The Flagstaff United School District’s Transition to Work program has helped 225 students with disabilities transition from school to work.

Soft SkillsAccording to Coconino High School Transition Facilitator Russell Randall, students with physical or mental disabilities learn the soft skills of completing a job or college application, create a resume, etiquette on the job, job interviews, and what to expect in a work environment. They receive on on one mentoring and assistance with assessing the best path for them when high school is completed.

In addition, there is a Community Work Program which puts students in monitored workplaces at the high school. They staff a store, a print shop, and provide landscaping services for free to disabled or elderly in the community. They are also placed in jobs at local animal shelters and schools.

Randall reports that employers are surprised at the level of independence and enthusiasm shown by employees with disabilities. Most of the employees with disabilities require few special accommodations at work. Their work ethic, safety record, and attention to detail is often as good or better than their non-disabled peers.

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