UCHealth program helps young adults with intellectual, developmental disabilities get jobs

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AURORA, Colo. — An immigrant from Myanmar with physical disabilities has landed a job thanks to a program that helps young adults transition from school to work.

Thursday was a big day for 21-year-old Yaw Blu Soe. He’s come a long way from Myanmar where he was born March 4, 1998.

It wasn’t just the distance from Myanmar to Colorado that was a challenge for Soe, but also his disabilities.

“Yaw is considered blind, but he can see shadows because of the light and darkness of the objects that are in front of him.“ said Megan Quinn of Easter Seals Colorado.

Soe also deals with developmental disabilities as well.

Soe’s challenges were met head-on at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital with its program called Project Search.

“Project Search is a school to work transition program for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” Quinn said.

Soe,  along with eight other interns with similar challenges, was fully immersed at UCHealth learning skills with the goal of getting a job.

His specialty is in the supply chain.

“In the emergency department, Yaw would make different kits, a blood culture kit, a urine kit, he would make patient bags,” Quinn said.

After successfully completing two internships, it was time for graduation.

After overcoming self doubt, fear of the unknown and some technical skills, Soe landed a job.

“Yaw got a job here at UCHealth in the supply chain,” Quinn said.

Project Search began at  Cincinnati’s Children’s Hospital in 1996 and has since grown to more than 500 project search sites nationally and internationally.

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