Get Involved

If you’re interested in attending a Project SEARCH programme, enrolling your young adult child, or in helping young people with disabilities gain the skills they need to get meaningful jobs, there are many ways to get involved with Project SEARCH.

Start a Project SEARCH

Getting Started

If you’re just learning about Project SEARCH, the first step is to gather as much information as you can by exploring this website, and then contact us at anne.o’

Once you’ve got a good grasp of the Project SEARCH design, the next step is to identify your partners. You’ll need to have these groups represented and on board to begin the programme:

  • Education: (School or College) provides an instructor, employability skills curriculum and student interns.
  • Supported Employment: provides individual career guidance, job coaching, job development for student interns at the host business site and externally as well as other supports to help each student gain full time, paid employment and provide job coaching in their initial job.
  • In-Work Supported Employment provider: This is preferably the same supported employment organisation that provides long-term job-retention services and support for eligible interns once they secure employment.
  • Host Business (Project SEARCH usually begins planning with the team before the host business is identified): provides an on-site training room, a business liaison, and a variety of internships that teach core competitive skills.

Women Sitting at Table

The third step is to coordinate a local meeting with all the partners represented, give an overview of the programme and ensure support from all partners.

Once all the partners are committed, one agency needs to sign the Project SEARCH licensing agreement. For this, contact us at anne.o’

A Project SEARCH team member from DFN/Project SEARCH can present to your local partners to generate excitement and provide knowledge about the programme. This session could be a presentation to the proposed host business and any other potential partner (such as the school or college or Local Government Authority), or a meeting with all local community partners to provide education and customise a timeline to meet your needs and interests.

Once you’ve signed the licensing agreement, you will receive Project SEARCH materials and documents. You can use the Project SEARCH timeline and implementation plan to get started.

Benefits to Partner Organisations

Host Business:

  • Access to a new, diverse, talent stream with skills that match labour needs
  • Interns/ employees with disabilities who serve as role models for patients/customers, families, and associates
  • Increased regional and national recognition through marketing of this unique programme
  • Dramatically improved performance and retention in some typically high-turnover, entry-level posts
  • Long-term changes in business culture that have far-reaching positive effects on attitudes about recruiting people with disabilities and the range of jobs in which they can be successful

Local Government, Schools, Colleges and Supported Employment Providers:

  • Partnership with other agencies that ensures a holistic approach to serving transition-aged and out-of-school young people
  • More efficient use of existing funding streams: sharing human and financial capital improves outcomes and saves time and resources for all partner organisations
  • Improved outcomes (career exploration, work experience, and learning of employability skills increases the overall skill level of the students and the likelihood of job success and retention)