Monday

Arizona’s Thirteenth Annual Transition Conference

“I”s Focused on the Future: Invested, Involved, and Independent

September 30—October 2, 2013

Talking Stick Resort

9800 East Indian Bend Road

Scottsdale, AZ 85256

(866) 877-9897


Click on the Session Title to view the session description.

+ = Session handouts are posted

N = Recommended for professional participants who are new to the area of secondary transition


Monday, September 30

Monday Program at a Glance

8:00 a.m. Registration

8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Breakfast Buffet

9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. *  Welcome & Introduction of Keynote Speaker, Angela Denning, ADE Deputy Associate Superintendent of Exceptional Student Services

Brad Cohen – Opening Keynote Address:  The Power of One

If you’ve ever wondered what impact educators have on the students they teach, Brad Cohen, an educator with Tourette syndrome, will help you to the Front of the Class. You will hear how this “First Class Teacher of the Year” award-winner came from the depths of abuse and how he was determined to rise above it all to become an inspiration to others. If you want to be inspired, be sure to listen to Mr. Cohen’s story about keeping a positive attitude and never giving up! Handouts: Teachers Guide and Reading Group Guide

11:30 a.m.- 12:30 p.m.  Lunch and Remarks from John Huppenthal, Superintendent of Public Instruction

Presentation of Secondary Transition Service Awards

12:45 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Concurrent Sessions

Mary Keeney
Whether students are headed for college, career, or community, app-solutely essential apps can be found that apply across environments! Students often abandon assistive technology (AT) once they leave high school, either because they cannot obtain it, or because they don’t want to look different. But today’s students embrace mobile technologies like smart phones, iPods, and iPads. Why not leverage their enthusiasm and use apps to help students achieve their postsecondary goals? The presenter will demonstrate apps that support studying, reading, writing, math, executive functioning, and workplace skills.  Handouts: PowerPoint and Resource
Susan Wolf
Two additional student I”s of introspection and insight focus on key higher-level thinking skills related to executive functioning—actually, the “eyes” of introspection and insight say it all! This session addresses the role that the executive functions play in student success in emotional regulation, intrinsic behavior management, social skill development, and most importantly, academics. Impacts for youth with non-neurotypical development and traumatic brain injuries will be specifically addressed. Implications for success with the new common core will be discussed along with successful planning and implementation of transition plans and postsecondary options. Examples at the individual, small group, classroom, and curriculum levels will be shared. Discussion will be interesting, for sure! Handout:  Notes Page
Phyllis Jones, Cindy Jepsen, and Student Panel
How do we effectively “bridge the gaps” between high school stakeholders, disability support services, and the university campus resources that are conducive to successful transition from high school to college? Helping high school students prepare for college is both challenging and exciting. Selecting a college with a strong disability services program that can provide the services most relevant to a student’s disability is essential to her or his success in college. Presenters from Mesa Community College (MCC) and Arizona State University (ASU) will provide an overview of the key differences between expectations in high school and higher education, as well as discuss accommodations and services that might be available (e.g., assistive technology). A student panel of first-time students in postsecondary educational settings will share personal experiences and advice. An ASU “transition summit” for students with disabilities and the MCC “seamless student experience” technology model will be highlighted. Handout: PowerPoint
Jessica Queener
For students, transitioning from high school to the postsecondary environment can be challenging. For students with disabilities, services available change from the high school to the postsecondary environment (e.g., entitlement to services). Tools and resources will be shared on how students with disabilities can successfully navigate the postsecondary environment in the areas of education and employment. Handout: PowerPoint
Agency Panel
Is transition time looming in the near future? Are you wondering what, if any, resources or supports might be available to help during transition? What about after high school—what then? Join representatives from several state agencies who just may be the resources you’ve been seeking. Panel members will discuss their agencies’ unique roles in supporting students and families during their school and adult lives. Topics include IEP transition planning; career exploration; job placement and supports; and health care. Panel members include: Sara Sembiante, Vocational Rehabilitation; Linda Tasco, Division of Developmental Disabilities; William McQueary, Arizona Department of Education,; Robert Crouse, Arizona Division of Behavioral Health Services; Marta Urbina, Office for Children with Special Health Care Needs; Christopher Tiffany, Raising Special Kids; and Paula Seanez, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services. Handout: PowerPoint (Part II will be offered immediately following the break.)
Kristine Jolivette
Since school-aged incarcerated youth are typically released back to their neighborhoods, it is imperative that appropriate transition planning occurs. However, for the many youth transitioning from juvenile justice facilities back to their neighborhoods and schools, useful transition services are not consistently provided. In fact, poor transition services for these youth fail to prevent future recidivism into the youth or adult legal systems, as well as fail to yield active engagement and achievement in school, career, and life activities. One method for transitioning youth from juvenile justice facilities back to their neighborhood schools is for transition providers to be aware of the services and supports the youth’s neighborhood school has available and know which services and supports may be appropriate and useful to the youth. Youth both with and without disabilities, may require tiered-supports to address their short- and long-term behavioral and academic needs. Come to this session to hear about one preventative behavioral framework, positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS), which may provide this type of tiered-support during the transition process. Handout: PowerPoint (Part II will be offered immediately following the break.)
Larry Kortering
This session provides participants with a novel approach to learning about strategies and resources for secondary special education, including the backstory for understanding why “stuff” works. The background information includes what the presenter has learned from talking with thousands of high school youth and using their consumer responses to identify strategies and resources everyone can use to engage secondary students. The youth-offered feedback provides an informative conceptual model to better engage youth in learning. This session will expose participants to numerous resources they can use as soon as they return to the classroom.  Handout:  PowerPoint
Ana Núñez, John Gutierrez, and Linda Fischer
The purpose of this presentation is to familiarize participants with Vocational Rehabilitation (VR), as well as with the individual rights of those participating in the program. Eligibility requirements will be shared and explained, and examples of evaluations that assist with the development of the individualized plan for employment (IPE) will be described. Participants of this session will also learn about the variety of services available from VR, including transition services for students who are still in high school. The session will also cover the rights of VR applicants and clients as presented by the Client Assistance Program (CAP). Participants will receive information about CAP, its services, and how the program can assist clients if there are concerns about VR services. Representatives from VR and CAP will be available for questions. Handout: PowerPoint
Jane Soukup
Join this presentation to learn how to develop the self-determination of youth.  This session will examine three topics related to self-determination. First, it will provide an overview of self-determination. Second, it will provide information on methods, materials, strategies, and resources for teachers to use to promote the self-determination of students. Lastly, using facilitated planning time, this session will show individual participants how to best teach specific skills, provide opportunities for students to practice skills, and make supports that nurture the self-determination of young adults available when they are needed.  Handout:  PowerPoint

