College and Career Readiness

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.

Sign up for an information session

Who Can Enroll

To be eligible for I-LEAD, you must:

  • be 16 years or older
  • be officially withdrawn from your last K-12 public, private, or home school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
  • provide a current psychological evaluation
  • have the ability to complete an assessment at an offered level
  • have the ability to independently navigate campus
  • Project Search: must have completed one year of I-LEAD courses

Enroll Now

  • Attend an I-LEAD Information/Orientation Session

    Check back for details on available information sessions.

    We encourage you to have a family member, friend, or other support attend the information session with you.

  • 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 register for classes. Registration depends on class availability. I-LEAD often operates on a wait-list, but we do our best make the wait as short as possible.

Additional Information

  • Locations

    I-LEAD classes are held Monday–Thursday on Central Campus in the North Classroom Building. Morning and afternoon classes are available.

  • Project Search Internship Opportunities

    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 through 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. 

  • Minors (Under 18 Years Old)

    If you are a minor (under 18 years old), there are a few more things you'll have to do to enroll. Review the requirements for minors.

  • Explore Careers

    Central Piedmont Career Coach

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