Each of us had our first job—a starting point in our career that taught us the basics. It may have been a part-time job during high school or a full-time summer job. It’s where we learned essential soft skills: keeping schedules, maintaining good attendance, showing respect, communicating with peers and customers, solving problems, and accepting constructive criticism. Often, we learned the hard skills once we were on the job.
All of these skills, both soft and hard, were needed to create a solid foundation in order to be successful in our careers. The same applies for people with disabilities. They need a first step or first job to gain access to the possibilities that lay within and ahead of each of them.
There are more than 9,000 people in our metropolitan area alone who have Individual Education Plans (IEPs) due to disabilities* and hundreds with disabilities who are unemployed. With these verified facts, there is one thing we know for sure: the time to train is now.
*Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, 2015/2016