Participating students and their families receive a broad spectrum of services and opportunities designed to increase the probability of greater success following school completion. The core component of the project is informed choice by students and families. Students must have the opportunity to participate in their own future planning and decision-making to be based on their own unique dreams and goals. Teachers, families, and support groups must promote opportunities for students to gain knowledge and skills in decision making and in knowledge of what their communities offer. The project includes teacher training, an emphasis on self-determination within the classroom and in the community, employment and work experiences, transition planning, and family training. Through workshops and trainings, transition teachers and job coaches from high schools in Shelby County offered a focus on teaching strategies and how to promote and encourage self-determination in their students as well as why self-determination impacts successful transition from school to community and how to bring attention to these skills. Students their families participating in the intensive education and support program are assisted by a Family Advocate to focus on futures planning, family values, and self-determination, choice making, personal advocacy, and utilization of community resources and supports.
Submitted by The Arc of Shelby County, Inc.