Pennsylvania program helps disabled practice independence

hari DeGeorge wants to become a waitress — even if she has a lot of obstacles to overcome.

DeGeorge, 19, of North Huntington has Down syndrome. Because of her disability, she may never drive. And she is extremely shy.

But for the next year or two, DeGeorge and her twin sister, Jill, who has Down syndrome, will learn how to run a household and see what it takes to work in food service as part of a new program sponsored by the Allegheny Intermediate Unit.

“I want to go shopping,” said DeGeorge, a Norwin High School graduate. “I can’t wait to be able to plan everyone’s meals.”

The intermediate unit on Thursday conducted an open house of the newly renovated Dormont dwelling that will serve as a daytime training center for a program that starts this fall and continues through the school year.

The DeGeorges and six other young adults ages 18 to 21 — all high school graduates — will be responsible for food shopping, cleaning and other household chores. Each afternoon, they will visit workplaces to learn more about possible job paths.

via Disabled to get chance at independence – Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

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