Breaking down employment barriers for disabled people is one goal of a unique program for high school students.
In North Carolina, students who are part of Project SEARCH, a job training program, work at High Point Regional Health by reading to children, preparing food, and getting rooms ready for patients. Because of their pronounced physical or cognitive disabilities, many people might not expect them to be able to do the work. Some students are on the autism spectrum, others cannot speak aside from simple responses.
“That doesn’t necessarily mean their skills are not there,” said Ashley Evans. She is a job coach with Greensboro TEACCH Supported Employment and works with graduates of Project SEARCH.
Supporting people with autism and their families is the purpose of Greensboro TEACCH, a program of the University of North Carolina. Students have the ability for the work, but need help applying for jobs or speaking to an employer.