Vocational Training Boosts Independence for Disabled Adults


Vocational training provides career guidance and assessment to help people find the type of jobs they enjoy, ensuring long-term employment.

Benefits of Vocational Training

Training assists students, through career counseling, to identify and expand their current skill sets and determine new interests. The benefits of vocational training are not limited to simply finding a job, however.

Social skills are also addressed. For instance, team building, working with others, and learning how to deal with stressful situations are all areas of focus. These talents will provide a positive impact on students' daily lives.

Vocational training provides students the opportunity to develop friendships, advance their self-image, and develop a base for financial triumph, which otherwise may not be possible.

How It Works

Training often begins in the community centers, giving counselors the opportunity to assess any limitations such as medical, physical, or psychological. These community centers offer well-trained staff members to serve the disabled persons and treat them with respect. Included in their services are resources that might focus on cultivating students' reasoning skills and advancing their learning abilities. Additionally, physical therapy is available for those who need help expanding their range of motion or muscle stimulation. Through patience and determination, these students accomplish their goals and often surpass their expectations. Their creativity and self-confidence grow as they embark on their new journey.

Students of vocational training learn how to use local community resources, such as libraries and public transportation. Often times, students find their passion for helping others by volunteering in programs such as animal rescue or working with the homeless population by serving meals.

Staff members are not only trained to teach and work with students and residents, they are often trained in CPR, crisis management, and emergency response. The ratio of teachers to students is generally kept low to allow for special individualized attention. To gain access to these programs, the individual must be certified as disabled. Division of Developmental Disabilities commonly provides this information. Transport to and from the centers is usually provided, and the programs often receive state funding.

Examples of Job Training

The vocational training program prepares disabled individuals for occupations that will sustain them for life. One such example is assembly production, where students learn collating, heat sealing, and digital weighing for example. They provide hands-on experience during the training sessions, as well as quality control instructions.

Students may also choose litter abatement, residential lawn services, or even grounds maintenance services. Jobs like commercial lawn mowing and janitorial services offer students an opportunity to move into a more satisfying lifestyle. These are substantial careers that can assist the disabled in reaching financial freedom and social acceptance.

The janitorial platform includes vacuuming, dusting, trash collection, and floor maintenance. Students might also be trained for a career in recycling, where they would be responsible for curbside collections and separating. All these positions are constantly searching for properly trained and dedicated workers.

Vocational training programs provide disabled people an opportunity to develop friendships, improve their self-worth, and develop a basis for financial success. The team works together to ensure a smooth integration into the job market and assists with job placement.

To learn more about their options for vocational training, readers should visit

Attend A College That Has Your Back


More than two million students enter college each year with the expectation that the colleges they attend will take care of them when problems and emergencies pop up. Some students will be pleased with the way their college responds to their issues while others will be disappointed, some may even be outraged.

So many things happen on college campuses today that incoming students never anticipate. To make better comparisons, include these factors when evaluating colleges to attend.

College Comparison Factors

1. Credible Information - Does the college do a good job of informing students about the good, the bad and the ugly?

2. Environment - Are Administrators and Professors student- oriented? Are they concerned about student learning and success?

3. Students - Are fellow students happy, friendly and helpful? Be sure to speak with as many students as possible. Try to talk to some students in your field of study.

4. Crime - Are the campus and surrounding areas safe? How many thefts take place on campus each year? Does the college provide students with statistics and safety advice? How effective is the Security Force? How many students were robbed or assaulted last year?

5. Rape and Sexual Assaults - Does your college report and publish statistics on rapes? Is rape prevention training provided to students? Are rapists dealt with quickly and firmly? How many rapes have taken place during the past five years?

6. Drug Usage - How prevalent are drugs at this college? When was the last drug raid? What kind of help do addicted students receive? How many deaths have resulted from the use of drugs?

7. Alcohol - Is this a party school? Is alcohol allowed on campus?

8. Hazing - Do Sororities, Fraternities, Clubs, Organizations and Honor Societies use Hazing, as part of their initiation process?

9. Deaths - On average, how many students die each year? What is the five-year history of deaths?

10. Emergency Notification Procedures - Keeping students safe when there is a dangerous person on campus is critical. What is the procedure? How effective has it been in the past?

11. Medical Help - How responsive and effective is the Campus Medical Department? How far is the hospital? Do students know how to get help, when there is a medical emergency?

12. Tutoring - Is tutoring available to students in your field of study? Is help available from your Professors?

13. Diversity - Are there Students, Administrators and Professors of many different races, religions and cultures on your campus, in the dorms and the classrooms?

14. Harassment - How does your college deal with students who consistently harass others? Are the students being harassed informed of their options and rights?

15. Dispute Resolution - Is there a dispute resolution process in place and communicated to students? Does it work?

16. Employment Assistance - Since Job Search Preparation is an ongoing process that begins in the first year of college and ends when the student accepts a job, does the college put enough time, people and resources into helping students get prepared?

