Independence and Literacy Education for Adults with Disabilities (I-LEAD)
I-LEAD (Independence and Literacy Education for Adults with Disabilities) is a program through Central Piedmont's College and Career Readiness 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
Students learn skills for independent living, successful employment, and active participation in the community. I-LEAD courses help students improve their 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 students gain real-life work experience through internships with local area employers.
Students who have completed at least one year of I-LEAD classes are given the opportunity to apply for Project Search. Project Search is a national initiative through which students with significant intellectual disabilities learn important employability skills through connections to available internship opportunities in the marketplace. This year-long real-world experience gives individuals 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 their strengths
- work towards becoming more independent in areas such as employment, transportation and daily living
Our Project Search students 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 each student’s strengths, creating meaningful learning environments that empower students with disabilities to learn, achieve, and succeed. Graduates who complete the year-long program leave with:
- a career plan that will guide them through their educational and
- employment journey in the future
- continued, personalized job coaching and training
- employability skills for future employment
- valuable work experience and references that can be added to their
- improved math, reading, and writing skills for the workplace
Interested individuals complete an application and are interviewed by a multidisciplinary team to determine eligibility and suitability. Students attend four days/week for six hours/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.
Why Choose Central Piedmont
Central Piedmont's College and Career Readiness offers programs to develop students’ academic skills, earn a high school equivalency (GED or HiSET) or adult high school diploma, learn English as a second language (ESL), develop employability skills and participate in various work-based-learning experiences, or explore career and post-secondary educational opportunities. Many programs are free or at a very low cost for qualified participants.
Real World Education
At Central Piedmont, your education goes beyond what you learn in class. We offer numerous opportunities for you to enhance your learning — and to make friends, network, and pursue your passions — through clubs and organizations, sports, events and activities, leadership opportunities, job experience, volunteer experiences, visual and performing arts, and even international experiences.