ADRS, EASE, and Athens State host Transition Mentoring Day

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The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services, Erica Allen Supported Employment (EASE), and Athens State University recently partnered to host Transition Mentoring Day for high school students with disabilities on the campus of Athens State.

Some 200 juniors and seniors from Athens High School, Limestone County Schools, Brewer and Priceville high schools, and Decatur City Schools rotated in 50-minute sessions to cover a variety of topics ranging from interviewing and budgeting to etiquette.

Additional sessions included disability awareness, a career fair with local employers and colleges, a campus tour, and Reality Check, a scenario-based exercise that simulates life at age 25.

During Reality Check, students received a career and monthly salary. They then visited different stations monitored by volunteers from the Athens High School Student Government Association and learned what it takes to survive and succeed financially.

The program allows students to experience what it is like to budget salaries and pay bills for one month. The session included lessons on net pay, gross pay, and taxes. Vocational rehabilitation (VR) counselors guided each student through the budgets and received feedback on what was learned.

Students also participated in a session on interviewing skills, which spotlighted examples of good and bad interviews.

The disability awareness session offered students a first-hand look at the struggles faced by people with different disabilities. To simulate multiple sclerosis, for example, participants wore flippers and gloves. Canes and blindfolds were used to replicate low-vision and blindness. ADRS business relations consultants assisted with this session.

Another session featured Harriett Hollingsworth and Ben Hollingsworth, VR counselors in Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services, discussing life in the Deaf community and various methods of communication.


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