Tiger Border


Arizona’s Fourteenth Annual Transition Conference

Promote Strengths & Inspire Success

August 25 – 27, 2014

Talking Stick Resort

9800 East Indian Bend Road

Scottsdale, AZ 85256

(866) 877-9897

Information Schedule vendors National Presenters
Registration Monday Tuesday Wednesday

Click on the Session Title to view the session description.

+ = Session handouts are posted

Wednesday, August 27

Program at a Glance


7:00 a.m. — 8:15 a.m. Breakfast Buffet

8:15 a.m. — 9:30 a.m. Concurrent Sessions

Ed O’Leary
IDEA 2004 requires schools to provide every student whose eligibility terminates because of graduation with a regular diploma or exceeding the age eligibility with a summary of the child’s academic achievement and functional performance, including recommendations on how to assist the child in meeting the child’s postsecondary goals (Summary of Performance—SOP). This session provides an overview of the what, when, who, and how of the Summary of Performance and includes examples of SOPs for students with different disabilities.
Handouts: PowerPoint
Brad Graham and Lorie Honeycutt
A key element in transition success is the development of committed partners and focused workforce preparation at the local high school. The Yuma Union High School District brought multiple entities together to develop a new program offering called Building Maintenance. The goal of the program is to use CTE’s hands-on learning style to prepare job-ready workers with specific skills. An additional benefit of CTE is the leadership component fulfilled by its related career and technical student organization, SkillsUSA. Teachers, students, and industry leaders of SkillsUSA play an important role in the new program. The students at Kofa High School wrote and received the SkillsUSA Lowe’s 2014 Schools in Need Grant. The funding provided the necessary equipment for the new program as well as material to build training modules for student practice. Additionally, the Business Leadership students used the SkillsUSA Student2Student Mentoring material to assist them with leadership training of the students in the new Building Maintenance program. Partners involved in the Building Maintenance program bring special skills and resources to the collaborative effort. This breakout session will provide information on the development of the new program and the collaborative groups needed to ensure its success.
Handouts: PowerPoint and Handout
Ebony Watson
Mentoring is recognized as one of the most important strategies for assisting youth in making positive transitions into adulthood. Despite all of the information available on mentoring, there is very little about mentoring youth with disabilities or about career-focused mentoring of older youth. This session will be an interactive dialogue between participants and presenters about what works. Participants will be able to: (1) identify the goals and components of mentoring; (2) learn successful strategies for engaging youth in goal-setting; (3) gather tools for identifying youth’s career interests, developing individualized career exploration steps and providing related mentoring; and (4) be informed about lessons learned from a national mentoring program. Participants will receive a free mentoring guide, Individualized Mentoring Plans for youth, and practical strategies.
Handouts: PowerPoint, Handout 1, Handout 2, and Handout 3
Helen Nagle and Yvette Tucker
In Arizona, the Child and Family Team (CFT) process was implemented to support collaborative processes and comprehensive service delivery to children/youth with behavioral health needs. The CFT process is an evidence-based practice and is strength based, individualized, and needs driven. CFT meetings are times when youth, their family/guardian, and their supports come together to make and update an individualized service plan (ISP) to meet the needs of the youth/student and family. The inclusion and participation of the school system in the CFT process has significant benefits. School staff can contribute valuable information regarding youth/students. Collaboration between school personnel and behavioral health staff provides opportunities to identify accessible services and supports that help youth/students succeed in the classroom, have stable lives, and become productive adults.
Handouts: PowerPoint
Tricia McCormick, Brigitte Means, Kshama Rosales, Shannon Snodgrass, and Jenifer Shepstead
Gilbert Public Schools has designed a unique transition continuum that allows partnerships with the community to help prepare students for adult life. By having this continuum of transition programming, Gilbert schools have demonstrated great success with helping students reach their transition goals by creating varied opportunities for students, which include: volunteering in the community; working in paid employment situations; and acquiring banking skills, recreation and leisure abilities, cooking skills, and self-advocacy competencies. The four levels of the programs, ABLE, DIALS, STRIVE, and JOBS, are inclusive for all levels of need, from students identified with intellectual disabilities, to those with emotional disabilities and those on the autism spectrum. ABLE and DIALS are taught in an apartment-like setting, where students learn the important aspects of living independently. In STRIVE, students work on résumé building, applying for a job, and acquiring appropriate workplace behaviors. In JOBS, students complete a minimum of 15 hours a week of volunteer or paid work experience with one of the many community partners. Knowing that transition is a process and not an event, Gilbert Public Schools makes this continuum available for students, offering them four elective credits before they exit school, based on their IEP teams’ decisions. The presenters will provide brochures for each program on the continuum along with a list of community partners.
Handouts: PowerPoint, Handout 1, Handout 2, Handout 3, Handout 4, and Handout 5
