BBI will support the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency’s to conduct a demonstration and training project on career pathways for individuals with disabilities in four areas:
1. ADA Training, Self-Advocacy Capacity Building for Youth
BBI, through the SE ADA Center, will work with GVRA to connect to its three targeted community advisory boards and stakeholders, implement a train-the-trainer approach to engage youth with disabilities to understand their rights under the ADA and soft skills needed for employment, and be available for ongoing technical assistance.
The ADA Curriculum for Youth will be developed using a Train the Trainer model. The curriculum will cover topics such as: What Is the ADA?, The ADA and Me – Why Should I Care?, Moving from High School to College or Work, The ADA in the Work Place, The ADA in College, Learning to Advocate for My Rights, and Skills for Successful Employment. The ADA Curriculum for Youth will be developed using modules that include slides, talking points, suggested materials, videos, and interactive exercises. Individuals at the local level who have been identified as training facilitators will participate in “train-the-trainer” events to learn how to effectively deliver the materials as well as how to customize training sessions to meet specific audience needs including urban, suburban, and rural communities.
A Curriculum Developer and Trainer will design and develop curriculum content, training materials, training modules, teaching aids, and manage all aspects of curriculum development programs to include, but not limited to: Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) training on a youth’s rights and responsibilities as an employee or as a student in the post-secondary education environment; and soft skills needed for employment (e.g., understanding, communication, teamwork, networking, problem solving, critical thinking and professionalism, learning styles, identifying strengths and weaknesses). This individual will: (1) develop the curriculum to be used by the training facilitators and participants; (2) train the facilitators to use the curriculum materials in a “train the trainer” environment; (3) conduct an evaluation of the training materials; (4) update and revise the curriculum as needed to meet the needs of the target audience; and (5) provide technical assistance to the training facilitators.
2. Employer Training and Capacity Building Regarding Inclusion, Accommodations
As described further below, BBI is working with another “Pathways to Careers” project to provide workforce and employer partners with capacity building in understanding and implementing processes around reasonable accommodations and the creation of an inclusive culture that increases the satisfaction and productivity of all employees, not just those with disabilities. BBI will provide this same service to Georgia in its project.
BBI is providing Onondaga Community College, the site of the demonstration project, with capacity-building in the development of inclusive educational environments and best practices, and conducting a rigorous evaluation. BBI will do the same for Georgia, conducting a third party evaluation that builds upon Georgia’s internal evaluation approach, and benchmarks it against other national programs, building a descriptive model of Georgia’s program for future replication across Georgia and nationally. This will feed into Community of Practice activities (see below).
4. Community of Practice
As described above, BBI is a partner in an existing “Pathways to Careers” project. As a part of this project, BBI is conducting an evaluation that documents the process of developing such an approach to education and employment in a local community, and sharing the lessons learned to expand replication at other sites. BBI is leading this effort through a Community of Practice that currently involves community colleges across the state of New York. In collaboration with GVRA, BBI will engage Georgia in this Community of Practice, ensure that Georgia is able to translate lessons learned from the other project and reduce barriers in its own project, document Georgia’s model, and export Georgia’s model nationally (through national expansion of the Community of Practice).