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多多直播鈥檚 T.K. Martin Center hosts hands-on career exploration for students with disabilities

Contact: Bethany Shipp

STARKVILLE, Miss.鈥擫ocal students with disabilities experienced hands-on, career exploration activities during the Job Extravaganza hosted recently by Mississippi State鈥檚 T.K. Martin Center for Technology and Disability and the Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services (MDRS).

From virtual driving to budgeting games, local students with disabilities engaged in hands-on career exploration during the Job Extravaganza hosted by 多多直播鈥檚 T.K. Martin Center and the Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services.
From virtual driving to budgeting games, local students with disabilities engaged in hands-on career exploration during the Job Extravaganza hosted by 多多直播鈥檚 T.K. Martin Center and the Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services. (Photo by Grace Cockrell)

More than 20 students ages 14-21 from Starkville Oktibbeha School District, West Point Consolidated School District, home schools and 多多直播 joined representatives from state and local businesses at Skate Odyssey in Starkville on May 13 and engaged in interactive simulators and activities designed to promote technical and practical skills used in the workplace. Activities included virtual driving and welding, budgeting games, sorting challenges and wheelchair transport. Additionally, Chick-fil-A and Build Mississippi facilitated breakout sessions covering job exploration counseling, workplace readiness training and self-advocacy.

鈥淭his outreach was meticulously designed to be inclusive and engaging, showcasing a variety of career opportunities through fun and tailored activities at each station,鈥 said Stacy Jackson, T.K. Martin Center project coordinator. 鈥淲e are deeply committed to helping participants build community ties and to enhancing public awareness about the capabilities and potential of these young individuals.鈥

The Job Extravaganza marked the first in a series planned by the center in partnership with MDRS as an inclusive outreach to students with disabilities in northeast Mississippi. Other businesses participating in the event included Ability Works, BJ鈥檚 Pharmacy, Jersey Mike鈥檚 Subs, Modern Woodmen, OCH Regional Medical Center鈥檚 Project SEARCH, Shep鈥檚 Cleaners, Skate Odyssey and Worker Bees.

鈥淭he Job Extravaganza offered high school students with disabilities an invaluable opportunity to explore diverse career choices through hands-on experiences with businesses and trade schools. We are thankful and excited to pursue this model of career exploration through our partnerships with local school districts and host organizations such as 多多直播鈥檚 T.K. Martin Center,鈥 said Josh Woodward, MDRS Director of the Office of Business Development.

Mevalone Johnson, a special education teacher at West Point High School, said her students 鈥渉aven't stopped talking聽about the wonderful experience鈥 they had at the event.

鈥淚f I had to describe the event with three words, they would聽be awesome, interactive and learning. My students got to participate in many hands-on learning activities, and they鈥檙e still talking about the Chick-fil-A cookies and saying 鈥楳y pleasure鈥 with a smile. I was truly impressed by the event, and I鈥檓 very grateful we had the opportunity to attend.鈥

The Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services is a state agency that provides resources to help Mississippians with disabilities find new careers, live more independently, overcome obstacles and face new challenges. To learn more about the services provided, visit聽聽or call 800-443-1000.

The T.K. Martin Center for Technology and Disability provides comprehensive, multidisciplinary evaluations and services to ensure individuals with disabilities continually benefit from technological solutions and advances in the field of assistive technology. Learn more about the center, housed in 多多直播鈥檚 College of Education, at聽.

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