17. Clubs, Organizations and Activities - Colleges that offer an enjoyable college experience provide a variety of ways for students to learn, participate, contribute and succeed. Does the college meet your needs in this area?

18. Parking - Students with automobiles should investigate the availability, fees, rules and penalties regarding parking on campus. Is the parking situation acceptable to you?

19. On-time Graduation Rates - The availability of required classes can be a problem for students, as they near graduation. Does the college give preference to upper class students who must get into a class, in order to graduate? Paying for another semester is an expensive solution.

20. Counseling Services - Large numbers of students receive counseling. What is the availability and effectiveness of the counselors you may need?

21. Cost / Reputation - Does the college have a good reputation in your field of study? How many employers visit the college to recruit students in your field? Should you consider going to a more expensive college, one that attracts employers in your field?

As students and their parents research, visit and evaluate the colleges on their list, they should dig in deeply to uncover the information necessary to make a decision that is right for them. Since this list is not all-inclusive, students and parents can add to it, before they start to make comparisons. Students should make certain that they identify the colleges that will have their backs.

Bob Roth, a former campus recruiter, is the author of five books, including: A Successful Senior Year Job Search Begins In The Freshman Year. Known as The "College & Career Success" Coach, Bob writes articles for College Career Services Offices, Campus Newspapers, Parent Associations and Employment Web Sites. Bob has created The Job Search Preparation System™ for colleges to use to help students find greater success in the job market. Visit Bob's web site

Good Luck To The Classes of 2018. Best Wishes During This School Year!

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Q.  Last summer my son was stung by a bee that led to swelling and a horrible allergic reaction.  I’m afraid that the same thing will happen this year but I can’t lock him up in the house all summer.  Do you have any suggestions?

A.  As the weather gets warmer we will encounter many insects.  Here are some to keep away from!   Many bugs give us reason for pause, including poisonous spiders, chiggers, bees and lice. But few get under our skin – quite literally – like the tick.


Be careful of ticks — they can attach as you brush past grass and plants. Ticks don't always carry diseases, and most bites are not serious. But they can carry diseases including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.  To prevent tick bites, keep your arms, legs, and head covered when outdoors. Use tick repellant with DEET but not on children under 2 years old. Check for ticks after spending time in grassy or wooded areas. You don't usually need to test your child or the tick and your child doesn't need antibiotics after a tick bite. Instead, you should just watch your child for symptoms, especially a rash developing at the site of the tick bite and/or a fever. Saving the tick in a container might be helpful though. Other things to keep in mind:

  • tick infections, except Rocky Mountain spotted fever, are usually not transmitted from dog ticks, which are larger than the deer ticks that carry many of these infections. Dogs and other pets can carry deer ticks though.
  • ticks are most likely to transmit infection after feeding for two or more days, so you can greatly reduce your child's risk of infection by doing daily tick checks, especially when your child is outdoors a lot, such as when hiking or camping, in high risk areas.
  • there is usually a seasonal pattern to tick infections, such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever which are most common during the late spring and summer months in the United States.

The symptoms of tick infections depend on what bacteria the tick was carrying. The most commonly recognized symptom is usually a rash, which can look like:

  • the classic "bull's-eye" rash, erythema migrans, that occurs with Lyme disease
  • a similar red, expanding rash with central clearing following the bite of the lone star tick in the southeast or south central United States, causing Southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI).
  • the more subtle rash with small, flat, pink, non-itchy spots (macules) on the wrists, forearms, and ankles that children with Rocky Mountain spotted fever can get


Wood piles and tree stumps — that's where poisonous female Black Widow Spiders hide.  Black widow spider bites may cause sharp, shooting pain up the limb, but they can also be painless.  Severe muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting, seizure, and a rise in blood pressure may follow soon after. Get medical care immediately. Anti–venom medicine is available.  Most bites occur in rural and suburban areas and occur between the months of April and October. These spiders tend to bite defensively when their webs are disturbed. Bites to babies and children may be more serious than bites to adults.

What are the signs and symptoms of a black widow spider bite?

In most cases of a black widow spider bite, symptoms consist only of:

*  Minimal to sharp pain followed by swelling and redness at the site of the bite.                  
*  One or two small fang marks like tiny red spots.
In some cases, severe symptoms appear within 30 to 60 minutes. These include:

*  Muscle cramps and spasms that start near the bite and then spread and increase in  severity for 6 to 12 hours.
*  Chills, fever, nausea, or vomiting.
*Severe abdominal, back, or chest pain
*Stupor, restlessness, or shock.
 *Severely high blood pressure.


Fleas are small, wingless, agile insects that live off the blood of their host – and they don't just bite pets. They dine on people, too.  The best solution is to get rid of fleas on pets and in your home. Keep pets out of your bed and be sure to vacuum rugs daily. Spray insecticides on infested areas. Consider using a once–a–month insecticide on your pet.  Flea bites usually cause only mild symptoms in humans that can be relieved by home treatment measures, such as nonprescription cortisone cream.

