WorkAbility I Program

The WorkAbility (WAI) program is funded and administered by the California Department of Education (CDE). The WAI program provides comprehensive pre-employment skills training, employment placement and follow-up for high school students in special education who are making the transition from school to work, independent living, and postsecondary education or training. Program services are appropriate to individual student needs, abilities, and interests.

The WAI program offers students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) the opportunity to complete their secondary education while also obtaining marketable job skills. WAI provides secondary students with an understanding of job-seeking and job-keeping skills. The employability of students improves through occupational class training and on-the-job subsidized or unsubsidized work experience.

The WAI program seeks employers in the business community who will give students with disabilities a chance to prove themselves in a competitive integrated employment setting. Local program sites successfully coordinate state and local service providers to offer comprehensive services tailored to local economic, social, and geographic needs and abilities.

Thank You to our Business Partners

We would like to extend our sincere appreciation to our community business partners for supporting our students in these endeavors.


A Place To Grow Preschool (Ojai)
Alejandro’s Salon (Ventura)
Anacapa Flowers
Arroyo Elementary
Aswell Trophy and Engraving
Boys and Girls Club (Camarillo, Piru)
Coastal View Retirement Home
Cornerstone Church (Simi Valley)
Crowne Plaza Hotel (Ventura)
Cure Community Garden (Ventura)
Dargan’s (Ventura)
E.A. Fitness (Moorpark)
Eddie’s Grill (Ventura)
Fatty Vegan (Ventura)
Goodwill (Oxnard)
Green Thumb (Ventura)
Grocery Outlet (Oxnard)
Harley Bowling Centers (Simi Valley)
It’s A Grind (Moorpark)
Legal Secretarial Services of Ventura County (LSSVC)
Main St Meat (Ventura)
Marriott Hotels (Ventura)
Moorpark Active Adult Center (Moorpark)
Old Navy (Ventura)
PetCo (Camarillo, Moorpark )
Pizza Man Dans (Camarillo)
Plaza Stadium 14 Cinemas (Oxnard)
Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District (Simi Valley)
Simi Hills Retirement Home (Simi Valley)
Smart and Final Extra (Camarillo, Oxnard)
Starbucks (Simi)
Surfside Seafood (Ventura)
TJ Maxx (Moorpark)
Twice Told Tales used book sale (Ventura)
Vargo Physical Therapy (Moorpark)
Ventura County Animal Services (Camarillo)
Ventura County Hospital (Ventura)
Ventura County Office of Education (Camarillo)
Von’s (Ventura)
WSS - Warehouse Shoe Sale (Oxnard )


Programs in the Ventura County SELPA

There are three WorkAbility I programs within the Ventura County SELPA:

  • Conejo Valley Unified School District - Denice Welter, Project Manager
  • Las Virgenes Unified School District - Denise Edwards, Project Manager
  • Ventura County SELPA - Joanna V. Della Gatta, Project Manager

The SELPA project provides services to over 1,000 students in these sites/districts:



Fillmore Unified School District


Moorpark Unified School District

Bobbi Buzzelli



Non Public Schools

Casa Pacifica & Passageway School

Ashley McPherson


Oak Park Unified School District


Ojai Unified School District

Francine Nelson


Cristi Thatcher 


Robin Monson 


Oxnard Union High School District

Claudia Naranjo


Santa Paula Unified School District


Simi Valley Unified School District

Tammy White 


Ventura County Office of Education

Boswell School

Sara Harney Brown


Ventura County Office of Education

Moorpark ACCESS

Aubrey Alexander


Ventura County Office of Education

Phoenix School, Triton Academy

Ashley McPherson


Ventura County Office of Education



Ventura County Office of Education

Gateway, Odyssey

Ashley McPherson


Ventura Unified School District


Other Resources

WAI 21-22 summary

Activity Flowchart

Array of Services Worksheets

SCANS - Pre-Employment Checklists-  Form N    Form S

WorkAbility Central- Some documents require you to log in. Please contact Joanna Della Gatta for assistance.

WorkAbility Handbook

WorkAbility in Gear Brochure

WorkAbility I Database

WorkAbility I Works! Fact Sheet

Work-Based Learning for Special Education Students Handbook

Worksite Agreement Form