OSERS: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
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National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2011
Max—Youth Transitions into Health Care Careers

In many ways, Max is an enigma. A review of his school records shows that at various times throughout his career, he had had different educational labels placed on him, the most recent being learning-disabled. Max had difficulties adjusting socially within a traditional school setting and making academic progress. At the age of 19, Max graduated from an alternative school with a special education diploma. He entered the Project SEARCH program because he had a strong desire to continue learning and work competitively.

Max’s first internship at the Carilion Clinic was in the maintenance department. Despite his shyness, Max quickly formed strong bonds and relationships with his co-workers. He respected the knowledge and experience of the skilled workers in his department, who, consequently, respected Max’s dedication to better himself and his work ethic. Max’s quest to be a good employee led him to volunteer at the hospital on weekends and snow days, when Project SEARCH was not in session.

Regretfully, at the end of the first rotation, Max had to move to his next internship. With great anxiety, he began working with the environmental services department, where his job included floor care and trash removal. Quickly, Max’s gifts and talents were recognized by the folks working in this new department. After three weeks in his second rotation, Max was hired by Carilion Clinic New River Valley as a floor care specialist, working 28 to 32 hours per week. After his first review, he received a pay increase. Due to his excellent job performance, Max was offered a full-time position with benefits last week. dotted line


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The contents of this document do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

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Last Modified: 10/04/2011