Easterseals-Goodwill provides opportunities for youth and young adults with disabilities and social communication disorders to explore a variety of experiences that can help guide their decisions about future higher education, employment and independent living.
Pre-employment transition services are offered in Easterseals-Goodwill’s Expanding Options program. They are a set of specific services designed to prepare individuals with disabilities, ages 14 to 21, for higher education, employment, and transition to their desired level of independence.
Who is Eligible?
In order to participate in the Expanding Options program individuals must meet the following criteria
- Enrolled as a student
- Age 14 to 21
- Have a disability as documented by an IEP, 504, or a letter from a medical or psychological professional.
What Will Students Learn?
Expanding Options focuses on the following essential employment skills
- Interviewing skills
- Self-reflection and self-evaluation
- Following a work schedule
- Accepting instructions and receiving feedback
- Workplace communication
- Managing stress, frustration and anxiety at work
- Appropriate workplace behavior and etiquette
- Problem-solving independently and as a team
Peer Connections is our core transition program and is available in Salt Lake and Utah counties. Peer Connections helps students ages 16-24 with significant social communication issues establish and enhance their relational skills, while exploring work and career activities.
This program fills an existing service gap for these students by providing opportunities for regular social interactions with a peer of similar age during a structured community service activity.
Peer Connections provides real world experience in an employment setting focusing on the following essential employment skills
- Following a work schedule
- Completing work on time
- Accepting instructions
- Receiving supervisor feedback
- Building interpersonal communication skills
- Developing coping strategies to manage stress, frustration and anxiety in the work place
- Establishing appropriate boundaries with regards to personal space, information and private vs. public behaviors and conversations
Overview of Activities
- An in-depth application process will match teens by employment interests and personality
- Teens will be referred to the Vocational Rehabilitation (USOR) for eligibility – a program requirement
- Students will be assigned a host agency to conduct weekly volunteer service based on their interests and needs
- Students are required to perform a total of 3 hours of community service/job training a week for 9 weeks
- Our Peer Connections coordinator will be there each step of the way to provide appropriate feedback and coaching
Interested in being a Peer Partner?
Peer Partners are high school- or college-age volunteers who are paired with a Peer Connections® student and assigned to a non-profit volunteer site with up to three other student pairs. Peer Partners need to be able to commit to 3 hours of volunteer job training a week for 9 weeks. To learn more about becoming a Peer Partner, download our flyer. If you’d like to apply, complete the online volunteer application, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll contact you.
If you’re interested in learning more about Peer Connections, enrolling as a participant or becoming a mentor, please contact: Crystal Emery at (801) 376-6012
Youth Transition Services