Employment Programs For Disabled Hoosiers Receive Boost

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The Indiana Bureau of Rehabilitation Services has awarded two grants worth nearly $425,000 to Noblesville-based Aspire Indiana. The funding will allow the health system to establish employment and vocational rehabilitation programs for people with disabilities.

The first two-year, $217,000 pre-employment transition services grant focuses on students with disabilities between the ages of 14 and 22. The school-based program will be developed along with partners in Madison and Delaware counties. Aspire Indiana says the program will help participants "obtain employment skills and job exploration counseling, including apprenticeships and internships, college options, and self-advocacy skills."

Tina Skeel, director of employment services for Aspire Indiana, says the grant gives students with disabilities the opportunity "to explore and enhance their knowledge of the working world prior to graduation."

The second two-year, $204,000 vocational rehabilitation establishment grant, will allow Aspire Indiana to expand employment programs in Boone, Hamilton, Madison and Marion counties. The health system says it includes funding for staff training in disability-specific areas such as autism and visual impairment and blindness.

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