Prevocational skills are skills needed to prepare for the work place. In conjunction with the vocational high school class, ACCESS occupational therapists are able to help students refine physical skills and learn new skills needed to be successful for a job. As part of any job, it is also important for one to know their abilities and limitations for their job and safety hazards of the working environment. Occupationa therapists help students to better analyze the components of the job and analyze their abilities and limitations that affect job performance.
Types of prevocational skills that may be addressed in therapy include time management and efficiency, body mechanics, strength and endurance, ergonomics and dexterity skills. At this level, students may be taken through a series of domestic work cycles such as a cleaning cycle of vacuuming, unloading the dishwasher and dusting, or industrial work cycles such as assembling PVC pipe designs and assembling nuts and bolts. Time elements may be added to improve and monitor work efficiency.
Other types of intervention in the arena may include incorporating the use of specific tools or equipment such as hammer and nails, power drills, screw drivers, etc.... to complete projects such as constructing small wooden structures or using specific tools related to industrial art projects, such as leather tooling and mosaic tile. Occupational therapists also have the opportunity to incorporate "on the job" training as they help students modify and monitor their work on their on-site jobs at ACCESS. Those jobs include gardening responsibilities, working the student store, ceramics, daycare and manufacturing and packaging class-made products.