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District's Transition Program Prepares Students with Disabilities for Successful Careers

Orange County Public School

Shanquell Hart, 21, and Thaddeus Nobles, 18, work in the kitchen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, Fla. Hart is a graduate of Orange County Public Schools special education job training program. Nobles is currently in the program.
Used with permission of the Orlando Sentinel, copyright (2013).

The Orange County Public School District's Transition Program is making a real difference in the lives of students with disabilities by helping them develop skills for a successful future. Three Transition Program students, Thaddeus Nobles, Joy Huhta, and Christian Eleyssami were recently featured in an article by the Orlando Sentinel.

The program's goal is to provide students with real-life experiences and support to ease their transition into employment, continuing education and/or college or university programs. Transition planning begins around age 14 to prevent students with disabilities from dropping out of school. The entire process involves the student, his or her family, school staff, and agency staff and continues until the student graduates from high school.

The program currently operates eight sites where students with disabilities who have earned special diplomas can come for job-skills training and support. Many of those students are placed with local businesses, including Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando. All three students in the article work at the resort and are hopeful about their future.

Shingle Creek Executive Chef Jorge Oliveira told the Orlando Sentinel that he hasn't had to make any accommodations in his kitchen for the students, and he has hired several. So far, Rosen Shingle Creek executives have hired 100 percent of the transition students placed at the resort.

To read the Orlando Sentinel article about these hard-working students, visit "Special-education students gain crucial skills for working world."