Technical and Trade Schools
Some students receive adequate trade school instruction during the high school years to enter immediately into employment. Others continue in a formal, postsecondary trade school to learn about other career fields, or to obtain a certificate or license that can increase employment opportunities and bring a higher wage.
The vocations addressed in trade schools vary greatly from hands-on trades such as small-engine repair and carpentry to business school programs. Again, the program chosen should take into account the student's aptitudes, interests, and disability.
A disability should not define what the individual does, but needed accommodations and strategies should be considered before making an educational and career choice. Does your student feel comfortable and confident about the needed accommodations and strategies for a particular vocation? If not, perhaps another kind of employment should be considered.
Trade school programs vary in length from a few months to several years. Some offer training in the evenings to accommodate individuals who are working during the day. Funding may be available from Vocational Rehabilitation for a client to attend a trade school. Because funding is limited and is awarded after individual consideration, it is best to begin work with VR early to ensure timely consideration for available funds.
In some cases, only short-term training is needed for employees. Some jobs provide on-the-job training. Some employees with disabilities receive additional, specialized training from a job coach as a part of a supported employment program. Still others work in sheltered workshops with repetitive tasks that are completed under supervision.
Trade Schools Specific to Certain Disabilities
Like public high schools, some residential schools have a vocational track to prepare high school students for the work world. This is often the case in residential schools for the deaf, blind, developmentally delayed, or emotionally disturbed. The focus of these programs is work-related skills and often includes an actual work experience on campus or in the community.
At the postsecondary level, students with certain disabilities may attend a technical school that employs specialized staff and methods to train the students. An example is the National Technical Institute for the Deaf in Rochester, New York, which is a college of the Rochester Institute of Technology.