2:15 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.  Concurrent Sessions

Erik Carter
This presentation will address the effectiveness and feasibility of peer support arrangements as an evidence-based approach for promoting curricular access and social interaction within inclusive classrooms and extracurricular activities. Participants will learn about (a) how peer support strategies are mutually beneficial for students with disabilities and peers, (b) strategies for recruiting students, developing effective support plans, and orienting/supporting peers, and (c) evaluating the social and academic impact of peer supports in their schools. Practical steps for implementing these strategies will be shared, and participants will leave with example forms and planning tools for use in their schools.  Handout:  PowerPoint
Janna Murrell and Maureen Mills
This session is designed to help families and professionals understand the legal options available to them when a youth turns 18 and how to choose the least restrictive one. Some families may not be aware of what can happen if they have not obtained guardianship or power of attorney or made other legal decisions when their child turns 18. The presenters will explore how to make decisions with the fewest restrictions and consequences for young adults. Parents may share what they have chosen with or for their young adult and why. Topics will include: how to make the guardianship decision, understanding the process, alternatives to guardianship, and resources will be available. Handout: PowerPoint
George Garcia
As youth transition into adulthood, they become responsible for making their own health care decisions. Having the skills necessary to understand their own medical needs and advocate for themselves in the doctor’s office may lead to better health outcomes. This presentation provides strategies on how to help youth and young adults advocate for themselves in the doctor’s office and will provide participants with a tool to keep track of medical information. Handout: PowerPoint
Derrick Platt and MCESA Panel
Information sharing is critical in transitioning youth served by multiple agencies. An improved system for information sharing is being created among multiple child-serving agencies including education, juvenile justice, child welfare, and service providers. Seven main points will guide this session, including successful models and local action plans in system reform; who can share information and the systems of communication; the policies and laws that govern sharing; and barriers that hinder the work and how to overcome them. A more comprehensive system for information sharing will lead to an increase in the coordination of services to create a clearer longitudinal inspection of our youth for more transparency in transition. Following our youth through critical life points and connecting the dots allows for a future focused on improving services and supporting our evolving youth. Handout: PowerPoint
Agency Panel
This session is Part II of Partnering for Transition. Is transition time looming in the near future? Are you wondering what, if any, resources or supports might be available to help during transition? What about after high school—what then? Join representatives from several state agencies who just may be the resources you’ve been seeking. Panel members will discuss their agencies’ unique roles in supporting students and families during their school and adult lives. Topics include: IEP transition planning; career exploration; job placement and supports; and health care. Panel members include: Sara Sembiante, Vocational Rehabilitation; Linda Tasco, Division of Developmental Disabilities; William McQueary, Arizona Department of Education; Robert Crouse, Arizona Division of Behavioral Health Services; Marta Urbina, Office for Children with Special Health Care Needs; Christopher Tiffany, Raising Special Kids; and Paula Seanez, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services. PowerPoint
Kristine Jolivette
This is Part II of A Preventative Multi-Tiered Behavioral Framework: Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports in Juvenile Corrections, This session provides illustrations and practical examples of how the use of positive behavioral interventions and supports can assist with the transition process. Handout: PowerPoint
Erin Riehle and Laura Schweers
The primary presenter will share her perspective as an employer of the benefits of training and hiring motivated young people with disabilities. As former nursing director of the emergency department at Cinncinati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, she has learned through experience that young workers with disabilities are often the most dedicated employees because of their strong commitment to and respect for the job. The presenter found that training and recruiting individuals with developmental disabilities for high-turnover positions offered an effective solution for staffing issues while positively impacting the quality of life for the workers she employed. Beyond building a more productive and reliable staff, this practice brings with it numerous benefits to the business environment, such as creating better work processes and aligning the workforce with the community composition. Leveraging the proven successes of this approach, the presenter endeavors to bring about a shift in hiring practices so that for people with disabilities, like nondisabled applicants, the focus is on what a potential employee can bring to the position—with an assessment of  strengths rather than of deficits.  Handout:  PowerPoint
