Project to Help Students with Disabilities Secure Integrated Jobs


November 9, 2012

Contact: Melissa Loe, Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities
(512) 437-5441

Senator Robert L. Duncan

Senator Robert L. Duncan

Senator Robert L. Duncan (R-Lubbock) announced that the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities awarded $174,854 to Texas Tech University for the first year of a project to help students with developmental disabilities transition to jobs in their community. This five-year project will help establish new Project SEARCH® sites across the state, which develop internships that lead to integrated employment.

“Texans with developmental disabilities continue to experience higher unemployment rates than Texans who do not have disabilities,” Duncan said. “Parents of youth who have developmental disabilities also report that the transition from high school to a career is particularly difficult and confusing. I am pleased that this project will make it easier for these individuals to secure work at the prevailing wage.”

Under the project, Texas Tech will create a statewide initiative called TechWorks for Texas that will help to establish the new Project SEARCH® sites. Project SEARCH® is a business-led, school-to-work transition model with demonstrated success at developing partnership between multiple state agencies, a community rehabilitation provider, businesses and families. The project will collaborate with the national Project SEARCH® office and the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services, as well as other state and local agencies.

The Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities

The Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities is a 27-member board dedicated to improving the lives of more than 450,000 Texans with developmental disabilities. The council uses a variety of activities — such as grant projects, technical assistance, public awareness and leadership training — to enable people with disabilities to live, grow up, attend school and work in the community. Developmental disabilities are severe, chronic disabilities that occur before the age of 22, such as autism, cerebral palsy, intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental illness, traumatic brain injury and epilepsy.