It’s My Choice

It is hoped that the information in this guide is written in a way that is easy to understand. This was done for several reasons:

*so that people with developmental disabilities who read, can read it and use it;

*so that people who advocate for those who cannot read can explain it more easily;

*so that we can all understand.

The activities and checklists contained in this guide have been used in a variety of ways. Any of the materials can be copied or changed to meet the needs of people in your area.

http://www.mncdd.org/extra/publications/choice/Its_My_Choice.pdf

Impact: Issue on Achieving Secondary Education and Transition Results for Students with Disabilities

What is helping students with disabilities in transitioning from school to adult life? That’s the focus of this issue of Impact. It includes articles written by researchers, community service providers, and others. This edition of Impact has nineteen articles and sidebars that explain many of the sub-topics that fit under the very large banner of “providing appropriate education for secondary students with disabilities in an era of educational reform.”

 There are eight articles that profile successful research or community programs that assist youth in transitioning into adult life. One of these explain the work of the DO-IT Program housed at the University of Washington . Using a technology-rich approach, this program combines residential summer study, computer and internet activities, and career preparation to prepare youth with disabilities for success in college.

http://ici.umn.edu/products/impact/163/163.pdf

Website: Beyond High School: Navigating the Future

Link

http://www.arcdc.net

Description

Through the support of a Youth Transition Navigator, The Arc of DC has implemented a one year training model for 30 youth and families to include benefits training, transition planning, referrals for post-secondary education, and job readiness programs as well as providing other information and support to assist families and students. Through individual advocacy and support, individuals and families are gaining greater awareness to navigate the systems they need to support them to navigate their own lives. The Arc of DC convened a Community Advisory group to guide and direct the mission of the project, design the training curriculum, and solidify partnerships with public and charter schools and government. Project activities include information, counseling and referral for individuals and families, one-on-one support navigation and training, structured training classes on the above mentioned areas, outreach and transition planning to access jobs and careers education through collaboration with DC Public Schools (DCPS) and the DC Department on Disability Services (DDS). The project has also collected significant data on the effectiveness of training classes and information, the supports students receive in their transition plan, the successful outcomes related to DCPS and the DDS on working with students and families.

Source

Submitted by The Arc of the District of Columbia.

Website: Adult Education & Training Transition Services Program

Link

http://www.thearcofloudoun.org

Description

The Adult Education and Training Transition Services program focuses on teaching and supporting adults in vocational skills, independent living skills, behavior strategies, and self-advocacy. Transition Services seek to teach adults job skills needed in the community, on campus, as well as supporting them on job sites within the community. The Transition Services program will also train and support families, employers, and caregivers (such as group home staff) to help individuals remain independent and productive in the community. The on-campus vocational training area is used to train and prepare students for off-site employers in the areas of retail, mail delivery, data entry, computer lab, filing, and craft construction. Campus employment training includes job coaching, social skills support, and training for students in the Launch program (ages 14-22). Once students have completed the on-campus training, they are assisted at a community job site with decreasing support, establishing independent employment, and working toward employment for compensation.

Source

Submitted by The Arc of Loudoun.

Website: Jobs @ 21 Partnership Project

Link

http://www.arcwa.org

Description

The Arc of Washington State’s Jobs @ 21 Partnership Project seeks to ensure special education teachers and parents have information to help young adults with developmental disabilities access gainful employment. The project will have three focuses: 1) train parents about the IEP and transition process; 2) provide scholarships for interested special education teachers to attend the Employment Professional Certificate Program; and 3) provide information to state elected officials about the importance of funding supported employment once students graduate from high school.

Source

Submitted by The Arc of Washington State.

Website: Self-Directed IEPs

Link

http://www.thearctn.org

Description

The Arc of Tennessee is providing self-directed IEP training to students, educators, and families who are involved in the secondary transition planning process. Typically developing peers are also trained to help co-facilitate meetings with students who need additional support. The purpose of the project is to teach students how to do their own IEP meetings and to teach parents, educators, and typically developing peers (where appropriate) on how to support them in this process. Self-directed IEPs are not common practice in Tennessee and will provide educators with a new tool that will help improve secondary transition outcomes for students receiving special education services.

Source

Submitted by The Arc of Tennessee.

Website: Family Circles Program

Link

http://www.thearcofnova.org

Description

Through the project’s seminars families and students with I/DD actively learn to navigate the systems, to ask the right questions within those systems, and to write plans which they can put into place to best prepare their family for life after exiting the school system. Individuals with I/DD learn to identify their strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes so that they may advocate for themselves. They also continue to learn social skills and life skills to further their independence; to confidently speak up using whatever modality they prefer; and to actively participate in changing their lives and changing systems.

Source

Submitted by The Arc of Northern Virginia.

Website: PATH Facilitation

Link

http://arcnm.org/how-we-help/personal-plan-facilitation/

Description

Person centered planning has become a powerful way to help people with developmental disabilities and their families achieve their dreams. The PATH (Planning Alternative Tomorrows with Hope) is one of many tools that can help individuals and families into a more positive and possible future. The Arc of New Mexico recognizes this process as an important advocacy strategy and uses it to empower students to envision their future in new ways. Upon completion of the PATH staff meet with each student on a regular basis, depending on each individual’s needs, to review progress on goals, barriers to goals, and to develop strategies to overcome barriers. In addition, the students come together to discuss progress on goals, share ideas, and discuss other issues that affect them and strategies to address them.

Source

Submitted by The Arc of New Mexico.

Website: Community Participation Initiative (CPI)

Link

http://www.arckent.org

Description

This project is part of the Community Participation Initiative (CPI), which is a movement begun by The Arcadia Institute of Kalamazoo, Mi., to open doors throughout the community for people with disabilities to participate in inclusive activities that they choose. In consultation with The Institute, the two Arc chapters are creating partnerships with community agencies, the school systems, and the local community mental health systems. CPI does not create parallel or separate programs in which people with disabilities are isolated from others who take part in the agency’s programs. Rather, the project builds upon each agency’s strengths, assumes a welcoming environment, and enlists buy-in and endorsement of the program from directors and staff. The project provides technical assistance to help staff make any necessary accommodations to their programs; provides on-site coaching to agency staff, one-on-one or in a group setting; and remains available when problems arise, providing concrete solutions.

Source

Submitted by The Arc of Kent County and The Arc of Western Wayne County.

Website: Transforming the Transition Path

Link

http://www.thearcofco.org

Description

The Arc of Colorado, with eleven local chapters of The Arc, are demonstrating to families of middle school students the value of person centered planning at an early age and to incorporate principles of person centered planning in middle school and high school Individualized Education Plans (IEPs). The Arc of Colorado contracts with a certified person centered planning consultant to train eight additional trainers who, in turn, train person centered training facilitators. The planning team conducts informational workshops with 2-4 school districts or rural special education cooperatives about ways to meet ICAP and Indicator 13 standards by incorporating life planning principles into IEPs and formal transition plans. The Arc of Colorado also contracts with the Colorado Association Supported Employment for train-the-trainer work to build vocational planning into personal plans at the earliest possible point – no later than grade eight.

Source

Submitted by The Arc of Colorado.