Building a Life

A transition guide for Kansans

Things to Consider

  • Use internships and other volunteer positions to learn about specific jobs and workplaces

Gaining Experiences

Many high schools offer employment programs that send students with disabilities into the community to try on different jobs, most often as volunteers. This is a good way for them to learn about different types of jobs and workplaces so they can make an educated decision about their own work goals later on. Working away from school also gives them the opportunity to practice being out in an adult world, where there are different people to get to know and work with. That alone is an important education for high school students with disabilities or special health care needs.

Skill Practice

Working part or full time requires a lot of different skills to do well. First, there are the social skills, having good manners, speaking in a quiet but clear tone, looking at people while talking with them and being able to respond to changing ideas and needs. Then there are the skills required to do a good job, such as paying attention, focusing on the task at hand and following the required directions. Finally, there are skills that go along with the actual job itself, whether that is using Computer Aided Design (CAD) software to design a new product, writing a program to take accurate inventory, or repairing the heating and cooling equipment of a large downtown building. From the social skills to the complex vocational skills, volunteering helps your teen or adult child prepare for work and  learn introductory skills so they can develop the necessary skills to do the actual job.