Digitability to help students with cognitive disabilities at 18 Philly schools - Technical.ly Philly

Business

Jan. 4, 2018 12:51 pm

Digitability to help students with cognitive disabilities at 18 Philly schools

The program, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, will reach some 2,000 students.

Digitability's launch event, at Hill Freedman World Academy.

(Photo via @Digitability on Twitter)

Correction: The program will serve nearly 2,000 students, not 1,000, as was originally reported. (1/5/18, 9:48 a.m.)

Preparing kids with cognitive disabilities for an increasingly tech-driven reality is the aim of Digitability, the startup formerly known as Autism Expressed, creators of a workplace-readiness training program.

A new partnership with Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry’s Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) will let the company deploy its system at 18 Philly schools, reaching close to 2,000 students aged 14–21 across the Philadelphia School District. The deal also opens up the door for Digitability to reach 67 counties across the commonwealth.

“This partnership is a game changer for the city of Philadelphia,” said founder and CEO Michele McKeone. “We’re bringing together educators, city officials and employers to solve a real city problem for people who are traditionally pigeonholed into being unemployed and underemployed.”

The OVR partnership, launched Tuesday at Hill Freedman School World Academy with some 130 teachers, is funding the program for students throughout the course of the school year. The startup had already piloted an early version of its program in the Philly school district, where McKeone formerly worked as a consultant and facilitator of an autistic-support classroom.

Advertisement

“The way we’re different than other programs,” McKeone told Technical.ly, “is that we prepare them for a tech-driven and highly social workplace. It’s designed to make sure that students can generalize, that is, apply their skills in a variety of experiences and settings.”

The program does that through workplace simulations, where students work together to transform the classroom into an office setting and take on projects from beginning to end.

“Every student has a role to play,” McKeone said. “Everybody applies for a job. We provide a wide range of tools so that this can be done with a wide range of cognitive profiles.”

The company has five employees and a few part-timers and contractors working out of Northern Liberties.

-30-
VIEW COMMENTS

Advertisement

6 ways your tech is making it harder on people with disabilities

Who will build Reading Terminal Market’s new ecommerce platform?

This NextFab hackathon looks to rethink accessibility at nursing care facilities

SPONSORED

Philly

Vistar Media’s tech stack is not for the faint-of-heart

Philadelphia

Practice

Director of Sales

Apply Now
Philadelphia, PA

Linode

Senior Cloud Client Executive

Apply Now
Philadelphia

Practice (Instructure)

Senior Software Engineer

Apply Now

EvoXLabs founder Ather Sharif joined a leadership program for people with disabilities

At the Science Center, 12 West Philly school kids learned about STEM and design

Data error bumps Temple’s Online MBA program from No. 1 to unranked

SPONSORED

Philly

Grow your small business with Salesforce at this Jan. 10 event

Philadelphia

Practice (Instructure)

Senior Software Engineer in Test

Apply Now
Philadelphia

Practice (Instructure)

Software Engineer in Test

Apply Now
Center City, Philadelphia

IntegriChain

Senior Business Analyst

Apply Now

Sign-up for regular updates from Technical.ly

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!