Building Realistic and Integrated Daily-living Skills, Gaining Experiences and Employability Skills

    Appalachia Intermediate Unit 8 operates four community-based, transition-aged classrooms in Cambria County. The BRIDGE programs are located in Ebensburg and Richland.

    Due to the community location of these programs, safety issues, and limited class size, there are specific guidelines for eligibility for these classrooms.  Students must be between the ages of 18 and 21. In addition, students appropriate for the BRIDGE program must be able to:

    • Independently dress, feed, complete hygiene routines, and be toilet trained
    • Self-medicate
    • Work with minimal supervision within the community
    • Participate in the program without additional support staff (beyond the teacher and aides assigned to the program)

    This program is designed to prepare students to live and work as independently as possible upon graduation. The program emphasizes functional skills and activities that are conducted in the community and on various work sites. There is an emphasis on job training for competitive employment, with other options considered as needed and appropriate.

    Students in the program are responsible for meal planning, grocery shopping, lunch preparation, basic housekeeping/apartment keeping tasks, and also participate in functional academics, pre-vocational skills, self-advocacy skills, and community-based activities (work, volunteering, job coaching, recreation, shopping, travel training, etc.). Two of the programs in Ebensburg have job-training agreements/programs with Mount Aloysius College and Saint Francis University.  One program in Ebensburg is designed for students with mobility issues and physical needs.