WorkAbility I: A California Transition Program
The California Department of Education (CDE) completed a two year study in 1981 that indicated that students with disabilities were not being adequately prepared for the labor market.
WorkAbility I was initiated in 1981 as a pilot project to test the concept of work experience for youth with disabilities. WAI continues to be an essential component of transition services. Currently 237 local education agency WAI projects are funded statewide and 55 California counties are served by a WAI program.
The WorkAbility I (WAI) is funded and administered by the California Department of Education. The WAI program offers students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) the opportunity to complete their secondary education while also obtaining marketable job skills. The WAI partners with local employers in the business community who will give students with special needs a chance to prove themselves in a competitive integrated employment setting. Annually over 10,000 employers statewide have found WAI students to be well prepared for entry-level employment.
The Colusa County WorkAbility I program works with key stakeholders including students, families, educators, employers and other agencies in planning and implementing an array of services for students that are in Special Education in our Middle Schools, High Schools, and Adult Transition Programs that will culminate in successful student transition to competitive, integrated employment, lifelong learning and quality of life.
Our mission is to teach skills and provide connecting activities that will prepare our students to “Take Charge of Their Futures.” We do this using an integrated transition curriculum that teaches students to Get a Plan, Get a Job, and Get a Life.
*Assessment of vocational interests and aptitudes
*Follow-up upon exiting
*Screened students ready to learn and work
*Student worker interests/skills matched to employer needs
*Job coaching to assist in students learning specific skills and behaviors
*Students wage and workman’s comp. paid by WAI for agreed upon hours
*Trained employees ready to hire
*Ongoing employee support services
For more information, please call (530) 473-1350 and ask to speak to our WorkAbility Coordinator.