Young adults with disabilities seeking greater independence and employment have a fantastic program available to them through the Center for Independent Living of Northwest Florida (CILNWF). Their Youth Transition Program (YTP) works to support and empower these individuals with training and resources.
“Our goal is to help people who might need a little help getting the skills they need initially to become employed and to be able to maintain that employment,” Danny Broxson, Independent Living Specialist and Volunteer Coordinator with CILNWF, told Blab TV.
Through a combination of state and federal funds, both LOST and Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), are available to help with all aspects of supporting participants in the YTP to succeed. These services include: pre-employment training, self-advocacy training, and peer mentoring.
Pre-employment training incorporates assisting those in the program prepare to find work and succeed. Young adults participating will be taught how to best present themselves, help with developing their resume, instruction for searching for jobs, and advised on how to interview well, in addition to much more. One important aspect of the pre-employment training includes understanding the participant’s rights as a person with a disability.
Self-advocacy training develops skills to succeed on the job. These courses will cover topics including problem solving, building confidence & self-esteem, conflict resolution, job shadowing, and much more.
Peer mentoring helps develop social and networking skills. These courses will cover connecting with others, sharing experiences, becoming a role model, inspiring independence, and more.
Participants in the program can, under the Olmstead Act, have services provided at their convenience and in a way that works with their particular needs, in addition to choosing where they want to live.
Who Should Apply
The YTP is available to youths ages 14 to 26 with a disability. According to CILNWF, the program provides education and training to gain employment, help build relationships that can support independence, and increase the self-confidence and advocacy abilities of participants.
What is considered a disability can vary greatly and are not always apparent on the outside. Some disabilities that the CILNWF assist with include:
Any youth or young adult with a disability who would like to pursue employment or development of skills to potentially live on their own is encouraged to apply.
How to Apply
Individuals who would like to learn more are encouraged to contact CILNWF by calling 850-595-5566, extension 233, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or completing the interest form on their website.
About the Center for Independent Living of Northwest Florida
CILNWF is an organization that promotes, educates, facilitates, assists, and advocates with and on behalf of people with disabilities, in partnership with their communities, to achieve their goals for independence.
They do this by adhering to, what they call, Five Core Services. These services are: Individual and Systems Advocacy, Information & Referral, Independent Living Skills, Peer Mentoring, and Community Transition.