Tag Archives: National Disability Awareness Month

Special needs students return for second year of transitional work program 

With the beginning of a new school year, there are new classes underway in HISD’s transitional programs for students with cognitive disabilities that train them to find meaningful work and sustainable life situations after graduation.

HISD students participate in classes within the community at the Houston Food Bank (HISD/H.E.A.R.T.), Houston Community College, and Texas Children’s Health Plan (Project SEARCH).

In honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, we revisited the Houston Food Bank to see how students are doing (see last year’s story here). The second-year pilot program is underway, with four students returning from last year to experience real-world employment, working 40 hours a week from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. They are responsible for finding their own rides to work, and they use METROlift or get rides from family members.  Continue reading

HISD-HCC Transition Program helps students with disabilities find gainful employment

HISD has several programs to help young adults with significant disabilities transition successfully from high school to a productive adult life. In honor ofNationalDisability Employment AwarenessMonth,we are featuring three of these programs.This is the third in the series. Read the first in the series, about students at the Houston Food Bank, here, and the second in the series, about students working with Texas Children’s Health plan, here.

HISD teacher Jilianne Barzilla begins her HISD-Houston Community College Transition class each morning with physical warm-up exercises to get her students’ blood flowing. After that, she grabs a large purple ball and asks them to think of three words to describe themselves. She tosses the ball to a tall young man named Patrick.

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Program trains students with developmental challenges to thrive in office environment

HISD has several programs to help young adults with significant disabilities transition successfully from high school to a productive adult life. In honor ofNationalDisability Employment AwarenessMonth,we are featuring three of these programs.This is the second in the series. Read the first in the series, about students at the Houston Food Bank, here.

Eleven interns arrive at their classroom in the administrative offices of the Texas Children’s Health Plan at 8:30 a.m. every morning and spend an hour with their teacher, Lisa Mangum, before fanning out to work in various departments – collating documents, making phone calls, and manning copy machines.

These young adults, ages 18-22, attended HISD high schools before being accepted into a Project SEARCH program that is training them to work in an office environment.

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