At 19, Craig Knill has a assorted assignment experience. Over the accomplished four years, he has formed for libraries, at bookstores as a babysitter and as a accounting artisan in the offices of the Howard Canton Council.
It’s all allotment of a work-study alteration affairs through the Howard Canton Accessible Academy Arrangement and abundant association ally that helps adapt acceptance such as Knill, a chief at Glenelg Aerial School, for activity afterwards school.
The work-study alteration affairs is for acceptance with disabilities, from the balmy to the profound, whether they’re apprenticed for a authority or a affidavit of completion, said Dawson Robertson, affairs arch for assignment abstraction and advance alteration coordinator for the Howard Canton Accessible Academy System.
“This is accouterment acceptance with disabilities the befalling to alteration to developed life, about appropriation barriers,” he said.
The certificate-bound acceptance “have added barriers to employment,” and can break in academy until they’re 21, Robertson said. Knill is diploma-bound, and in May he’ll airing beyond the date at Merriweather Post Pavilion as allotment of Glenelg’s graduation.
There are about 130 acceptance beyond the canton in the work-study program, Robertson said, and while their needs vary, all are in the affairs because their alone apprenticeship plan recommends assignment study. Of those, Knill is the aboriginal to be placed at the board offices, area he works two canicule a anniversary putting calm pamphlets.
For acceptance who are at Cedar Lane, the accessible academy in Fulton that serves acceptance with added astringent disabilities, the work-study affairs is one-on-one, and a academy arrangement agent is with the apprentice at work.
For acceptance such as Knill, who is declared by his mother as actuality on the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum, the work-study affairs is a adventitious to hone amusing abilities bare for activity afterwards school.
Cynthia Gibson serves as a affectionate of job coach, allowance Knill with his resume or interviewing skills, for example. “My assignment is, to accomplish abiding he’s extensive his goals,” said Gibson, alteration coordinator at Glenelg and Marriotts Ridge aerial schools.
At the alpha of Knill’s placement, Gibson is on duke added generally as he settles into a new job. And again she “fades away,” blockage in for a few account already a anniversary to accomplish abiding everything’s OK.
Gibson has been alive with Knill for about four years, and said he’s done able-bodied in the program. Knill’s mother agreed, and said her son has become added confident.
“Having these assignment abstraction adventures gives him, or any kids, the acumen of ‘oh, I can do that,’ ” she said. “It ability not be article he exudes, but it’s article he knows of himself.”
One of the best important amusing abilities acceptance charge afterwards aerial academy is self-advocacy, Gibson said, article she said Knill has mastered.
“The apple of assignment isn’t as absorptive as the apple of school,” she said. “In the world, it’s accepted for a apprentice to apperceive how to self-advocate, to ask for what they want.”
“Self-advocating” agency alive back the assignment day begins and ends, alive how to network, and alive how to ask for added assignment already a assignment is completed, Gibson said. It additionally agency speaking up for yourself.
“At the end of his careful placement, Craig told me that wasn’t absorbing to him as a constant pursuit,” she said. “He asked, ‘can I do article else?’ That’s self-advocating. A altered apprentice would accept aloof backward in the position until it was over and never had said anything.”
As he looks to his future, Knill is because alive part-time and accessory academy part-time. He said he’d like to accessible abstraction cartography, because he’s absorbed in maps (“They’re fun to attending at,” he said).
He thinks he could possibly accomplish a career out of accounting work, admitting he’s admired best of the jobs he’s had back starting the program. He said he would acclaim the work-study affairs to any student.
“You get acceptable job experience,” he said.
Robertson said the job-sampling aspect of the affairs agency the acceptance get a advanced aftertaste of abundant careers, but they accept to advance and convenance their self-advocacy abilities if they appetite to alteration those abilities to meaningful, paid employment.
“This affairs starts as ‘how can we get them to work,’ to ‘how can we body added benevolence in the community,’ ” Robertson said. “It’s about appropriation those barriers.”
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