Signs and symptoms of flea bites may include:

·         Zigzag lines, especially on the feet and legs and in the waist areas.

·         Intense itching.
·         A single hive or wheal.
·         Dull red spots that last even after other symptoms disappear.
·         Blisters or open sores in highly sensitive people.

Adult fleas may live in floor crevices, debris, and carpeting for years and can survive for months without feeding. In rare cases, they can carry disease, such as plague.


When a bee stings it loses the stinger and dies. But a wasp, hornet, or yellow jacket can inflict multiple stings because it does not lose the stinger. These stings can cause serious reactions in children who are allergic to them.  What to do?  Apply ice, take oral antihistamine for itching, and take ibuprofen or acetaminophen for pain relief.  If there is a severe anaphylactic reaction, lie down and carefully remove the stinger. Use an EpiPen (epinephrine) if you have one. Get immediate medical care. 

Examples of problems that are more serious include:

A severe allergic reaction or anaphylaxis:  Severe allergic reactions are not common but can be life-threatening and require emergency care. Signs or symptoms may include:

Shock, which may occur if the circulatory system cannot get enough blood to the vital   organs.
*Coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing, or feeling of fullness in the mouth or throat                
*Swelling of the lips, tongue, ears, eyelids, palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and mucous membranes (angioedema).
*Lightheadedness and confusion.
*Nausea, diarrhea, and stomach cramps.
 *Hives and reddening of the skin. These symptoms often occur with other symptoms of a severe reaction.


When Scabies mites get into the skin, they can cause a big skin problem. The mites spread through skin–to–skin contact with an infected person — or by sharing towels, bed linens, and other objects.  Intense itching and skin sores don't appear until several weeks after mites get into skin. The itching is very severe and usually worse at night.  Yes, scabies is still around! 


Their name tells the tale, as these tiny insects tend to hide in bedding. They are often found in hotels, shelters, and apartment complexes — and can hitch a ride into your home aboard luggage, pets, and boxes.  Bedbugs leave itchy, red bites on the skin, usually on the arms or shoulders. More of a nuisance than a health hazard, it is possible to develop an infection from scratching. 


Mosquitoes aren't just annoying. Scratching a bite can cause a skin infection. Also, mosquitoes can carry West Nile virus, dengue fever, and other diseases. To protect yourself from mosquitoes, apply insect repellent and cover up when you go outdoors. Use window screens, and get rid of standing water in your yard.

Other Pest!

Not a biter but pretty dirty is the House Fly!  A housefly is a dirty insect — carrying more than 1 million bacteria on its body. It can spread intestinal infections by contaminating food. To control flies, keep food and garbage in closed containers and use window screens on your home. Cockroaches are not just ugly. Cockroaches carry diseases like salmonella. When they die, the carcasses trigger allergic reactions and asthma.  It helps to use pesticides, keep a clean kitchen, and repair cracks and holes in floors and walls. Chiggers are tiny mites that live in areas with grass or brush. Chiggers, also known as red bugs or harvest mites, usually cannot be seen without a magnifying glass.  Chiggers attach to skin pores and feed on skin cells for a few days, most often in the warm creases of the body. In the United States chiggers do not cause any diseases. Don’t forget about Lice, too!

1.      Use insecticides while children are not at home and make sure to clean bedding, dishes and handles after so that children are not exposed to the chemicals. 

2.      Keep Benadryl and Benadryl ointment and pain killers in your home.

3.      Check out your home and the perimeter of your home for bee hives, wasp nests and standing water and remove them. 

4.      Dress your son in long pants and socks and use sun block and bug sprays when he is playing outside!

5.      Wear light colored clothing, so as not to attract bugs.

6.      Avoid using any scented soaps or other products on your baby, since the fragrances can also attract insects.

7.      Common insect repellents that can usually be safely used in children include those with less than 10% DEET, or others with citronella or soybean oil.

8.      Apply insect repellents to clothing instead of to skin so that it won't be absorbed.

9.      Wash off insect repellents as soon as possible.

10.  Avoid areas where insects nest.

11.  Remember that insect repellents do not protect against most stinging insects, including wasps, bees and fire ants.

12.  Use window and door screens to prevent insects from getting inside your house.

for more information. 

Good luck and Be Careful! 

Lisa-Anne Ray-Byers is a licensed and certified speech-language pathologist who has worked in education for over two decades. She holds graduate degrees in speech-language pathology and multicultural education. She also holds certification in educational administration. She is the author of the books, They Say I Have ADHD, I Say Life Sucks! Thoughts From Nicholas, They S S Say I am a St St Stutterer, But I S S Say Nothing! Meet Kelly, The Tail of a Black Panther and co-author of 365 Ways To Succeed With ADHD and 365+1 Ways to Succeed With ADHD all available at   She is a member of the National Education Writers Association and the education editor for the Community Journal newspaper.  She is currently employed in the Hempstead School District. You may contact her at or by visiting her website at

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