This fall, the Snoqualmie Valley Community Network used funding from the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) for projects intended to reduce barriers to employment for people with disabilities in our community. The Division of Rehabilitation is a state agency that provides short-term employment support to people who experience barriers to successful employment due to a physical, mental, or sensory disability.
Based on feedback from the Network’s community partners, the following three community projects were chosen for this funding cycle:
A Community College Outreach project was funded for Cedarcrest High School (Riverview School District) juniors and seniors who receive learning support or accommodations. The project kick-off included a breakfast meeting at Cedarcrest High School on November 6th with speakers from the TRiO program at Lake Washington Institute of Technology (LWIT). Students heard an overview of the support that the TRiO program can provide for students with disabilities and some highlights of the LWIT program offerings. Then, on November 16th, these same students had an opportunity to visit the LWIT campus, tour some of the programs, and have lunch with campus staff.
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 with consideration of the fit between mentor and mentee in the following areas, as applicable: goals for the mentoring relationship, child’s disability, and school placement. A RiverviewFAM kick-off event was held on November 8th. The first portion of the event focused on community resources for families of students with disabilities and skills related to effective communication and advocacy. The second portion of the event was designed as advanced training for people interested in becoming parent mentors. The event was well attended, and several mentor matches have now been made.
The Network partnered with Two Rivers School, an alternative high school in the Snoqualmie Valley School District for a two-part Career and Skills Fair. On November 28th, twenty volunteers from the local business community came to Two Rivers to talk with students about a variety of careers. The objectives for this activity were for students to learn about careers related to their skills and interests profiles and have an opportunity to connect with professionals from the local community. Students also received training on resume writing and interviewing skills. The following week, on December 6th, Two Rivers students attended a presentation that explained who DVR serves and the types of services that DVR can provide. In addition, students put their new interviewing knowledge to work by participating in mock interviews conducted by additional volunteers from the local business community.
For more information on any of the above projects, please contact:
DVR Outreach Coordinator for the Snoqualmie Valley Community Network