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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Reasonably accommodating

While we’re talking about intellectual disabilities and cures mitigation reasonable accommodation on this humble blog, I thought I’d share with you an excerpt from an email Jamie received late last week.  It’s official!  Jamie has had his first job interview, and he’s gotten his first job:

Dear Jamie,

Congratulations on doing a good job when we met with three of the staff members in the mailroom this morning! To review, here is what was discussed:

~ You were offered a part-time job in the mailroom.

~ The job involves sorting mail and packages for students who live in the East Halls dorm complex.

~ Your hours will be 12:15 - 2:15 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday.

~ Your job will start on Tuesday, January 26 and will continue through the end of Penn State’s spring semester 2010 when Penn State students are in session.

~ The exact ending date of this job will be determined closer to the end of the semester, but it could end on Friday, April 30 or on Friday, May 7.

So what this means, logistically, is that on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Jamie will be shuttled from his high school over to Penn State after lunch.  He’ll miss a few classes, yes, but since his junior and senior years of high school are supposed to help him “transition” from school to work, this arrangement is actually part of the curriculum.  (Many thanks to the transition team at State College Area HS and Penn State.)

Wish him good luck!  He’s very excited about this, as you might imagine.  And since it’s a paying job, he’ll have his mind on his money and his money on his mind.  What should he do with his first paycheck?  I think he should take his parents out to dinner, don’t you?

Speaking of transitions: you may recall from the World-Transforming Jamie News post that State College also has a high school/ college transition program that allows people with intellectual disabilities to take appropriate courses at Penn State.  Well, guess what?  The 2008 revisions to the Higher Education Act actually include a whole bunch of brand new sections devoted to enhancing the inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities in higher education.  (Here’s a precis in .pdf.)

I’ve been looking around lately, and I haven’t seen anyone discussing this anywhere.  So I decided to write a little thing about it, the way I do sometimes.  It appeared in last week’s Times Higher Education Supplement (UK), and it’s available now in a nearby intertube.  Spread the word, if you’re so inclined.

Posted by Michael on 01/19 at 09:47 AM
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