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EACS offering students with disabilities chance to develop life, job skills

A special program through East Allen County Schools is preparing students with disabilities for life after school.

Posted: Jan 13, 2020 3:40 PM
Updated: Jan 15, 2020 11:48 AM

NEW HAVEN, Ind. (WFFT) — This is no ordinary school program. This program isn't teaching students math or english. It's about life skills.

Students are building a foundation, learning life and job skills by breaking down computers.


The unique program in East Allen County Schools teaches students with disabilities how to take a computer, tear it apart, and either recycle the parts or throw them away.

Maddie is one of the students. She and her classmates are learning to disconnect from their dependence on others.

"It's important to me because I want to learn how to do this job," Maddie said. "How to get myself more money."

Connie Brown is the Director of Special Services for EACS, She says it's the district's goal to have all of their students prepared for life after school.

Brown said, "It's our goal to be as innovative and as creative as we possibly can to provide opportunities and prepare our students to take advantage of opportunities once they leave school."

Preparing for that is tough. James says through other parts of the program, he's slowly learning what it takes to live by himself.

"I don't think I'm ready yet. I'm still learning how to live by myself from my dad, so it's a long time for me to live by myself," James said.

The training isn't done after the program ends.

Students with disabilities ages 18-22 can go on to the district's I-Reach program, where they can learn more advanced job and life skills.

The program has been successful in getting all of their student's employment once they leave.

James said, "It's hard work to do it too and a lot of training."

The students know this will help complete the circuit from school to life.

"I could get a job from here," Maddie said.

Now the program needs your help. The students have learned so well that they’ll soon be tapped out of resources.

They’re looking for e-waste donations, both big and small, to help teach the students both job skills and life skills

Brown said, “What we really need from the community is, right now we’re training on computers, and laptops, and flatscreen monitors."

To donate, you're asked to call 260-446-0100 ext. 3195 to coordinate a drop off at the EACS Annex building at the corner of Homestead and US 930 in New Haven.

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