Educating & Employing People with Disabilities

Project SEARCH provides employability skills training and workplace internships for individuals with significant disabilities, particularly youth transitioning from high school to adult life. Project SEARCH originated at Cincinnati Children's and now has program sites throughout the United States and the United Kingdom. There are several local programs that serve youth in Greater Cincinnati, including one at Cincinnati Children's.


In 1995 the American College of Healthcare Executives adopted a policy statement that reads, in part, " executives must take the lead in their organizations to increase employment opportunities for qualified persons with disabilities and to advocate on behalf of their employment to other organizations in their communities."

With this statement as a guiding principle, Project SEARCH serves people with disabilities through innovative workforce and career development. Through this process we educate employers about the potential of this underutilized workforce while meeting their human resource needs.

Vocational / Educational Services

The purpose of Vocational / Educational Services from Project SEARCH at Cincinnati Children's is to work with youth, ages 16 and older, with:

  • Chronic illnesses
  • Traumatic injuries
  • Rehabilitation issues
  • Other disabilities

Based on these needs, a plan that addresses their vocational, educational, training and employment goals is generated. The program is individualized to meet the specific needs of clients and may include services such as:

  • Coordination of GED programs
  • Researching appropriate career and technical or college choices
  • Encouraging the adoption of appropriate assistive technologies in schools

The process that we use for plan development includes:

  • A family interview to determine vocational interests, abilities, aptitudes, and needs
  • Coordination of evaluations to provide information related to individual career goals
  • Provision of eligibility and referral services to community service agencies, including state and community rehabilitation services, as needed
  • Development of the vocational components of an Individual Education Plan (IEP) for school-aged individuals
  • Coordination of services and information exchange between the school, the medical team, and other service providers
  • Provision of long-term follow-up and support, especially during key transition times and after high school / employment (when appropriate)


Vocational / Educational Services from Project SEARCH has these eligibility criteria:

  • Age 16 years or older (with focus on last two years of high school)
  • Must have a chronic illness or disability
  • Referred by a Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center treatment team member

Contact Us

Image of Nakiea Spaulding.

For questions or more information on Project SEARCH, call 513-636-2516 or email us at

Mailing Address 

Project SEARCH
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
MLC 5030
3333 Burnet Ave. 
Cincinnati, OH 45229

Donate to Cincinnati Children's.
Thanks to charitable support, Project SEARCH has helped thousands of people with disabilities find their path to a fulfilling career. Support Project SEARCH