Accessing Training and Employment through Assistive Technology
ICD’s vocational programming includes comprehensive diagnostic evaluations, work readiness and occupational skills training, internships, job placement and retention supports. ICD serves more than a thousand people annually across the age and disability spectrum, including veterans with service-related disabilities nationally and abroad. In 2017, we successfully placed over 300 of our graduates in jobs at more than 200 partner employers.
Individuals with SCI are under-represented in vocational training programs and face significant barriers to obtaining education, training, and employment opportunities. Indeed, despite its nationally-recognized SCI treatment facilities, New York City lacks capacity for those individuals seeking commensurate post-rehabilitation employment services. As NYC’s largest cross-disability vocational services provider, ICD is well-positioned and eager to fill this need.
In the Accessing Training and Employment through Assistive Technology project, ICD will hone its services and equipment to accommodate people with SCI. The resulting quality of the technology at ICD, and thorough integration into our services--supported by certified vocational rehabilitation counselors, expert instructors, and experienced job developers--will be unique in New York City.
ICD will add state-of-the-art assistive technology, including computer hardware, software, and ergonomic equipment and workstations, to five classrooms and computer labs. This will offer SCI participants access to trainings and industry certifications for entry-level employment in the Information Technology and Cybersecurity, Office Technology, and Human Services fields, and Work Readiness soft skills classes. ICD will also utilize a certified Occupational Therapist with assistive technology and SCI expertise to help incorporate the training and workplace needs of the SCI population into our diagnostic evaluations, to assist SCI participants during evaluations and trainings, and to advise ICD staff on effective SCI services.
As a result of this project, participants will experience increased financial independence through market-rate employment, improved quality-of-life through greater independence, and empowerment through access to technology. ICD will track the number of individuals with SCI referred for services, participating in programs, and placed in internships or jobs. In year one, we aim to serve 25 individuals with SCI and will measure success by the number of individuals served and the impact on each individual. We expect year-over-year growth as we invest further in our infrastructure, build capacity, and expand partnerships.
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