Since our grant approval, Access Independence (AI) has launched new youth services that provide supports to students and youth ages 14 years of age and older. Through partnerships with Winchester City, Frederick County and Clarke County schools with the support and partnership of the Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) AI has launched new programs in 2 key areas. These areas are Instruction in Self Advocacy and Workplace Readiness. Thanks to our grant with FCIDD and Civitan, we were able to make these programs become a reality!
Under the service scope of both of these programs AI is able to receive referrals and support students under these programs through an initiative called Pre Employment Transition Services. These services support youth ages 14-22 as they transition from the school to adulthood. In the first service year AI supported a cohort of 10 students with these services providing each student with over 8 hours a piece of Self Advocacy teaching and training as they prepared to embark on internships at Valley Health.
For students not eligible for this program AI has received referrals from DARS for an additional 6 youth to go through Workplace Readiness courses that are captured through our Independent Living Skills Program. In these courses AI worked with youth to provide travel training by studying for the Department of Motor Vehicles Learners Permit Exam.
Additional outreach has been performed by attending Transition Fairs and Youth Summits which gleaned referrals of 4 families with school aged children to gain information and referral supports from AI. Each of these families sought information pertaining to localized services in our community for their child with a disability and were further educated on our Independent living skills, self-advocacy and workplace readiness programs for future youth planning for their child.
Access Independence has also been able to provide a bi-weekly cooking class to students of the Warren County Elements program. This teaches independent living skills, encourage socialization and meal preparation to 6-8 students.
Lastly, AI has scheduled meetings with each of the school systems to discuss in school need of our services and has built a structure for 2 summer camps for students to learn travel training supports and profession communication training to prepare those aging out of school and preparing for adulthood.
Charles H. Harbaugh IV , Executive Director
324 Hope Drive
Winchester, VA 22601
Office - (540) 662-4452
Cell - (540) 877-4594