Last fall, the Snoqualmie Valley Community Network used funding from the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation for projects intended to reduce barriers to employment for people with disabilities in our community.
Based on feedback from local partners, three community projects were chosen.
The first is a community college outreach project for Cedarcrest High School juniors and seniors who receive learning support or accommodations.
The project included a breakfast meeting Nov. 6 with speakers from the TRiO program at Lake Washington Institute of Technology (LWIT). Students heard an overview of the support that TRiO can provide for students with disabilities and some highlights of the LWIT program offerings.
On November 16, these same students visited the LWIT campus to tour the programs, and have lunch with campus staff.
The second, Riverview Family Advocacy Mentors (RiverviewFAM), is a parent-mentoring program that was developed in partnership with the Riverview School District. This program matches trained parent mentors with families who would like support and information. Mentor matches are determined by consideration of "fit" in the areas of goals for the relationship, child’s disability, and school placement.
A RiverviewFAM kick-off event Nov. 8 focused on community resources for families, skills related to effective communication and advocacy, and training for people interested in becoming parent mentors.
Finally, the network partnered with Two Rivers School for a two-part career and skills fair Wednesday, Nov. 28.
Twenty volunteers from the local business community came to Two Rivers to talk with students about a variety of careers. Students also received training on resume writing and interviewing skills.
The following week, on December 6, Two Rivers students learned about DVR, a state agency that provides short-term employment support to people who experience barriers to employment due to a physical, mental, or sensory disability (www.dshs.wa.gov/dvr). They also participated in mock interviews conducted by additional volunteers from the local business community.
You can learn more about the Snoqualmie Valley Community Network at http://snoqualmievalleycommunitynetwork.org.
To learn more about the TRiO program at Lake Washington Institute of Technology, visit http://www.lwtech.edu/offices_and_services/department_pages/trio.html.