Why do special education students need employment and vocational training?

Vocational special-needs services and training are intended for students who need special support to assist them with their studies. These services create an environment in which special-needs students can receive individualized or differentiated teaching or other support. Many vocational programs in community settings lack the training and/or service providers to meet the needs of all students. For students who need special education services to access and be successful in job training, it is critical that they receive vocational training before they complete high school services. Several approaches are available for alleviating learning difficulties and developing learning skills.

It is critical that students’ transition assessments and goals are designed so that students have the skills they need to be successful in employment in the community. If students lack reading, math, or social or behavioral skills needed for participation in community programs, they should receive vocational training before they graduate or finish high school in order to meet their transition goals. Currently SoT partners with community vocational training programs to provide the special education support that students need within vocational training programs.

Current Vocational Partner Trainings

Vocational Training Special Education Support – For students who lack the support they need within a vocational training program, SoT can provide special education teachers to help provide that support. SoT provides the academic, tutoring, accommodation, modifications, remediation, and related services needed for students to succeed in their vocation-training program and meet their transition goals. These services can be offered through SoT’s current vocational training partners or by working with other community programs to support students.

Maintenance Assistant – This program gives students experience with a wide range of skills they need in order to work in maintenance or home repair. The purpose of this class is to introduce students with no prior experience in trades to a variety of experiences so they will be equipped to make a decision if they want to get additional training in a particular vocational path. Students who complete this course can move on to an entry-level position in maintenance or home repair.

Weatherization  This foundational course on weatherization skills is a comprehensive training that includes information on proper insulation installation, procedures to remediate insulation gaps or defects, and industry best practices for sealing air leaks. Students receive both classroom and hands-on instruction.

Certified Nursing Assistant Students complete 6–12 weeks of instruction in a certified nursing assistant program that generally includes basic nursing skills, anatomy and physiology, nutrition, and infection control. Students gain hands-on experience during clinical activities.

Commercial Driver’s Licenses Training – This program, which teaches the basics of safely operating a tractor-trailer, prepares students to pass the Class A CDL test. Once a graduate has obtained a Class A CDL, he or she becomes eligible for employment as a tractor-trailer driver. This program is suited for those interested in entry-level positions.

Environmental Services – This course prepares students to work in environmental/janitorial services in a variety of settings. Work skills training covers simple cleaning, bathroom sanitation, sweeping and mopping, wall washing, and advanced floor-care techniques, which include the use of a single rotary floor machine, high-speed buffer, and carpet extractor. Classroom instruction, also included in the program, is competency based, which enables instruction to be individualized according to student abilities.

Home Health Aide Home health aides and personal and home-care aides help people who are disabled, chronically ill, or cognitively impaired as well as older adults in need of assistance who may live in their own home or in residential facilities instead of in health facilities or institutions. Aides may also assist people in hospices and day programs as well as help individuals with disabilities go to work and remain engaged in their communities.

Medical Assistant Medical assistant programs train students to support medical staff during patient examinations. Medical assistants also provide medical office administration support to keep the office running smoothly. Medical assistant careers offer excellent growth potential.