Project SEARCH / Indiana is a collaborative effort of the following:
- State of Indiana, Family & Social Services Administration/Office of Vocational Rehabilitation • Funder
- Community Health Network • Training Site and Employer
- Easter Seals Crossroads • Job Coaching and Job Accommodations Provider
- Indianapolis Public Schools • Educational Provider
- Indiana University / Indiana Institute on Disability and Community • Technical Assistance Provider
- Lawrence Township Schools
Project SEARCH / Indiana class photos
Left: East class; right: North class
Founded in Cincinnati, Ohio, Project SEARCH provides employment and education opportunities for individuals with significant disabilities. The program is dedicated to workforce development that benefits the individual, community and workplace. Along with in-depth student training, Project SEARCH educates employers about the potential of this underutilized workforce while meeting their human resource needs.
The ultimate goal of the above-mentioned Indiana collaborative partnership is to replicate this nationally recognized employment program for young people with disabilities throughout the state. Known as Project SEARCH / Indiana, this exciting prototype program launched in February 2008 at Community Hospital East in Indianapolis.
Project SEARCH / Indiana is a high school transition program targeted for students whose main goal is competitive employment. It is a worksite-based, school-to-work program for students with developmental and/or physical disabilities in their last year of public school eligibility.
The initial Project SEARCH / Indiana program takes place in a health care setting where total immersion in the workplace facilitates the learning process through continuous feedback and development of new marketable job skills.
Students are given support through on-the-job coaching and worksite accommodations with the ultimate goal of independence, in order to insure a successful transition to work as well as job retention and career advancement. A typical school day includes classroom instruction in employability and independent living skills; participation at one or more worksite rotations; lunch with peers; and feedback from the instructors.
Keith Fox, QMRP, Employment Transition Specialist
Ann Meuleman, IPS Instructor for Project SEARCH / Indiana