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Limitless Opportunities, Limitless Futures

By Apryl McCurdy, Guidance Counselor, Alabama School for the Deaf

A student works to repair a radio in a car.At Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind (AIDB), our motto is Deaf. Blind. Limitless. This is especially true for the Alabama School for the Deaf (ASD) students in the Work Experience Program available through the Career Tech Department. Through job placements on campus and across Talladega, the Work Experience Program equips students with the necessary skills to succeed in their future careers.

This school year, students in the Work Experience Program are learning entrepreneurship through operating a tea cart. Students learn how to make healthy teas similar to local nutrition drink shops. They practice making tea recipes, learn how to mix flavors, and set up their mixes to be sampled by customers. After they are comfortable with making their product, they begin taking orders and practice marketing what they have available. Once ordered and made, the students deliver drinks to their customers. While delivering, they also collect money for the items and give change when necessary.

Another popular worksite for students is the AIDB Transportation Department. Students hop on the bus and are taken to AIDB’s Transportation Department or E. H. Gentry Facility’s Automotive Work Experience classroom during their class period. Students work alongside the mechanics and other staff to wash and detail school buses and other fleet vehicles while gaining valuable experience and job skills.

A student works to put a tire on a car. His instructor looks on proudly.At any point in the day, students can also be found around campus working in various positions such as teacher aides, office aides and recreational aides. Almost every department benefits from student workers, but the students receive the greater benefit. Students gain practical job skills as well as professional skills such as teamwork.

According to Brooke Shepherd, Work Experience Program Coordinator at ASD, “This program’s goal is to provide students with real-world work experience within the school or community. Our students develop the confidence and maturity needed to thrive in their chosen careers.”

With the lifelong skills learned in the Work Experience Program, students from Alabama School for the Deaf can limitlessly tackle any career they choose!