Year #14: Job Olympics returns to ISD

We were fortunate to have the local ABC and CBS affiliates cover Job Olympics 2022! See the stories (written transcripts included) links.

CBS coverage

ABC coverage

Students with extra special needs, both at ISD and in several southwest Iowa schools, put their job skills to the test March 22, as ISD brought back Job Olympics. After a two-year lapse due to COVID19, about 30 students were able to again compete against themselves to complete timed tasks related to hands-on work and daily living skills.

“These are really awesome students who sometimes aren’t as recognized, and this is a great opportunity to recognize their job skills,” said Abigail Bradley, a speech-language pathologist at Iowa School for the Deaf. Bradley, along with two other staff, organize and hold the annual Job Olympics event for ISD’s special needs students. “Special Olympics recognizes their sports skills, so we like to recognize those real-life skills also.”

Lakota Benge, an ISD freshman from Lorimor (East Union High), was serious about his competition events- each olympiad participates in three tasks. “I’m nervous,” he said. “I want to be in first.” Lakota went to the stations he would compete in and studied other students’ performances. He told others, “Good job,” when they finished and finally said he wasn’t nervous about his events, because he was prepared. “I want to beat six minutes,” he said, referring to his goals for the money-counting task. He also ordered items from a menu and bagged recyclables.

Students in 2022 were from East Mills, Glenwood, Red Oak, Lewis Central and Iowa School for the Deaf.

Event offerings were:

  • Janitorial: students must clean an area- wipe down, pick up trash, vacuum
  • Restaurant: students must assemble as many Happy Meal bags as they can with the necessary items (straw, napkin, ketchup packets, toy, etc.)
  • Office: students will shred papers or file papers by color or by alphabetical order
  • Recycling: students will sort items by cans, paper, plastic
  • Laundry: students will sort laundry into towels, pants, and socks or fold the laundry
  • Money: students will sort coins or count money
  • Restaurant: students will bus a table by clearing the dishes, sanitizing, then setting the table.  Students will sort silverware.
  • Restaurant: students will order from a menu or be role-playing as the waiter/waitress taking orders
  • Store: students will stock shelves or bag groceries
  • Measurement: students will use a ruler to measure items or use measuring cups to measure dry ingredients for a recipe
  • Tools: students will sort nuts and bolts
  • Interview: students will fill out a job application and participate in a job interview

Contact for more information.