November 13th, 2013
Youth and Parent Involvement in Self-Determination
Presenters: John McNaught, State Coordinator
of the Virginia Department of Education’s I’m Determined Project, I’m Determined Youth Leaders, and I’m Determined Parent Leaders.
The Virginia Department of Education’s I’m Determined project focuses on building self-determined behavior, beginning at the elementary level and continuing through students’ educational careers. Project activities are research based, grounded mainly in research on intrinsic motivation and the positive correlation between levels of self determined attitudes and postsecondary success. The I’m Determined Project has held seven annual summits focusing on predictors of post-school success, including parental involvement, self determination/ self-advocacy and social skills. The I’m Determined project concentrates much of its focus and energy on nurturing competencies associated with self-determination,including self-knowledge, self-advocacy,goal-setting, decision-making and problem-solving. These competencies are developed during the summit, as youth learn to use tools like Good Day Plans, Goal Plans, and One-Pagers and are given opportunities to practice problem-solving skills and learn strategies to increase their participation in Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings. The concurrent parent summits increase knowledge and skills to support self-determination. Parents learn strategies to participate actively in meetings and advocate for their child’s rights, while gaining a better understanding of the special education process through stories shared by parent leaders who have successfully navigated the system.
This presentation will discuss the evolution of the project and the youth and parent summits over the past seven years and highlight the most recent three day summit held on the campus of James Madison University in June 2013 with over 150 transition age youth with disabilities and their parents. Data from a followup survey will be shared, discussing the impact of the summit.
Customized Employment and Transition: Is Employment for All Youth?
Presenter: Ellen Condon
What if we began with the vision that all youth will graduate with a paid job in the community? How would that vision change our Transition Planning for youth with disabilities, especially youth with a significant impact of disability? Customized Employment is an approach to employment that enables us to create and custom tailor employment that matches each young adult’s contributions and ideal conditions for success. Customized Employment eliminates the need to compete for employment and removes many prerequisites that have traditionally kept people from the work force.
This session will introduce the concept of Customized Employment and explain how it overlaps with supported employment and blends with transition planning for all youth. Ellen Condon, M. Ed. is the Transition Projects Director at the University of Montana’s Rural Institute on Disabilities where she has worked since 1996 on Transition and Employment for youth with significant disabilities. She is also a consultant with Marc Gold & Associates (MG&A), Griffin-Hammis Associates, and she serves as a Subject Matter Expert for the Office of Disability Employment Policy at the U.S. Department of Labor on the Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Project. Ellen has worked in the field of Developmental Disabilities since 1986She provides technical assistance, training, and on-site support to schools, agencies, and individuals and families predominantly in the areas of employment, transition, and Social Security Work Incentives. She lectures and consults with schools and adult service agencies. She and her staff have produced numerous publications on Transition issues and employment.