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Job Fair Aims to Ease ‘Transitition’ for Students with Special Needs

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TAYLOR -- There's a lot to consider when your child is getting ready to graduate from high school. It's an even tougher time for parents of students with special needs.

A job fair in Lackawanna County is aiming to make graduation easier for those families.

Riverside High School senior Chancey Bradley is a bit nervous about finishing high school this spring, his mom, even more so.

“He`s having a hard time with, you know, deciding where he wants to go. He`d like to be a zoologist and go to college, but he also tells me he`s not ready yet either,” said Lori Bradley of Moosic.

Chancey has autism. He was joined by dozens of other students from Lackawanna County who have intellectual or learning  disabilities like he does.

Each year, Allied Services hosts a transitional job fair for special education students who are nearing the end of their high school education. Students spoke with potential employers. They also got a tour of Allied Services' warehouse facility, a place where they could work.

This transitional job fair isn`t only for jobs. There are more and more college programs in our area for people with intellectual disabilities.

Dunmore High School senior Lauren DeSando was most happy about that information.

“Because, I can go to college!”

There's a growing number of specialized programs at existing colleges and universities in Lackawanna County. Because of that, Lauren now has a plan.

“Yeah, I`m going to go to Turning Point at Lackawanna,” she said.

The job fair is aimed to show students their options. They can continue their education or join the work force. Lori Bradley and her son were at least looking for a confidence boost.

“It`s just a great thing to see that all these, I`m surprised at all these people. It just shows me that people really do care about people like us,” Chancey Bradley said.

And that's the most important lesson organizers hoped the students would take home with them.