The Arc of Philadelphia

Project Name: Creating Environments for Ongoing Success

Contact Information:
Marie Lewis
(610) 964-0143
2350 W. Westmoreland St.
Philadelphia, PA 19140

Project Goals

  • Students in the Creating Environments for Ongoing Success (CEOs) program will have improved career awareness through job search skills, resume development, interview skills, and vocational exploration through a coordinated effort between the school district and agency training; and
  • An increase in the number of students with paid employment positions.

Project Description

The Philadelphia Arc’s transition program focuses on student-focused planning and transition goal development; career exploration and natural environment learning; support service agency, parent, school district, business, and community involvement; as well as cross training of all individuals and agencies involved to build regional capacity.

The belief is that, people with disabilities can be capable employees if skills and interests are matched and appropriate education and supports are provided. Students are referred and must demonstrate a commitment to being employed. Person centered planning is facilitated and transitional goals are developed. Specific job task and a functional analysis are provided in a natural environment with job coaching. Short-term competitive employment situations are used to transition to longer term vocational opportunities. Training of job site staff is provided to assure that the staff is comfortable with issues of disability and employment.

During an evaluation process, a Life Centered Career Education profile or similar profile is used to identify student needs and strengths. Students with intellectual and developmental disabilities participate in a person centered planning process and return to the school district, with case management assistance to implement individualized transition IEP. A high degree of interagency collaboration and coordination is provided for each student.

An additional component of the project is the development of a Transition Interagency Council that includes community based agencies, state and federal agencies, the school district, parent networks, and a local business advisory board. The purpose of this council is to provide accurate, research based information and transition training from school to adult services.