How did Drew, Ryan, Cory and Tyler reach their goal of getting their driver’s license? Angela Walsh-Fisher, a JCDS community employment specialist, recalls how the idea got off the ground.
“At one of our self-advocacy meetings, when we asked our group what they would like to advocate for in their own lives, a majority said they wanted to learn to drive,” said Walsh. “Before we left I promised them that I would make some calls to see what I could find out.”
Those calls led Walsh to Josh Smith, program director for Transportation at Johnson County Community College and Vanessa Fernandez, a JCCC Driver’s Education instructor. Fernandez was able to take the JCCC one-day, 8-hour course, and split it into four separate sessions. The result was a program that contained shorter class times with the curriculum delivered at a slower pace that includes testing accommodations. The amount of behind-the-wheel training is determined by Fernandez for each student.
Once Walsh and Fernandez finalized the class structure, they held an informational meeting in March 2017 to explain the program. More than 50 people attended the meeting and the two offered classes quickly filled up.
Fernandez is pleased with how the class has turned out and is glad she can help people get a driver’s license who may not have been able to before this program.
“I’m very happy with who I put on the road,” said Fernandez. “They deserve to drive and they do a good job.”
This course will be offered in September and information is available online on page 84 for the Fall 2017 Continuing Education Catalog.