Denise Kasten, preschool teacher’s aide

To read on Source America website:

Pathways to Careers – Denise Kasten

Denise Kasten

Denise Kasten, 36, of Layton, UT

Involved with Pathways to Careers since:
July, 2013

Current job position:
Preschool teacher’s aide

Previous work:
Preschool teacher’s aide intern, Crestview Elementary School,
Davis School District, UT

Job tasks at Crestview:
Taking attendance, passing out lesson papers during class, prepping homework, assisting during activities, singing songs, learning games in small groups—and making sure the kids stay on task.

Collecting all things Elvis
Listening to country music
Going to the rodeo
Watching Days of Our Lives
Watching Basketball (supporting the Utah Jazz)
Doing Crossword Puzzles
Cutting Coupons
Being active with Special Olympics (including bocce ball, golf, swimming, track, and biking)


What is the Pathways to Careers initiative?

The Pathways to Careers initiative enables people with significant disabilities to have an informed choice of competitive, integrated employment options across a broad range of community settings.

SourceAmerica’s objective is to ensure that the services identified as the most effective in providing informed choice are available through the vocational rehabilitation and workforce systems. Our commitment to funding and directing this project and providing a rigorous third party evaluation of the project activities is a priority.

Through the Pathways to Careers Program we address:

  • Workforce, employer demand and infrastructure issues,
  • Barriers to informed choice and meaningful employment for individuals with disabilities, and,
  • State-of-the-art employment practices to enable individuals with significant disabilities to gain career-oriented, community-based, integrated, full wage jobs that are matched with their skills, interests and abilities.

The project serves to:

  • Identify each intern’s skills and interests using an in-depth “discovery” process, supporting the selection of paid internships or customized self-employment,
  • Expose interns to a wide range of jobs and work settings through 8-12 week paid internships, providing experiential learning opportunities to participants,
  • Create a resource for employers to provide any necessary ongoing employment supports through reimbursement of the employer tax,
  • Incentivize employers to provide integrated community employment,
  • Promote informed employment decisions made by participants.

Program Benefits

The Program has many beneficiaries and many different perspectives. Learn more from our video series.

The business model provides critical information for hiring decisions and meets real business and workforce requirements. It also creates a resource for employers to provide long-term accommodations and employment supports.

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