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Fast Track & Reaching Our Dreams


Katie Blank

Manager – Youth Institute

(312) 640-2103

In-school programs for students with disabilities

Fast Track

Fast Track encourages students with disabilities to think about their futures; it begins to prepare the students for entering the work force or pursuing post-secondary education.

Fast Track coordinators visit schools to conduct five to eight workshops that focus on job exploration, workplace readiness, continuing education options, disability awareness, and self-advocacy training. The workshops are tailored to meet the needs of participating students.

Workshop subjects include:

  • Job inventories, with coordinators working with students to determine what jobs they might like to have after high school, and what steps they will need to take to get there
  • An introduction to resumes and job interviews
  • Continuing education options
  • Disability history and awareness
  • Independent living skills
  • Communications skills
  • Work-site tours
  • Accessibility accommodations, with coordinators and students discussing students’ IEP or 504 plans, the accommodations students receive at high school, and how those accommodations might translate to college or the workplace
A classroom filled with rows of desks.
Fast Track and Reaching Our Dreams teach young people skills to build their own, independent futures.

Program Criteria

  • Students must be between the ages of 14 to 21
  • Students must have an IEP, 504 plan, or medical diagnosis of disability
  • While the program focuses on freshmen and sophomores, juniors and seniors may also attend
  • No participating student may have an open case with Department of Rehabilitation Services

Reaching Our Dreams

Reaching Our Dreams (ROD) is a program available to youth currently participating in Fast Track. Participants learn life skills to help them be as independent as possible.

Subjects can include:

  • Healthy eating
  • Transportation
  • Disability history and awareness
  • Communication skills
  • Self-care

ROD workshops occur in conjunction with Fast Track lessons. Workshop subjects can be modified to meet the needs of students and teachers.

How do I get Fast Track and Reaching Our Dreams at my school?

Fast Track and Reaching our Dreams are offered only through schools. If you are a parent, guardian, student, or an educator interested in having one or both of these programs in your school, please contact our Youth Team.