Setting up distance learning for students who were forced out of school by the pandemic is a challenge, but it’s even more of a challenge for educators to figure out how to best educate students with disabilities.
One nonprofit organization in South Florida is doing everything they can to make sure their students are staying on track.
“COVID-19 affected me [a lot] because I’m a friendly person. It’s tearing me a part right now because I like to hang out with my friends and I can’t do that now because we have to social distance,” said student at Marino Campus, Brandon Stewart.
The Marino Campus is a school funded by the Dan Marino Foundation that gives young adults with autism and other developmental disabilities a post-secondary educational opportunity.
“I came to the Marino Campus for computer hardware networking, it’s called CHN, and I’m getting my IT fundamentals certificate,” said Brandon.
“We do believe that students with disabilities that being in-person and having that interaction with our students is very important,” said Stephanie Rivera, Director of Admissions at Marino Campus.
Stephanie says they’ve created smaller classroom settings by providing a hybrid model for students.
“We do require masks, temperature checks and we have social distancing in place. We have modified schedules and class times. We want to have face to face interactions with our students with a little bit of virtual learning,” said Stephanie.
The Marino Campus has a 10 month program that helps students find internships in their field of computer technology or hospitality.
“We definitely think that the internship is that hands-on skills that they’re learning that’s important in order for them to find a job. We also have workshops here for our students regards to management, relationships, hygiene and health that’s helpful for our students just to transition from high school. We want our students to become more independent,” added Stephanie.
Brandon is about to graduate from the program and says he can’t wait to get to work.
“My dream job is to become a manager at a business like GeekSquad,” said Brandon.
The Marino campus provides one-on-one support through zoom for students who may need extra help during distance learning. If you’re interested in this program, click here.