DESE announces statewide program for students with disabilities - News - Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO - Hannibal, MO

DESE announces statewide program for students with disabilities - News - Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO - Hannibal, MO



The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will collaborate with fellow state agencies to provide a new statewide program to expand services to Missouri students with disabilities, beginning with the 2015-16 school year.
The Pre-Employment Transition Services (PETS) program will offer work-related supports to public school students in Missouri who are not yet eligible for similar services through Vocational Rehabilitation. The program was made possible through legislative changes to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA).
“The Pre-Employment Transition Services program will provide more resources that can improve post-high school outcomes for thousands of young Missourians with disabilities,” assistant commissioner for the office of Adult Learning and Rehabilitation Services Jeanne Loyd said.
PETS will focus on providing hands-on supports by working directly with students, families and schools. These services include job shadowing, mock interviews and counseling designed to help create a smooth transition into the workforce. Twenty-one PETS specialists from around the state have been selected and trained to help with the program, which will offer services in five areas: job exploration, work-based learning, counseling for post-secondary education, workplace readiness and self-advocacy and peer mentoring.
“Our job is to help students with disabilities make connections with various services,” PETS Project Director Robert Simpson said. “We are working with these students in a hands-on fashion, getting them connected with the right services.”
PETS is a collaborative partnership between several organizations around the state including the University of Missouri and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
“The program has great potential and can make a positive difference in the lives of many young people,” coordinator of field services for Missouri Vocational Rehabilitation Bert Schulte said.

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