Project SEARCH Core Model Components
Project SEARCH is a business-led program.
- The sole definition of a successful outcome is competitive employment in an integrated setting for each Project SEARCH intern.
- Employment in an integrated setting (that is, working alongside coworkers with and without disabilities).
- Year-round work (not seasonal employment)
- 16 hours/week or more
- Minimum wage or higher
This means that students learn relevant, marketable skills while immersed in the business and those businesses are active partners, participating without subsidies.
- True collaboration among partner agencies is essential. This leads to seamless transition services and sustainability through braided funding streams. True collaboration requires a willingness among partner organizations to share resources and adapt policies and procedures. The following are active partners:
- Education / Schools
- Vocational Rehabilitation
- Community Rehabilitation Providers
- Long-term Support Agencies
- Social Security Administration
- The Program focus is on serving young adults with a variety of developmental disabilities (acquired before age 22 such as intellectual disability, visual impairment, hearing impairment, orthopedic impairment, autism, etc.).
- Program participants experience total immersion in the workplace. Students are on site at the business each school day for a minimum of six hours for an entire academic year.
- The partners provide consistent on-site staff including a special education teacher from the school district and job coaches (usually funded by Vocational Rehabilitation and a supported employment agency and/or the school).
- Data is submitted to a national Project SEARCH database.
- Program activities are tied to these federal IDEA (2004) Indicators:
- 1 - Graduation
- 2 - Dropout Rates
- 5 - Least Restrictive Environment
- 8 - Parent Involvement
- 13 - Compliant (Quality) IEP's and Transition Goals
- 14 - Post School Outcomes
- Project SEARCH graduates receive effective follow-along services to retain employment.
- Each Project SEARCH program site has a licensing agreement signed with Project SEARCH Cincinnati through Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.