Adult students in public school programs get key job and life skills for independent living

Photo of a man wearing a black shirt and a white apron standing next to a man in uniform

The Gresham Outlook (“Ready for the real world,” June 5, 2018) examined local transition age programs that help adult students with intellectual disabilities gain job and life skills to enable them to live on their own.

“Carlos is part of a public school program generally called “life skills” or “adult living.” These programs allow students with intellectual or physical challenges to continue to attend school between the ages of 18 and 21, after they have finished high school. As the program names imply, adult-living students learn the skills they will need to lead independent lives. They learn to keep a home clean, shop and cook, do laundry, handle finances and manage public transportation, or in rare cases, get a driver’s license. One key goal is to get the students into jobs or at least ready to work.”

The piece spotlights how our work on the Lane v. Brown case impacts the lives of these young adults.

“In past years, many of these students would have been shuttled into so-called sheltered workshops. These work centers employed only people with disabilities, isolating them. The workers performed repetitive tasks, often at sub-minimum wages. Court challenges and changing attitudes have closed most of these sheltered workshops.’These students will never have the option to go into sheltered workshops,’ says Gordon Magella, a staff attorney for Disability Rights Oregon.”


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