Pathway to Employment: Helping ELL Youth with disabilities for Employment

This session will report on the experiences of 20 ELL youth with disabilities who successfully completed a job readiness program in the west coast. The youth participated in school computer classes, job skill building classes, field trips and case management. There were four families Support Specialists, influential in Vietnamese, Spanish, Chinese and Somali cultures that actively helped in this initiative making it culturally meaningful.

At the end of this session, participants will be able to:

1. understand the importance of teaching social skills to ELL students with disabilities by utilizing computer skills they have learned through a specially designed program

2. Learn to help ELL youth with disabilities form friendship through the program activities and learn to keep in touch with each friends and family via email.

3. Learn the importance of helping ELL youths with disabilities learn new tasks; and help other students with disabilities by being interpreters and spokesman for other youths who have barriers vocalizing their needs. In the process of practicing, many youths stepped forward to help others who needed more assistance.

4. Learn to create leaders among ELL student with disabilities who can serve as an adviser, mentor or leader for their own cultural group. Fr example, a student with disability who was fluent in both Somali and English served as an excellent cultural broker between the youths and the staff in a community.

5. Learn from the stories of ELL youth who became more independent through culturally appropriate training and experimented new things and to secure jobs, become independent.

Pavan Antony, Ginger Kwan