WISE partners with universities throughout Washington State to hire Workstudy students who then provide employment-related services to people with disabilities in High School Transition programs (School-to-Work) and/or in the community. These students work as job coaches, micro business planners, special education classroom assistants, and perform other services related to preparing for and securing employment opportunities for people with DD/ID. Workstudy students are placed in high school transition programs, or with other non-profit service organizations providing direct services to individuals with disabilities.
Some of the positions filled by Workstudy students include:
- assisting someone to run and operate their own candy stand
- providing on the job coaching and mentoring to students in high school transition programs
- supporting King County School-to-Work students in community-based work experiences
- instructing on independent living skills
- transportation training
- assisting 14 to 18 year olds in volunteer placements in the community
- job coaching in a variety of community employment settings.
Our organization has found Workstudy students to be an integral part of successful outcomes when working with individuals who currently have high support needs, or when providing start up support to special projects. Work-study students may work with an individual or organization for a short period of time to provide the necessary momentum to get something started, or provide the manpower necessary to retain someone in a job placement for an extended period of time.
The benefits of Workstudy have been seen by teachers, students, employers, and university staff here in King County for over ten years, and WISE is now pleased to have begun the process of bringing the Workstudy program to Clark County for the 2016-17 school year.
“This job not only helped me to see things from others’ perspectives, but also truly changed how I see and interact with people who experience disabilities. It has taught me that, in most regards, they’re just a regular person with a personality, who likes to laugh and eat and hang out and have fun, just like me.”