Y.A.L.E. School has embraced Project SEARCH, a nationally acclaimed employment program for students with autism and related disabilities. This new initiative, which brings together the community, educators, parents, and local business leaders, was launched in September 2016 at Kennedy Health, Cherry Hill.
Y.A.L.E. School, a leader in the area of transition services for students with disabilities, is among the first schools in the state of New Jersey to launch the program, and is working in partnership with the New Jersey Department of Labor Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (DVRS) and the New Jersey Department of Human Services Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD).
For those unfamiliar with Project SEARCH, it began 18 years ago at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and has grown to over 400 locations nationwide. Through the Project SEARCH program, students with developmental and intellectual disabilities are immersed in a one-year internship program during their last year of educational eligibility. Project SEARCH is based entirely at a host location, such as a hospital, a government agency or a corporation. With full immersion in the job preparation process, students gain extensive exposure to and experience in a work environment to ready them for competitive employment.
The program is especially unique because it creates a systematic bridge between the school, adult service agencies and community support and employment. Y.A.L.E. School is honored to be one of three schools in the state to launch Project SEARCH. The Y.A.L.E. School collaboration includes not only DVRS and DDD, but also Samost Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Southern New Jersey (JFCS) and Rutgers Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation, along with University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill TEACH Autism Project, and New York Collaborates for Autism.
Award-winning Kennedy Health, located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, serves as the host business for eligible Project SEARCH participants in South Jersey. As an integral partner in the success of the program, Kennedy currently provides seven Project SEARCH interns from Y.A.L.E. School with employment preparation on site at Kennedy.
The admissions process, like all aspects of Project SEARCH, follows the criteria and protocol developed by the organization. Because Project SEARCH is a “braided” service model, the admissions committee includes representatives from DVRS and DDD as well as Y.A.L.E. staff, Jewish Family and Children’s Services and Kennedy Health.
The timeline for admissions and interviews is short. Therefore we are providing materials below to help districts determine students who may benefit from applying to Y.A.L.E. School for the Project SEARCH program. Approximately 10 students will be accepted in 2017.
Project Search Application Documents
All downloads are in PDF format. Download Acrobat Reader.