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Groups to work together for special-needs program

Published: Wednesday, July 23, 2014 12:18 p.m. CDT
(Photo provided)
From left: Students Colin Francis and Patrick Smith work on office work through a partnership with the La Grange Area Department of Special Education and Loyola University to help students with special needs get work experience.

LA GRANGE – The La Grange Area Department of Special Education and the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine have partnered together to give special education students an opportunity to work at the university.

Through the program, high school-aged students work at the school from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday during the summer. The students do a variety of office work, including discarding documents, sorting through files and more, according to Donna Karl, director of Administration for the Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Therapeutics at Loyola.

"It's a good experience for these students," Karl said. "It's letting them know what it's like to work in the real world."

Karl, who has a 23-year-old daughter with special needs, said the program gives special needs students a sense of accomplishment.

"It's really hard for students like this to find jobs," Karl said. "They just need a little extra training. You want them to become independent." 

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