"Falling off the cliff" refers to what happens to young adults with special needs upon exiting the school system and losing services. One of the most important things that can be done to prepare for the shift in services is create a quality Individualized Transition Plan which is a federally mandated document guiding IEP goals beginning at the age of 14 or 16. Dana Lattin, project coordinator of the Transition Coalition, gives us guidance on where to begin.
At 18, parents no longer have legal access to educational information. IEP consent, requests for assessments, and information from educators are just a few rights that transfer from the parent to the student. Today’s guest, a special needs attorney, offers insight on how to prepare and how to protect the rights of our adult child while at the same time offering supports s/he may still need. Our focus will be on education. The first half of the episode focuses on students with special needs who plan on attending college. The second half of the episode focuses on students with higher support needs who are likely to stay in transitional programs offered by the public school system.
The College of Adaptive Arts is a new model of education with a commitment to lifelong learning paired with empowering students to creatively transform the way the world views individuals with disabilities. Students have 9 tracks of study to choose from with over a dozen departments of specialty. While diplomas are earned, there is no exit date which allows lifelong access to education. In this episode, the founding directors share the core beliefs driving this unique model of education and their vision of a future where this model can be found on campuses throughout the country.
Jessica is a student at the University of Cincinnati’s TAP program discussed in episode #27. She shares with us how she became a college student, the challenges she and her family faced the first year, areas she has grown, how the program is preparing her for a dream job, and social life on campus.
The University of Cincinnati has 3 programs for individuals w special needs collectively known as Advancement and Transition Services (ATS). The 3 programs serve ages 14 to middle adulthood, and also a wide range of abilities from minimal support needs to high support needs. Christina Carnahan, director of ATS joins us in episode #26 to share the program for students in high school (CEES) and the program for adults with higher support needs (IMPACT). Diane Clouse joins us in episode #27 to discuss the program for college students with differing abilities (TAP).
Think College is funded by the US Department of Education as a national coordinator for transition and post-secondary options for students with intellectual disabilities. Cate Weir is the program director of the organization and will discuss college as a transition option for individuals with special needs as well as who is and is not eligible, program curriculum, on campus supports, IEP goals to prepare for college, and where to find resources.
High school and college education for teens and young adults with special needs and/or disabilities will be the focus of the next several episodes. Experts will be answering questions regarding options, supports, and what we should be doing to prepare for the transition from high school to college and/or employment. This introductory episode gives the backstory of why Kim is asking a lot of questions on the topic and 3 action plans for her daughter.