By: María Ortiz Mojica, MEd., Director of PEV and ARV Projects

Reiterating its commitment to contribute to the strengthening of special education programs for youth (ages 14 to 21 inclusive) with disabilities in the transition process, Global Education Exchange Opportunities, Inc.(GEEO) has developed two projects during this school year that impact this population: Vocational Assessment Project and Pre-Employment Transition Services Workshop Project.

As part of the effort of the Associate Secretary of Special Education and in compliance with federal and state laws, the Vocational Evaluation Project was created, being GEEO the leading company in the performance of Vocational Evaluations for young people in the process of transition to post-secondary life. GEEO has certified evaluators in Vocational Evaluation and personnel with expertise in Special Education for the offering of Vocational Evaluation Tests, whose results are transformed into benefits for the student, teacher, parents and the school community. In this way, short and long term objectives can be worked into the students' Educational Programs (PEI) for their post-secondary life.

Another major work with our population of youth with disabilities is carried out through the Pre-Employment Transition Services Workshops Project contracted to GEEO by the Vocational Rehabilitation Administration. In order to facilitate pre-employment transition, GEEO designed four workshops through which 1200 Special Education Program and Section 504 students between the ages of 14 years old to 21 inclusive are impacted. 

Each workshop is aimed at developing and strengthening specific skills: 1) Self-advocacy instruction - focused on self-determination and its importance in the transition to adulthood; and reasonable accommodations, what are reasonable accommodations or modifications and how to request them; 2) Social and independent living skills development training for the world of work - focused on how to interview well for a job through videos, roleplay, pictorial material, among others, and the norms to follow in the work environment; 3) Career exploration counseling - focused on identifying vocational interests and post-secondary careers, discussion and interpretation of the results and offering information about the labor market in Puerto Rico; and, 4) Comprehensive or post-secondary transition counseling - focused on identifying post-secondary education alternatives such as: associate degrees, baccalaureate degrees, vocational technical programs AND, basic technology skills and their importance in the transition to post-secondary education.

In this way, GEEO continues its contribution to the development of programs that strengthen services to children and youth with disabilities, and compliance with federal and state laws that guarantee the provision of services to our students.

For additional information about Vocational Assessment Projects and Pre-Employment Transition Services Workshops, please contact Maria Ortiz Mojica at [email protected].