Have you asked your student where they want to work or what college classes interest them? Do you know how to tap into local resources to get there?
High expectations are a must for success. However, without defined goals and objectives, expectations are useless. For example, if your expectation is to travel abroad in one year, you would establish goals now to meet that expectation; goals such as saving money, booking a flight, getting a passport, packing your suitcase. The same is true for employment or college opportunities for any student, but especially for students with Down syndrome. By the time our students with Down syndrome are in high school, we know the buzzwords such as transition planning, pre-employment training, post-secondary opportunities, etc. Unfortunately, unemployment or underemployment for students with intellectual disabilities are still the status quo in Kentucky. Families are not sure of the process to gain supports and resources available to help their students achieve the expectation of meaningful employment or college opportunities. Too often, our students are steered toward meaningless jobs, and even jobs that pay sub-minimum wage. Sounds pretty dismal, doesn't it?
DSACK is not accepting the status quo! We are happy to announce that our We Work! program will be accepting new students for 2019. Classes will begin Thursday, January 24 and continue for 8 consecutive weeks. Classes are for students AND parents/caregivers. Using the Take Flight curriculum, students will work with our trained DSACK staff to develop pre-employment training skills to help them develop a flight plan including an understanding of establishing goals; uncovering their interests, gifts, and talents; developing a dream board; developing self-advocacy and self-determination skills; and more. Parents will meet at the same time to gain a better understanding of the skills their students are learning; in-depth look at supported employment vs. sheltered workshops (sub-minimum pay); the effect earning a wage will have on government benefits; and the resources available and optimal timing to implement those resources. This is an 8-week commitment for both students and parents. Following the initial 8-weeks, students will continue to the second phase of coordinating and implementing a community serviceproject to give back to our community. Phase 2 will be for students only and will last 4-5 weeks.
As with everything at DSACK, this program is absolutely FREE, thanks to a generous grant from Toyota Manufacturing of Kentucky. Our DSACK team has attended extensive training sessions and planning meetings, and we are excited to share with our families. Classes are open to students 15 years or older. There is no maximum age limit. This is for students in high school or adults out of school who can benefit from learning these skills. If your student has completed a previous We Work! class, they are welcome to join again as a refresher course.
Come chart your course with our We Work! classes as we determine our flight plan and pack our suitcases with skills to succeed!