23 May 2019 00:00:00 AM Breaking News
Scholarship Basics and TipsPolice Week: Appreciating Our Peace Officers and the Role of Career and Technical Educationhttps://blog.ed.gov/2017/06/9-myths-about-the-fsa-id-2/7 Options to Consider if You Didn’t Receive Enough Financial AidLearning Outside from the 2017 Green Strides Tour in GeorgiaVocational Rehabilitation Success Story: George (Burt) PetleyLongest Serving Sergeant Major of the Army to Highlight ED Veterans Day ProgramWhy You Should Celebrate National School Counseling WeekSecretary of Education. My Art Is a Reflection of My Story: National PTA Reflections Student Arts Showcase at EDRural Montana Students Become Citizen-Scientists through Place-Based LearningStudents Use Self-Directed Learning to Serve Their Community, One Foot at a TimeYouth Voice is Key to Spark Effective ChangeAutism – A Family’s Journey and the Lights Along the WayStudent Artists From Rose Tree Media School District Celebrated at the U.S. Department of EducationNational Blue Ribbon Schools—Breaking the MoldShe Will Never…APAHM Filled with Amazing Celebrations and Thoughtful DiscussionsBetsy’s Blog – What America Can Learn from Switzerland’s ApprenticeshipsPresident’s Education Awards Program: A Celebration of Student Achievement and Hard Work in the Classroom8 Common Public Service Loan Forgiveness MistakesOvercoming Homelessness and Poverty through EducationThe Many Roads to Becoming a Spelling Bee ChampionAchieving Gold: Asian American and Pacific Islander Students Convene for the 2018 Youth SummitNational Blue Ribbon Schools—Learning Requires Engagement5 Ways Agricultural Education and FFA Shape Students’ Futures15 Fast Facts about the Swiss Apprenticeship ProgramIt’s Time to Rethink Career and Technical EducationTime to Play and Learn: The 2019 ED Games Expo at the Kennedy Center

Vocational Rehabilitation Success Story: George (Burt) Petley

Burt began his path to employment in a sheltered workshop in 2007, where he did packaging and sorting tasks. Burt’s fellow participants and supervisors said he was dependable and with the support of his sister, Christie, Burt had reliable transportation. While Burt sometimes had difficulty with decision-making, repetitive tasks were an area where he excelled.

In March of 2017, Burt and Christie attended a group meeting at the sheltered workshop with GVRA staff, who presented on Vocational  Rehabiliation  (VR) services. Sherry Harris, from GVRA’s Augusta office, and Janice Cassidy, from the Athens office, explained supported employment and job coaching can be conduits toward competitive integrated employment and greater personal independence. Sherry and Janice explained that, in an inclusive workplace, individuals with disabilities would have the opportunity to earn the same wages as their coworkers and would not necessarily have to sacrifice services they may receive through a Medicaid waiver. Burt also learned about GVRA’s Work Incentive Navigators, who help individuals determine how going to work impacts disability benefits.

George “Burt” Petley

After hearing about the big picture and the spectrum of VR services available, Burt left the sheltered workshop program where he had spent the past ten years. He applied for VR services in June of 2017, first enrolling in a program where he learned socialization and independent living skills and took classes like American Sign Language, pottery, cooking, woodworking, healthy living, social skills and employability. That experience not only proved to be a valuable training opportunity for Burt, but it also led to a job offer when he was hired as a Woodworking Associate. Burt now works 13.5 hours/week earning minimum wage refurbishing furniture and looks forward to working more than 20 hours/week by the end of the year.

According to Burt’s family, he is content as a woodworker. Janice Cassidy shared that “Working with Burt has been a collaborative effort, but in reality, he is truly the star of this story. It began with his simple desire to do something other than continue to work at a sheltered workshop where he had worked for 10 years. Yes, he was certainly given information, told of resources and received supportive services from those helping him. Ultimately though, the person who took the necessary steps to move forward toward achieving his work goal was Burt. He exemplifies GVRA’s definition of true success. He made independent choices for his life, gathered necessary information, sought out potential resources and acted on choices made to realize the goal he was working toward. We wish Burt continued success in his work.”

 

Chris Pope is a WIOA Implementation Team Facilitator in the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services’ Rehabilitation Services Administration at the U.S. Department of Education.