Program teaches Nashville students with disabilities - WSMV Channel 4

Program teaches Nashville students with disabilities skills for workforce

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A community program is opening doors for a lot of graduating students in Nashville.

They participate in Metro Schools' Community Based Transition, a program that prepares students with special needs for life after high school.

That includes things like balancing a checkbook, nutrition and food service. By the time they graduate, most will have the skills that employers are clamoring for.

"These students, just like you and I, want an opportunity, deserve an opportunity, to be quote-unquote as normal as possible. And going to work is as normal. perhaps a mundane ritual," said business and community liaison Kate Deitzer.

Right now, about 70 students participate in the program at about half a dozen sites across Metro Nashville Public Schools.

Each student learns skills tailored to his or her particular interests and skills.

Rachel Rogers used her education to land a job at Papa Johns before graduation this week.

"I fill pizza boxes," she said. "It is fun. I just don't like to leave."

Local leaders thanked the 50-plus participating companies Friday and challenged others to do the same.

"It's the right thing to do," Deitzer said. "Just because they have a disability, they should not be denied that right to have that job."

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