FCSN // Newsletter // 2016 // Fall 2016 // Secondary Transition Updates

Secondary Transition Updates

By Jennifer Stewart, Director of Transition Projects at the Federation

Self-advocate speaks to groupTransition projects at the Federation for Children with Special Needs are expanding as the organization engages young adults in a new Advisory Council and launches a new project in partnership with the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission. Momentum in the secondary transition field is strong, with a push from school systems, workforce development, and vocational rehabilitation programs to support young adults for college and career readiness. Much of this push is from the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA), which stresses the importance of competitive, integrated employment for individuals with disabilities. WIOA also emphasizes that employment-related services should be provided to transition-age young adults. Transition projects at the Federation have aligned with the goals of WIOA and are working to support families and students as they reach their visions for life after high school.

Young Adult Advisory Council

A group of ten young adults with various abilities are members of the Federation’s first Young Adult Advisory Council. Our first meeting on October 1st included a vision and strengths training. Future trainings will support skills development around communication and teamwork. The Advisory Council is also helping develop the Becoming a Leader Youth Forum for the Federation’s Visions of Community in 2017. The young adults are generating ideas about workshops, activities, speakers, and giving advice for what makes a fun conference. Visit our dedicated Youth Conference webpage for more information.

WIOA Family Support Project

The WIOA Family Support Project is a new collaborative initiative at the Federation for Children with Special Needs, supported by Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC), for youth with disabilities ages 16-22 and their families. The WIOA Family Support Project has three main goals:

1. Partnership with MRC area offices to offer transition trainings to family and professionals.
2.Transition technical assistance through the website, webinars, workshops, materials, and phone calls.
3.Referral-based face to face transition support for vocational-rehabilitation-eligible youth and families.

The WIOA Family Support Project has Transition Family Support Specialists throughout the state of Massachusetts to act as liaisons to MRC area offices, along with supporting youth with disabilities and their families. To contact the WIOA Family Support Project, please email: wioa@fcsn.org. Visit our LINK Center website to learn more information about trainings and to connect with a Transition Family Support Specialist