2/23 Key Assets Foundation “OPT IN” Opportunities to Participate, and Transform

Presented by Marilyn Barnett, Key Assets Foundation Program Director

Marilyn Barnett is the parent of a young man who has autism and the Program Director of Key Services, a vendor of supported employment services for the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation. Marilyn co-authored a Vocational Rehabilitation federal grant which created a college course where individuals and their community have the opportunity to Participate and Transform long-held ideas and dismiss myths about who can achieve higher education as well as who can be successfully employed within the community.

Key Assets Foundation partnered with the Mt. Sterling Extension of the Maysville Community and Technical College to offer a career readiness course through which individuals attain an “OPT In” Certificate to recognize their “readiness” to be successfully employed. The “OPT In” concept includes engaging community leaders and employers so they recognize the value of OPT In when they see it listed on an applicant’s resume. This unique approach places individuals in a socially valued role (student) and creates opportunities to decrease distance between the individual with barriers to employment and those who hire employees.

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