Intern to Employee: Making Dreams become Reality - By Crystal Hence. Project SEARCH interns are allotted a chance to internship in a hospital setting, which gives them a chance to fulfill dreams and open up possibilities to different career choices. Internships also provide unique opportunities for employers to experience an individual's skill set before hiring them. This webcast explains how one intern found his dream job in the medical field and how he transitioned from an intern to an employee.
Customized Employment Topics: Interviewing - Conducting interviews is usually a part of providing employment services to individuals with disabilities. Typically, there is an intake interview during which people seeking services are asked about their goals for employment and other relevant information. However, interviewing should not be used to “evaluate” the job seeker with disabilities, which is a very important distinction when using interviewing as part of customized employment services. Interviewing in the context of customized employment is a way to learn about a person’s life story and experiences. What meaning do these experiences have for the person and how may they impact employment?
Disability and Rehabilitation Research Project on Customized Employment - Randy received a high school diploma in 2018 and shortly afterward began receiving customized employment services. During his final year in high school, he tutored several young children at an agency that offers tutoring services in reading, math, and science to students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Randy provided tutoring sessions for approximately six hours a week and helped with various tasks in the agency’s thrift store. The thrift store job duties included handling the cash register, organizing products, and cleaning around the store. In addition to tutoring, Randy also had experience at a community organization helping youth with Autism in recreational activities. He had volunteered for several summers as a summer camp counselor.
Customized Employment: Case Study Examples from the VCU-DRRP Research Customizing jobs happens every day in businesses across the country. When skills and interests of job seekers with disabilities are matched with work tasks that meet a business need, it is a win-win for all involved. This webcast will highlight customized employment case studies through the perspective of an employee with a disability, their manager and employment specialist. Hear how an individual's interests and skills were identified, a business was approached and tasks identified and finally how the new employee was supported at work.
Systems to Support Inclusion - Administrators from Evendale Elementary will share systems the school has in place to support all students of all abilities in an inclusive environment. This session will provide examples of ways teachers, service providers, support staff and administration work together on IEP development, service delivery, classroom supports, and data monitoring.
Project Achieve - Women veterans represent 14% of Virginia’s veteran population, leading the nation with the highest percentage of women veterans. This number is expected to increase over the next 20 years. Despite their presence in Virginia, little is known about the postsecondary support needs unique to women student veterans, particularly those with disabilities such as Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Spinal Cord Injury (SCI). To fill this gap, CTI is implementing a demonstration project, Project Achieve, to provide specialized services to women veterans with TBI and SCI in postsecondary education.
The VCU Center on Transition Innovations (CTI), part of the VCU School of Education’s Rehabilitation Research and Training Center, has received a $360,000 ECMC Foundation grant to study the mental health challenges and needs of community college students. “This study is a great opportunity for VCU, especially considering its commitment to transfer student success,” said Elizabeth E. Getzel, CTI director and Principal investigator in the study. “This commitment is evidenced by the establishment of the VCU Transfer Center and the development of transfer maps with four community colleges.”
Crystal Hence has all the skills a good job coach should have. She is the sole job coach for Project SEARCH at St. Francis Medical Center, where she works with an average of six students at a time. She is persistent in her job leads and not shy about approaching employers.
Business Connections at VCU is a supported employment service provider for individuals in the Metro Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Warsaw areas, assisting individuals with disabilities with finding employment and providing ongoing support to clients who obtain employment. Established in 1983, the Virginia Commonwealth University RRTC provides resources for professionals, individuals with disabilities, and their representatives. Our team of nationally and internationally renowned researchers is committed to developing and advancing evidence-based practices to increase the hiring and retention for individuals with disabilities.