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October is Disability Employment Awareness Month and we look forward to this time every year when a national spotlight is turned onto the contributions persons with disabilities make to our workforce.

The Florida Department of Education (FDOE) also uses this important month to recognize Disability History & Awareness weeks during the first two weeks of October. School districts are encouraged to provide instruction for students in all public schools to expand student knowledge, understanding and awareness of individuals with disabilities, disability history, and the disability rights movement. FDOE resources to help promote this awareness are available on their website.

The Able Trust has also developed a series of webinars during Disability Employment Awareness Month and I hope you will join this week's webinar that focuses on opportunities and challenges students with disabilities face as they transition to post-secondary education. Additional information is below and be sure to register!

As always, we want to ensure our students are able to participate in great experiences that expose them to potential career opportunities. For information on how to get involved in providing these experiences, check out the How to Get Started article below. Engagement from our community partners and local leaders is crucial and if you're an employer, please reach out to me if you are interested in sharing information about your organization or industry with HSHT students in your area.

I look forward to working with you!

Coleen Agner

High School High Tech State Director 

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High School High Tech (HSHT) programs are located in 42 sites across Florida. HSHT program coordinators work with local employers that have an interest in helping students gain valuable career-related knowledge and experience.

Providing HSHT students with the opportunity to gain work-based experience while still in high school provides a number of tangible benefits:

- Gaining insight into various careers, professions and educational pathways;

- Developing an understanding of different work environments;

- Expanding professional networks and contacts; and 

- Providing an opportunity to reflect on personal career interests and skills.

As with any student preparing to graduate from high school, having the opportunity to spend time in a workplace setting is vital to their future success. It also benefits the employer, providing a useful strategy for the employer in building an inclusive workplace.

These career experiences are typically coordinated between the HSHT coordinator and the employer. This gives the HSHT coordinator the opportunity to educate the employer about working with a person with a disability. If you would like to get connected with a High School High Tech program in your area, contact Coleen Agner at coleen@abletrust.org.


Ashton Morgan

Ashton is a senior and attends the High School High Tech (HSHT) program at West Nassau High School. He has participated in HSHT for four years and credits the program for helping him learn about a number of different jobs.

Currently, Ashton works at Publix at The Crossings at Wildlight as a Front Service Clerk (or Bagger). Employing persons with disabilities is a part of the Publix culture and Ashton says one of the things he enjoys about his job at Publix is being part of a team.


REGISTRATION CLOSING SOON Don't miss this important conversation Wednesday, October 12, 9:00 - 10:00 a.m. with education leaders Donna Phillips, Franklin Coker and Tracy Dempsey from Project 10: Transition Education Network. The webinar will focus on opportunities and challenges students with disabilities face as they transition to post-secondary education.


This impactful presentation reviews state and national employment initiatives and transition services; highlights strategies and supports for increasing self-advocacy and self-determination skills; identifies work skills, attitudes and gaps in today’s workforce; and provides resources for teaching working skills. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Publix Super Markets and The Able Trust Virtual Event

Upcoming Dates: 

- October 11th - 1 to 3 p.m.

- October 27th - 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

- October 27th - 1 to 3 p.m.

Click here for information.

Kennedy Space Center Mentoring Day 2022 

Kennedy Space Center created a virtual tour to be used for disABILITY Mentoring Day 2022. Individuals or groups are welcome to attend.

Click her for information. 

 A Consortium of Florida Education Foundation webinar will take place November 2, from 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. Labor shortages and skills gaps are concerns facing Florida's business leaders across industries. Florida's workforce education leaders have been responding with a Credentials Review Committee to help school districts and their partners focus efforts on helping students attain high value credentials that are aligned with industry needs and have high earning potential.

Click here to register. 





High School High Tech programs help open doors for the students with disabilities who participate. If you're interested in getting involved, there are several ways to become engaged:

  • Host your local HSHT site and let them see what happens in your industry.
  • Mentor a HSHT student to give them the real-world experience that is vital to entering the workforce.
  • Adopt a HSHT site to expand student experiences and resources.

To learn more, contact Coleen Agner,

High School High Tech State Director, 

at Coleen@abletrust.org.

A Special Thank You to Supporters of The Able Trust

High School High Tech Program

AT&T Foundation

Batchelor Foundation

Florida Department of

Education, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

Leon Cares

Magruder Foundation

Wells Fargo Foundation

About High School High Tech (HSHT)

High School High Tech is a program that provides high school students with disabilities the opportunity to explore jobs and post-secondary education leading to in-demand careers. Established in 1996, HSHT connects students to a broad range of academic and career development resources and experiences that will help prepare them to meet the demands of the 21st-century workforce. For information, visit www.abletrust.org.

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