Teaches Sedalia’s Youth with Disabilities [INTERVIEW]

The Project SEARCH High School Transition Program is a unique, business led, one year school-to-work program that takes place entirely at the workplace. Total workplace immersion facilitates a seamless combination of classroom instruction, career exploration, and hands-on training through worksite rotations.Project SEARCH serves students with significant intellectual and developmental disabilities. Typically, these are students who are on an Individual Education Program (IEP) and in their last year of high school eligibility. The most important criterion for acceptance into Project SEARCH is a desire to achieve competitive employment.  The goal for each student participant is competitive employment.

The program provides real-life work experience combined with training in employ-ability and independent living skills to help youths with significant disabilities make successful transitions from school to productive adult life. The Project SEARCH model involves an extensive period of training and career exploration, innovative adaptations, long-term job coaching, and continuous feedback from teachers, job coaches, and employers.

I got to talk with Ryan Oelrichs, the local Project SEARCH instructor, about how Sedalia 200 is working with our kids and Project SEARCH.

For more information on how you can help Project SEARCH or get someone involved in it, contact Ryan at 660-596-7267 or email oelrichsr@sedalia.k12.mo.us.  Thanks as well to their partner agencies, Missouri Vocational Rehabilitation,  the Center for Human Services, and West Central Independent Living Services.

Searchingly yours,

Behka

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