Favarh's Project SEARCH at UCONN Health
Favarh’s Project SEARCH is a unique, school-to-work transition program for young adults with disabilities. Project SEARCH uses a combination of classroom instruction coupled with workplace internships to prepare individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities for competitive employment.
Favarh’s Project SEARCH is a unique one year school-to-work program that takes place entirely at the workplace. Interns participate in employment related instruction and are assigned internships in three departments within the business host site.
The internship provides real life work experience combined with training in employability and independent living skills to help interns with disabilities make a successful transition from school to a productive adult life. The goal for each intern is competitive employment.
Favarh’s Project SEARCH is for young adults who:
• Have completed all the High School credits, graduation requirements, and/or IEP goals.
• Have a desire and interest be employed independently.
• Have access to reliable transportation to and from work.
To ensure model fidelity and best practices, this program is licensed through the Project SEARCH national office, based at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
A TYPICAL DAY
8:00 to 9:00 am – Classroom instruction in employability and independent living skills.
9:15 am to 1:45 pm – Unpaid internship in a hospital department.
2:00 to 2:30 pm - Re-cap of the day.
• Be at least 18 years of age
• Designed to be the student’s last year of High School
• Have independent personal hygiene and grooming skills appropriate for the workplace
• Have independent living skills including, lunch routine and be able to maintain appropriate behavior/social skills in the workplace
• Capable of accepting direction from supervisors
• Be able to communicate effectively
• Have access to reliable transportation
• Be able to maintain a minimum of 90% attendance
• Have the desire to work competitively in the community at conclusion of Internship
Throughout the program year, interns participate in a functional academic curriculum that stresses employability and independent living skills. Project SEARCH activities are designed around seven major focus areas:
• Working responsibly
• Communicating effectively with or without accommodations
• Solving problems and developing critical thinking skills
• Planning and managing a career
• Applying technology
• Developing independent community travel skills
The curriculum is flexible and allows the staff to design lessons around the core topics and adjusts the curriculum based on the specific intern and employer needs.
Interns build communication and problem solving skills, as well as job specific skills, through work rotations. These are unpaid internships. Work rotations begin the second month of the program, usually totaling three to four job positions per intern by the end of the program. Worksites are assigned based on the intern’s previous work experience, interests, preferences, and assessments. Interns are required to interact with the department supervisor to arrange a job interview and scheduling details. Skills Trainers and department staff collaborate to provide support for interns. Skills trainers fade out as an intern gains independence.
For more information about Favarh’s Project SEARCH at UCONN Health, contact Favarh at ProjectSearch@favarh.org