JoAnne Malloy
The need for an effective and developmentally appropriate model of services and supports to assist youth with emotional and behavioral disorders to transition from school to adult life has been a major issue for over two decades both nationally. The RENEW model, (Rehabilitation for Empowerment, Natural supports, Education, and Work) was developed in New Hampshire to address the secondary transition support needs of youth with emotional and behavioral disorders and has shown promise as an effective intervention to improve youth outcomes and functioning in areas such as education, employment, and postsecondary education and training. Over the past 10 years, the staff at the Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) has developed a RENEW training manual, fidelity tools, and a training curriculum. Part I of this presentation will begin with an overview of the RENEW model, including the primary features of the intervention, the values, theory, and outcome data for the youth who have received RENEW through several projects. This session will also focus on personal futures planning, which is the initial phase used to engage youth and help them to tell their story using graphic facilitation techniques or “mapping.” Participants will have the opportunity to practice mapping in small groups. Handout: PowerPoint (Part II will be offered immediately following the break.)
Jessica Queener
The HEATH Resource Center at the National Youth Transitions Center is an online clearinghouse that provides information on resources for financial aid for students with disabilities. This session will highlight the different types of federal financial aid, other sources of financial assistance, and scholarships available for students with disabilities. Resources will be disseminated to participants, including HEATH’s financial aid publication, Planning Ahead: Financial Aid for Students with Disabilities (2013–2014 Edition), and financial aid resources from the US Department of Education. Handout: PowerPoint
Greggory Ohannessian, Kris Ohannessian, and Natalie Ohannessian-Butkiewicz
This presentation will describe one family’s story, following their journey as they support their student in applying to Arizona State University toward a master’s degree in Communication and Advocacy. The session will outline the strategy, involvement, and collaboration required to focus on the future of a young person with autism. “Through information and communication, we can build a bridge to a better tomorrow.” Handout: PowerPoint
Jon Paul Burden and Jennifer Sedaghat
This session will provide guidelines for creating meaningful annual goals that directly and specifically align with a student’s postsecondary goals. The focus will be on “triangulating” the annual goal statement with the postsecondary goal as well as with state and industry standards. The Weld RE-4 School District has created a policy that guarantees compliance with Indicator 13 and requires all secondary teachers to align each of  their annual goals directly and specifically to postsecondary goals, as well as to state and industry standards. “Triangulating” the annual goal aligns state standards with the 21st century industry skills that are required for the workplace. Teachers in Weld RE-4 have taken this practice one step further and have begun to “triangulate” their annual goals with college entrance requirements as well as military requirements to create meaningful annual goals. Part I will describe and provide an overview of the transition-focused IEP and the triangulation method. Handout: PowerPoint (Part II will be offered immediately following the break.)
Mindy Larson and Maxine Daly
Individualized learning plans (ILPs), like Arizona’s Education and Career Action Plans (ECAPs), are becoming an important tool nationwide to engage all students in career development activities that increase college and career readiness and personalize learning. Quality career development strategies—those that engage students in self exploration, career exploration and planning, and management skills building—are critical to preparing students for life beyond high school. The National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth) has been studying the characteristics and use of ILPs across states including whether and how students with disabilities are engaged in ILPs. In this session, participants will learn about the ECAP and gain a greater understanding of the value it has for students with disabilities. Participants will also explore how to link to the ECAP and IEP transition planning process for students with disabilities and learn about strategies and tools they can use to engage students in meaningful career development activities both in and outside the classroom.  Handout:  PowerPoint and Sample ECAP

3:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.  Concurrent Sessions

Ana Núñez and Betty Schoen
The transition process requires that students not only research and learn about the different skills required to successfully perform the job duties involved in various careers but also know information about themselves. This information can provide insight into strengths, interests, aptitudes, learning styles, personalities, and various other aspects of self that can further assist a student in making an informed choice on the vocational goal he or she will pursue. Join the presenters in an interactive session that will explore some assessment resources that can be used with young adults! Participants will leave with fresh ideas about several tools to help students pinpoint appropriate career goals. Handout: PowerPoint
Garret Westlake and Tricia Bawn
There is more to college than going to class! Academic preparation, accommodations, and participation in an academic program are only part of what defines success in college. Participants in this session will explore five key nonacademic areas that influence college transition: student organizations, living on campus, use of social media, on- and off-campus employment, and health and wellness on campus. As the Assistant Dean of Students and Director of the Disability Resource Center for Arizona State University’s Polytechnic campus, the presenter will provide an interactive exploration of the complete student experience in transition.  Too often, the focus is purely academic, when the health, safety, and well-being of college students can have greater overall impacts.  Through a combination of case-study, best practice, and university retention data, participants will engage in small group activities to uncover the additional skills that young adults, parents, and professionals need to know about college transition. Handout: PowerPoint
Erik Carter
Early work experiences during high school are among the most powerful predictors of post-school employment for youth with disabilities. This session will present findings from and lessons learned through a successful project aimed at connecting youth with disabilities to paid, integrated community work experiences during the summer months. One unique feature of the project included efforts to engage broader communities in supporting youth employment. Recommendations for schools, families, and communities interested in addressing youth’s transition-related needs will be shared. Handout: PowerPoint
George Garcia and John McDermott
The presenters will describe a road map for self-advocacy, including the design and creation of self-advocacy groups; this session comprises the hard work of student self-advocates, families of students with disabilities, and other important collaborators. Handout: PowerPoint
Kerry Vath and Debbie Edwards
This session will describe how to develop student leadership conferences and will discuss how collaboration with local businesses, community members, and government agencies can help students with learning disabilities meet their transition goals. Hear the secrets for running a student leadership conference that is inspiring and meaningful to students! Students attending leadership conferences acquire useful strategies and tips for postsecondary activities and are also able to interact with and make friends from other schools. With six years of experience in implementing student leadership conferences, the presenters will share perspectives on what does and what doesn’t work in planning and organizing this type of event. Handout: PowerPoint
Erin Riehle and Laura Schweers
Project SEARCH is a unique approach to the critical transition from high school to adult life. Central concepts of the program include the understood commitment of its trainees to competitive employment and total immersion in the workplace to fortify the training process and lead to the trainees’ acquisition of marketable job skills. Another innovative aspect is the idea of transformational collaboration between the various agencies that play a role in preparing young adults with disabilities for the working world, including education, developmental disability supports, and vocational rehabilitation. The presenters will address obstacles experienced by young people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in their quest to find meaningful employment, provide an overview of the program model, and explain the importance of developing training programs that are business led. Strategies for designing effective internships that are based on complex and systematic tasks and reinforcing professional behavior in the workforce will also be discussed. The presenters will also describe the Project SEARCH initiative in Arizona, sharing experiences in implementing the model locally, describing essential partnerships in developing and supporting programs, highlighting successes of existing programs, and providing an update on expansion efforts. Handout: PowerPoint
JoAnne Malloy
