Registering success: Appalachian’s SDAP partners with technology firm ECRS

Appalachian State University’s Scholars with Diverse Abilities Program (SDAP) — a program designed to prepare college-age students with intellectual disabilities for personal growth and occupational success — has partnered with Boone-based technology firm ECR Software Corporation (ECRS) to create a mutually beneficial training program for SDAP students. The ECRS–SDAP collaboration is now in its second semester.

The training program is part of an SDAP community access course, in which students learn both life and career skills.

“Empowering independence is a core value at ECRS,” said Melanie Marshall, lead trainer and database integrity manager for ECRS. “We strive to put our values into action, in business and in our community. Working with SDAP students enables us to do just that.”

“Empowering independence is a core value at ECRS. We strive to put our values into action, in business and in our community. Working with SDAP students enables us to do just that.” --Melanie Marshall, lead trainer and database integrity manager for ECRS

ECRS develops point-of-sale systems for retail outlets. Its showroom displays live systems, including scanners with payment terminals and self-checkout stations.

“The pieces really come together in our showroom: We’re able to provide a low-stress environment for these students to train and gain critical hands-on experience for future employment in a retail environment,” Marshall said.

Mary Strong ’16 ’17, transition and career coordinator for SDAP, said, “Practicing in real-life is how students learn. The setup at ECRS allows us to teach skills that the students can use.

“Practicing in real-life is how students learn. The setup at ECRS allows us to teach skills that the students can use.” --Mary Strong ’16 ’17, transition and career coordinator for SDAP

“A lot of students who have intellectual disabilities struggle with money, being able to count. Our students are able to go and practice, using real money, without the pressure of being on the job.”

Read the full story to learn more.

Pictured from left to right, SDAP student Reid Pond, from Boone, Mary Strong ’16 ’17, transition and career coordinator for SDAP, and SDAP students Elizabeth Droessler, from Wake Forest, and Luke Wilcox, from Boone, practice counting money as part of the training at ECRS. Photo by Marie Freeman
Published: Mar 7, 2019 9:01am

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