Sharing Outcomes of The Horizons School READI Learning Program, Part II
Horizons School began in 1991 as a non-degree post-secondary program for young adults with learning disabilities. The Horizons student learning goal is that each individual will master usable skills necessary for gainful employment and community living.
Please see Part I of this Parent Blog for survey background and employment outcomes. This second post shares additional information from the 2023 Horizons Alumni and Parent Survey.
Horizons School, a non-degree post-secondary program for young adults with learning disabilities, has been empowering students for over three decades. We are licensed as a private school by the Alabama Community College System and proudly celebrate our graduates! Our primary goal is to equip students with the necessary skills for gainful employment and community living. In this blog post, we will be sharing the outcomes of our READI learning program, as revealed in the 2023 Horizons Alumni and Parent Survey.
READI Makes a Difference for Young Adult Graduates
Horizons conducts semi-annual surveys of the most recent alumni and their family caregivers. The purpose is to ask recent graduates and their families about training outcomes of our READI learning program. It’s important for us to know how effective the program is at enabling independence. Our focus is on continuous improvement!
During the spring of 2023, 31 alumni and 15 family caregivers responded to an online survey. The survey was composed of 31 items (28 objective and 3 completion). Our learning program, Readiness for Employment and Disability Inclusion or READI, has proven to be effective to promote independence among young adults with learning disabilities!
Respondents were asked to rate the current level of independence for eight self-management and support needs. Results revealed the highest level of Independence for three components of READI, specifically, 1) Completing job shadows and a training internship, 2) Determining occupational interests and preferences, & 3) Preparing for job interviews (listed in rank order).
The majority of respondents required only Minimal Assistance for five other components of our learning program, i.e.,
- Learning the steps to reach my career goal
- Developing a professional resume
- Identifying current job opportunities
- Completing job applications, &
- Following up after job interviews.
Results are encouraging and indicate that graduates develop capacities to attain gainful employment!
Some respondents elected to share long-term career goals. Answers indicate that graduates embrace their role as independent paid employees across a variety of settings. My career goals are:
- “to become a front desk assistance in an office”
- “to become employed with Delta and reach a leadership position”
- “maintain part-time employment in a job I enjoy”
- “to keep living independently and stay gainfully employed”
- “to work and be able to purchase a home”
- “employment in a library, book store, or museum setting” and
- “to work long-term for a company with benefits and opportunities for career advancement.”
Finally, Horizons graduates and families shared their most important career achievements (presented in their own words).
- I “earned a monthly employee award at Marshall’s (retail store) twice”
- “being on time for work”
- “earning decent pay”
- “held a 6-month job in Birmingham”
- Now “able to find employment and live on her own”
- “receiving a new project shortly after starting my role in Atlanta”
- “keep a good positive attitude for work”
- “earned promotion in employment”
- “held a job with HEB (grocery) for about one year”
- “getting my first job and having my own bank account”
- “be able to live alone with minimal assistance”
- “fully independent at work with minimal intervention”
- “maintain the same job for several years”
- “to be a friendly and hard-working employee”
- “being able to complete job tasks efficiently”
- “learning to keep a positive attitude and to complete work assignments in a difficult environment”
- “successfully being cross-trained in a number of jobs at WalMart”
- “trusted to work on special projects”
- “learning new things as an employee”
- “being reliable, on time, friendly, and easy to work with”
- “increased independent job skills in the dietary department”
- “earned a World Series ring by working for the Atlanta Braves for 10 seasons!”
At Horizons School, we remain committed to a future where young adults with learning disabilities lead happy and fulfilling lives. Graduates’ career achievements are a testament to the effectiveness of our approach! Stay tuned for future blog posts where we will share additional results from the 2023 Survey of Horizons Graduates and Parents.
For more information, please feel free to contact Horizons School at (205) 322-6606 or visit our website at https://horizonsschool.org.
26 June 2023