This session is Part II of RENEW: Transition Planning for Youth with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders. The need for an effective and developmentally appropriate model of services and supports to assist youth with emotional and behavioral disorders to transition from school to adult life has been a national issue for over two decades. The RENEW model, (Rehabilitation for Empowerment, Natural supports, Education, and Work) was developed in New Hampshire to address the secondary transition support needs of youth with emotional and behavioral disorders and has shown promise as an effective intervention to improve youth outcomes and functioning in areas such as education, employment, and postsecondary education and training. Over the past 10 years, the staff at the Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) has developed a RENEW training manual, fidelity tools, and a training curriculum. Part II of the presentation will focus on initial planning and team development, facilitation, and problem-solving. Short videotaped vignettes and case examples will be used to help illustrate the power and challenges of working in teams and developing social supports for youth. The presentation will conclude with time for discussion and a personal planning activity in which each participant will outline his or her plans for the next steps to take for promoting or using RENEW and youth development practices in agencies or schools. Handout: PowerPoint
Lovely Poole, Lindsey Sherman, Desmond Sweet, Derrick Platt, and MCESA Panel
The transition to adulthood is a major life event for any youth. While all youth experience challenges in finding the right path to success, youth in secure care face additional challenges stemming from court involvement, mental health issues, and educational barriers. Without comprehensive support, court-involved youth are more likely to drop out of high school, experience difficulty entering the workforce, decline postsecondary training, or re-enter the justice system. Participants will learn strategies to ensure smooth transitions from secure care, apply promising practices, and use evidence-based research that supports individual juvenile success. The goal is to reduce recidivism and increase youth participation in their homes and communities. Participants will leave with a better understanding of TJST and the role of the transition facilitator as it relates to the transition process. Discussion will include how the transition facilitator interacts with youth, family, and other agencies for the benefit of the juvenile’s success. Handout: PowerPoint
Jon Paul Burden and Jennifer Sedaghat
This session is Part II of “Triangulation.” It provides descriptions of hands-on application, practice, and exemplars for creating meaningful and genuinely linked “triangulated” annual goals. This session will provide participants with examples, direct instruction, and a controlled-practice opportunity to learn and apply the method. Handout: PowerPoint
Larry Kortering
This session provides participants with an opportunity to learn about universal design for learning (UDL) and what students have to say about it. The session provides background information on school completion and UDL, while exploring the relative strengths and limitations it offers for your classroom. The session concludes with an examination of student feedback regarding their views of UDL, along with exposure to resources that will help participants bring UDL into the classroom. Handout: PowerPoint
Nicholas Love
The challenges of becoming an adult are difficult enough without adding in the complexity of understanding benefits. The lack of knowledge about how social security benefits and employment can work together can be a major barrier to employment for youth and young adults with disabilities. There is now an online tool that helps work through the myths and confusion of social security benefits, health care, and employment—the Arizona Disability Benefits 101 (DB101). This presentation will walk participants through the user-friendly DB101 website. There are numerous articles to assist a young person in moving towards independent living by exploring the subjects of finding a job, enrolling in education, state and federal benefit options and eligibility, and more. The presenter will demonstrate how the DB101 calculators can show how a specific job would or would not impact cash benefits and health care. There are countless ways DB101 can be used to increase personal awareness about working with a disability! Handout: PowerPoint
Mindy Larson
During the transition years, youth must be empowered to set goals, make decisions, and become leaders in their own lives and communities. Research indicates that all youth, including youth with disabilities, need to meet developmental outcomes in five key areas: working, learning, thriving, connecting, and leading. This session takes participants from research to practice by sharing innovative strategies and practices from real programs that promote youth development and leadership outcomes in the five areas. The National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth) has identified numerous research-based and promising practices for youth development and leadership over the past 12 years as a part of its online Innovative Strategies database, its research-based guides and publications, and its technical assistance work with various youth programs nationwide. Participants will also get a chance to share their own strategies and success stories and gather others’ expertise during facilitated discussion.  Participants will leave with a list of resources, directory of innovative programs, and new ideas that they can apply immediately. Handouts: PowerPoint and Handout

5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Youth and Young Adult Event: Fashion Show & Reception


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