Florida Developmental Disabilities Council: Project SEARCH
The Florida Developmental Disabilities Council has made significant progress toward its goal of providing competitive, integrated employment opportunities and developing a range of customized employment services for individuals with disabilities through a program called “Project SEARCH.”
Project SEARCH is an innovative work-based program that provides training in independent living, employability skills and specific job skills. This career program is offered to high school students as a school-to-work program and to adults post graduation. The directors of the original Project SEARCH, from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, and a state-wide coordinator in Florida have collaborated to provide training and to assist the pilot sites in beginning activities that emphasize identifying and establishing business partnerships and provide technical assistance and support. Sixteen individuals have gained employment as a direct result of this effort.
Across the program as a whole, 25 individuals have found gainful employment, and another 245 individuals have participated in direct training relating to employment because of Council efforts. The participation of the Project SEARCH community partners has been impressive, resulting in $218,500 additional funds for these programs across the state.