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Vocation Innovation Project

The Vocation Innovation Project (VIP) is a pre-employment transition service for high school students 16-21 years of age with a developmental disability.  In partnership with Arkansas Rehabilitation Services, ACCESS provides individuals the opportunity to learn work-readiness skills in preparation for competitive employment and independence.

Who we serve 

ACCESS Academy students ages 16-21 with a developmental disability who are looking to:

  • Discover opportunities available after high school
  • Learn what is expected of a desirable employee
  • Develop skills that will be useful in gaining competitive employment
  • Recognize how to advocate for their rights

VIP Curriculum

The unique curriculum offered through the Vocation Innovation Project teaches high school-aged students the important components of being a productive employee. The transferable vocational skills, combined with valuable on-the-job experience, give students the opportunity to discover various options for a post-secondary career or path.

  • Job Exploration

    Learn about your interests, skills, and abilities using specially designed assessment tools.

    • What do I like?
    • What are my strengths?
    • What are my weaknesses?
  • Work Readiness Training

    Develop social skills and increase understanding of independent living.

    • What do an employer expect of me?
    • How do I interview?
    • How do I dress?
    • How do I communicate with my boss?
  • Counseling On Post-Secondary Opportunities

    Realize the range of opportunities beyond high school.

    • Can I go to college?
    • What other kinds of trade schools or vocational training programs are there?
    • Do I want a job right out of high school?
  • Self-Advocacy

    Understand the importance of self-advocacy.

    • How do I assert myself?
    • How do I protect my interests?
    • How do I negotiate for myself in an interview or the workplace?
    • How do I appropriately exercise my rights as an individual with disabilities?
    • How do I plan for my future?
    • How do I set goals that set me up for success and independence?
  • Work-Based Training

    Practice the skills learned in the classroom setting during short-term job opportunities that allow participants to experience a competive work environment.

    • How can I apply what I learned in class?
    • How is this job different than what I practiced?
    • What changes do I need to make to adjust to the actual work environment?

ACCESS Academy

Vocation Innovation Project is offered to students of the ACCESS Academy. Learn more about our school-aged education program and why it is the most comprehensive special education program in Arkansas.


The project described was supported by Grant 18-AGI-001-16-SG and was made possible through funding provided under Public Law 106-402 as administered by the Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities for the State of Arkansas.