Interested in joining ADEC’s new Growth and Purpose (GAP) program?
Reach out to Katie Kessler, ADEC’s director of family services, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 574-522-7802.
GAP students can be referred to by family, friends, service providers, schools, or case managers.
Some young adults with disabilities choose to join the workforce right out of school while others choose to attend a day service to learn new vocations, like baking or sewing. But some young adults with disabilities find themselves in an awkward gap: they have graduated or “aged out” of the public school system, but they would still like to develop job readiness skills before pursuing their career.
ADEC’s new Growth and Purpose (GAP) program is designed to help bridge the gap between education and employment. The program, which launched in May 2018, is open to any individuals with disabilities interested in joining the workforce, but is aimed at upcoming and recent high school graduates.
This program uses curriculum from the Rehabilitation Research and Training Institute that is created specifically for participants with disabilities and consists of seven modules that build upon each other as participants learn how to successfully land and keep a job.
The topics progress from setting goals to job hunting, first impressions, professionalism, work-life balance, confidence, and, finally, success in the changing job market. The topics are presented in a clear fashion, with building blocks such as personal hygiene, appropriate watercooler talk and phone etiquette presented to participants. As participants complete each unit, they will receive certificates of completion, which they can then use to demonstrate their job readiness to employers.
Students will volunteer in the community, showing them the importance of giving back and giving them insight into real-world working conditions. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in the vocational and recreational offerings at ADEC.