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Students with disabilities get glimpses of future careers

on Wednesday,September 30,2009 22:09

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Disabled students in Florida high-schools are being given the opportunity to test out technology based jobs and get a glimpse of post secondary education for careers in the applied sciences thanks to the Able Trust''s High School/High Tech program.

The 35 such programs reaching anywhere from 1,400 to 1,500 students across more than 100 high schools annually in Florida have proven to be a resounding success – with the HS/HT state director, Cat Keen, reporting that 86 percent of program graduates enrolling in some form of post secondary education, with only a 2 percent dropout rate.

The students participate in field trips, career shadowing, skills training and internships which not only assists them in their transition into the workplace, but also provides employers in such competitive fields as web design and photography with first-hand evidence that people with disabilities can also be effective employees.

"I think those experiences really do open up (employers) eyes," says Susanne Homant, President and CEO of Able Trust.

The Florida HS/HT program is one of the few remaining vestiges of a national initiative started by the Department of Labor''s Office of Disability Employment Policy, and is funded by myriad of sponsors including the Able Trust and the Department of Education''s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.

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