Spring is a busy time for everyone on the school calendar, as we wrap up the school year. Now is also the time to plan for the summer, and an important deadline is approaching!

Teachers, service providers, and employment providers have until May 15th to submit applications for funding for summer work experience programs for students with disabilities. The summer work experience program is a collaboration between the Office of Developmental Disabilities Services, Oregon Department of Education (ODE), and Vocational Rehabilitation.

Program Coordinator CJ Webb encourages all providers to apply for funding. “If you have a program in mind, definitely apply,” she said. “It’s okay to start small, with a program that can grow a little each year.”

The summer work experience should be designed to help students gain pre-employment skills and exposure to work in their community. All students involved in the summer work experiences must be under 22 years old, and must be connected to IDEA (Individuals with Disability Education Act) services.

In 2018, funding was awarded to 16 school districts and seven service organizations across Oregon. Most programs involve a combination of classroom time and hands-on, paid work experience. Programs vary greatly by community, from small groups of a few students to groups of several dozen. The type of work also varies according to opportunities in the community. Examples from past years include trail building, food preparation and chef skills, farming, and basic employment skills in a sampling of local businesses.

Find the Request For Application at: https://orpin.oregon.gov/  (search for Summer Work or DHS-4708-19.)

Contact Louie Thomas at the Procurement Office: Louie.Thomas@dhsoha.state.or.us with questions about the application.