Preparing kids with cognitive disabilities for an increasingly tech-driven reality is the aim of Digitability, the startup formerly known as Autism Expressed, creators of a workplace-readiness training program.

A new partnership with Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry’s Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) will let the company deploy its system at 18 Philly schools, reaching close to 2,000 students aged 14–21 across the Philadelphia School District. The deal also opens up the door for Digitability to reach 67 counties across the commonwealth.

“This partnership is a game changer for the city of Philadelphia,” said founder and CEO Michele McKeone. “We’re bringing together educators, city officials and employers to solve a real city problem for people who are traditionally pigeonholed into being unemployed and underemployed.”

The OVR partnership, launched Tuesday at Hill Freedman School World Academy with some 130 teachers, is funding the program for students throughout the course of the school year. The startup had already piloted an early version of its program in the Philly school district, where McKeone formerly worked as a consultant and facilitator of an autistic-support classroom.

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