Independence and Literacy Education for Adults with Disabilities (I-LEAD)
I-LEAD (Independence and Literacy Education for Adults with Disabilities) is a Central Piedmont College and Career Readiness program that provides specialized education and transition courses for adults with a diagnosed intellectual disability, traumatic brain injury, or other special learning need.
What You Will Learn
Learn skills for independent living, successful employment, and active participation in the community. I-LEAD courses help you improve your reading and writing, interpersonal skills, math and money management, consumer skills, community living, job success skills, government knowledge, and basic computer skills. Specialized transition programs, such as Project Search, help you gain real-life work experience through internships with local area employers.
be officially withdrawn from your last K-12 public, private, or home school
have a documented diagnosis of an intellectual disability or traumatic brain injury
have the ability to complete an assessment at an offered level
have the ability to independently navigate campus
Attend an I-LEAD Information/Orientation Session
Check back for details on future sessions.
We encourage you to have a family member, friend, or other support come to the information session with you.
Info sessions are for new students only. If you are a current I-LEAD student and want to know about future terms, contact the I-LEAD office.
Take Placement Tests
Your placement test results allow us to meet you at a level you need for your instruction. We will schedule your testing after you attend the I-LEAD information session.
Register for Classes
After you complete the placement test, you will talk with an advisor to choose your classes. The class you are placed in also depends on class availability. I-LEAD often operates on a wait-list, but we do our best make the wait as short as possible.
Once you have completed at least one year of I-LEAD classes, you will be given the opportunity to apply for Project Search. Project Search is a national initiative that helps students with significant intellectual disabilities learn important employability skills by connecting them with available internship opportunities. This year-long real-world experience gives you an opportunity to:
contextualize literacy instruction to the world of work
receive a free internship experience and employability skills training
rotate through different internship experiences at Mercy Hospital
work in high-status organizations and learn high-demand skill sets
develop your strengths
work towards becoming more independent in areas such as employment, transportation, and daily living
Discover fulfilling careers and work with our partnering organizations, such as Mercy Hospital, to develop marketable and transferable skills that may lead to competitive employment. Our Project Search internship sites meet your strengths, creating meaningful learning environments that empower you to learn, achieve, and succeed. Graduates who complete the year-long program leave with:
a career plan that will guide you through your educational and future employment journey
continued, personalized job coaching and training
employability skills for future employment
valuable work experience and references that can be added to your resume
improved math, reading, and writing skills for the workplace
Once eligible, complete an application. You will then be interviewed by a multidisciplinary team to determine eligibility and suitability. You will attend four days a week for six hours a day. The day is divided between literacy/employability skills training and rotation through three different internships with various hospital-related job functions. All classes and internships are held at Mercy Hospital in Charlotte, NC.