Category Archives: Youth Empowerment

Illinois Program Designs Disability Awareness Curricula for Students of All Ages

Students in some Illinois school districts receive early education on disability and independent living and employment, thanks to an initiative that incorporates three different curricula, implemented through the community partner “RAMP“, an Illinois non-residential Center for Independent Living. By working with school districts to incorporate these programs, barriers are being dismantled and attitudes changed about people with disabilities being successful in society.

RAMP created a continuum of services that help to strengthen and build the educational and economic success for people with disabilities.

The iBelong curriculum is designed for elementary students as young as pre-K while the Ignite curriculum is designed for middle school students. The teens in Transition curriculum (T’NT) is designed to work with teenagers as they transition to adulthood.

IBelong is taught pre-K thru through sixth grade to all students. The goal is to promote acceptance by teaching children early and consistently that we have more in common with each other than not.

Students in seventh and eighth grade who have disabilities can use the Ignite curriculum to learn more about themselves so they can become better self-advocates.

RAMP’s third curriculum is Teens in Transition. It is designed to help teenagers with disabilities prepare for their transition into adulthood. T’NT aims to increase students’ chances of becoming young adults prepared to further their education, gain employment, responsibly manage a budget and live independently in the community.

The approaches taken by RAMP have left a lasting impression on students. A Rockford teacher said: “I feel as though having RAMP and the community partners come in to teach the lessons helped the students learn about these topics better than just having the teacher teach about it.”

Read the article here.

Read more about RAMP here.

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Minnesota Focuses on Employment for Teens

The news clip below announces a workshop in St. Paul from February 5, however much of the information continues to remain current news:  Employment for teens is lacking and those teens with disabilities have an even lower rate of finding employment:

We know it’s not an easy time to find a job, and for young people hoping to join the workforce it’s even more difficult. On Wednesday, groups around the Twin Cities Metro are working to change that.
We know it’s not an easy time to find a job, and for young people hoping to join the workforce it’s even more difficult. On Wednesday, groups around the Twin Cities Metro are working to change that.
We know it’s not an easy time to find a job, and for young people hoping to join the workforce it’s even more difficult. On Wednesday, groups around the Twin Cities Metro are working to change that. Workshop Aims to Help Youth with Disabilities Find Work.

Link to the announcement about summer employment:  St. Paul Initiative Encourages Businesses to Hire Youth During Summer

Link to Young Invincibles employment for teens information.