February 2010, Volume 14, Number 1

Academics

MEED students meet mobile technology

Student

Students with disabilities get essential workforce and computer training at the MEED (Model for Enhanced Employment Development) Academy at Wolfson Campus.

In their ample technological arsenal prominently figures the iPod, one of the key educational tools used to teach microcomputer skills to students with disabilities for application in a professional environment. In addition to iPods, students at the MEED Academy are also trained using Apple Macbooks because of their built-in accessibility and the vast number of applications and software available. Workshops offered through the Academy, as well as through business and industry leaders, not only cover the technological aspects of training, but also professional skills like organization and time management.

"This kind of experience can really work for almost any student," said Dr. Kenneth Marquard, director of ACCESS disability services and the MEED program. "The MEED program was originally designed to provide students with disabilities with something that would put them ahead in the job market, and this kind of training puts them right up at the forefront with competitive employment."

There are three components to a semester at the MEED Academy. Students must participate in digital training, which is usually made up of one-on-one training sessions in computers and software knowledge. They’re also required to attend workshops offered by the Professional Studies Institute, and have to fulfill an internship where they can apply their skills. During that internship they create a product, whether it be a poster, brochure, media presentation, Web page or database, to demonstrate their knowledge of a variety of software.

"The beauty of it is that they’re getting some real-work experience," Marquard said. "In a single semester you can really turn things around for a student by providing great resources and technology. Our focus and goal is to help students think about how they could be better professionals in order to achieve their own career goals."

— NM


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