bridge program
  • What is the BRIDGE Program?

    The BRIDGE (Building Responsible Independent Dependable Gainfully Employed Adults) program enrolls students with intellectual and developmental disabilities ages 18-21 to assist them with the critical transition from school to independent adult life. Through classroom instruction and hands-on learning opportunities conducted in partnership with local businesses, students develop the critical skills to live independently and to gain meaningful employment. Our intentionally small program offers a personalized experience and positions our faculty to tailor instruction and experiences to the students' individual needs. 

    Instruction Overview

    The goal of the BRIDGE program is to provide opportunities for students to gain essential living skills and to prepare for employment within their local community. Social-emotional development is a core facet of the program. Students learn and practice their communication and social skills to help them build interpersonal connections and to empower them to advocate for themselves in real-world settings. 


    • Practical reading instruction (to read employment training materials and prescription bottles) 
    • Practical math instruction (to understand bills and to utilize coupons)

    • Opportunities to learn and practice self-advocacy skills (to ensure fair compensation and workplace conditions)

    • Review of their rights and responsibilities as adults after high school

    Instruction to Support Daily Living

    To support independent living for BRIDGE students, the program offers lessons and activities to support:

    • Budget planning, including learning to read a pay stub, opening checking and savings accounts, and using online banking tools 

    • Personal safety 

    • Living situations and housing options 

    • Computer skills 

    • Maintaining your house, including laundry, shopping, and cooking 

    Related Services

    In addition to academic and social-emotional instruction, the BRIDGE program helps students navigate and understand the resouces and services available to them, including but not limited to:

    • Local adult service providers 

    • Assistive technology 

    • Adult health care and mental health care systems

    • Financial assistance, such as SSI, Medicaid, or other available government benefits 

    Career and Future Readiness

    To prepare students for developmentally-appropriate and meaningful employment, students in the BRIDGE program engage in lessons and activities that support the following:

    • Job search strategies and assistance, including learning internet job search skills 

    • Interviewing skills while job seeking and to conduct informational interviews for networking purposes

    • Completing job applications and creating cover letters and resumes 

    • Utilizing vocational resources, such the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation 

    • Job shadowing or work placements 

    Hands-On Development of Vocational Skills

    The BRIDGE program was first established to offer students in our surrounding areas close access to a critical transition resource and to help students prepare to live in their own community. With this mission in mind, we have facilitated hands-on work experiences for our students in partnership with our local organizations, including:

    • Baby Bureau 

    • Cornerstone Fitness 

    • New Hope Solebury Library 

    • New Hope-Solebury School District Cafeteria 

    • Bucks County Children’s Museum 

    • Bake Ability


    For questions about the BRIDGE program, please contact Colleen Bell, Supervisor of Student Services, at or at (215) 862-5372 ext. 3297.


    Contact Colleen Bell, Supervisor of Student Services, at to start the registration process. 

bridge program
BRIDGE students bake cookies from scratch and practice serving and greeting members of the New Hope-Solebury Board of School Directors.
bridge program makes bracelets
BRIDGE students support operations at the non-profit Baby Bureau by sorting and packaging gently used items for new mothers in need.
bake abilities
BRIDGE students participate in the baking process at Bake Abilities Bakery, observing and participating in the processes of a professional kitchen.