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Special Education Association of Peoria County, IL



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STEP Program Overview


STEP (Secondary Transitional Experience Program) provides students with  pre-vocational support in Job Exploration Counseling; Work-Based Learning Experiences; Counseling on Post-Secondary Education; Workplace Readiness Training; and Instruction in  Self-Advocacy. STEP is a work experience program that helps students with disabilities prepare to transition to employment and community participation during and after high school. Students learn to become productive, self-sufficient adults through a variety of STEP experiences. 

These experiences may include: 

  • Assisting students in developing desirable work habits and realistic career goals 
  • Provide opportunities for students to explore careers; 
  • Offer meaningful work experiences through on-the-job placement;                
  •  Encourage students to develop the social and personal skills needed to maintain successful employment and                                                                                           
  • Job coaching; if needed
The STEP Program is sponsored by the Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) and facilitated by the SEAPCO Vocational Team until a student accepts their diploma or ages out at age 22.  The graduate can remain an adult customer of DRS, continuing vocational support plus a possibility of accessing community college funding.  
To make a referral to the STEP Program....
  1. Complete the referral information and make sure the student's social security number is included & correct
  2. Parent &  student sign the referral form and release of information for records to be shared with DRS
  3. Provide a copy of their birth certificate
  4. Provide a copy of their most recent physical
  5. Return all this information to your student’s case manager at school
Any questions, please contact Jodie Vanderheydt, STEP Vocational Program Coordinator/Transition Specialist, 309-697-0880x284 or jvanderheydt@seapco.org