Just beyond the lunchroom, a world opens up now that disabled students have a new life skills program.

Disabled Students Have a New Life Skills ProgramAt Anniston High School in Alabama, the room for life skills has a whole house set up.  There’s a kitchen, complete with dishwasher, a dining room table with place settings, and an ironing board.

For the last period of the school day, teens with intellectual disabilities learn skills in the room that most people take for granted.

The program is called “Transition Academy”.  The purpose is to teach students who have brain development disorders every day tasks, such as making a bed, cooking and cleaning a kitchen, and sorting laundry. The objective is to help the students gain some independence.

A grant from the state Department of Education was approved in April, making the repurposing of the room and development of the program possible, according to director of special education Gwendolyn Baker. She calls the program a “specialized career tech academy.” In addition to teaching self care, the skills that the teens learn can also help some of them work at jobs in hotels, or as launderers or dry cleaners.

“We talk a lot about college to career and military,” said Sherron Jinadu, Anniston High School’s principal, “and this is the transition we serve to students in this capacity.”

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