Maine Gets $9 Million to Help Disabled High-Schoolers Prepare for College or Work

Oct 5, 2016

PORTLAND, Maine - Maine is getting a $9 million federal grant to help high school-age students with disabilities get ready for college and work.

The state Department of Labor will use the money to test out new ways to help connect schools, employers and other organizations.

The goal is to serve at least 200 students per year, with at least 90 percent of the students involved entering post-secondary education or the workforce in their first year after graduation.

Department spokesperson Julie Rabinowitz says the program will also educate employers on how to make accommodations for disabilities. She says that can be scary for some employers, but it's likely to be a good thing for them in the long run.

"Modern technology and different strategies of accommodating individuals can really help them meet their workforce needs," Rabinowitz says, "and help fill a gap in Maine's workforce as we look at our tightening labor market."

Rabinowitz says the program serves students with physical disabilities, mental illness, and developmental disorders such as autism.