Jane Soukup
This session will provide participants with activities and assessments they can use with students to increase and support students’ self-awareness, leadership, and goal-setting skills. The session will also include time for participants to discuss how self-awareness, leadership, and goal-setting instruction and interventions could be better designed so that all students (whether they are receiving special education services or not) might have more opportunities to develop and practice these skills in general education settings. Self-awareness, leadership, and goal-setting are just three skills that can and should be deliberately addressed alongside Arizona’s standards to improve postsecondary success—helping youth go to college, get jobs, and have lives they want to live!
Handouts: PowerPoint</a”
Sharon Slover and Jacy Farkas
This session will provide participants with an overview of the various person-centered planning models and their application in the school setting. Person-centered planning is a discovery process used to search out what is truly important to an individual. It is a process that can give voice to young people’s biggest dreams without trying to fit them to school or services ideals. MAP (Making Action Plans), a graphic personal futures planning approach, which is currently being used in Menta Schools in both Arizona and Illinois, will be shared. Essential Lifestyle and Personal Futures Planning, popular methods used throughout Arizona, will also be shared. The session will discuss how a person-centered plan (PCP) and planning process is beneficial to both youth and school personnel. Presenters will show how to lift the information from a PCP and put it in the transition pages or other parts of the IEP. Resources in Arizona for facilitating Person-Centered Plans will be shared with presentation attendees. (Part II will be offered immediately following the break.)
Handouts: PowerPoint, Handout 1, and Handout 2
Charlotte Alverson
(This session is closed to general participants.)
Jo Anne Morales and Linda Rudd
To assist teachers with the ability to capture authentic assessment data that occurs naturally in and around the everyday life of high school students, the presenter will introduce participants to a series of informal rubric-based assessment tools. Defining a scope of behaviors associated with performance in classrooms and extracurricular and community activities, these tools provide a way to collect and quantify data about a student’s interests, strengths, and preferences. These data set the stage for transition planning that is student centered, personally meaningful, and evidence based. Additionally, the “scoring” component allows for measurement of progress over time, and as such, the data can be used to develop annual IEP goals, as well as postsecondary goals and transition activities. The rubrics are generalized for groups of students but could easily be modified to be more individualized.
Handouts: PowerPoint
Paul Johnson and Derrick Platt
This workshop will address transition planning and working with youth who are hard to engage and who continue to exhibit delinquent behaviors. In education and the justice system, transition is a critical time for all youth. The transition planning process needs to be reviewed and revised to support the change process involved. This workshop will share experiences and give practical guides to help youth deal with barriers that affect the achievement of successful transition. The presenters will review evidence-based approaches including the “Cycle of Change.” Participants will leave with additional strategies and tools to help with student transition and be better equipped to define where they are in the cycle of change.
Handouts: PowerPoint
Andi Asel
The presenter will introduce the required components of a transition plan in terms of best practice, including the predictors of successful post-school outcomes. Participants will understand the legal requirements and the benefits of early and appropriate planning in order to give their students the tools needed for positive adult lives.
Handouts: PowerPoint
Melinda Jacobs
Parents of students with disabilities are increasingly demanding more from public school districts in preparing their teenagers for life after high school. These demands can include postsecondary tuition payments, career development courses, and other expensive postsecondary training. In this session, the attorney presenter will provide a comprehensive review of the legal requirements for planning and providing transition services to students with disabilities, the most recent and important judicial case law on these issues, and her expert tips for navigating these thorny legal issues. Come prepared for a lively discussion, thought-provoking issues, and guidance on the practical questions that confront administrators and teachers.
Handouts: Handout
Ralph Serpico and Debra Pryor
Untapped Arizona represents a revolutionary model for workforce development, strategically bringing together key leaders from business and government to create a single go-to resource to help businesses connect with qualified job candidates with disabilities. These qualified individuals represent an untapped resource that can contribute to Arizona’s economic recovery and help close the gap between the number of available jobs and the number of available qualified candidates. In addition to introducing businesses to a talent pool of qualified candidates with disabilities, Untapped Arizona provides businesses with direct services and technical assistance pertaining to hiring and retaining workers with disabilities. In this session, Untapped Arizona will describe the state’s sector strategy approach to workforce development and how it is integrated into the organization’s overall approach to ensure that qualified individuals with disabilities are considered a viable talent pool and are prepared to meet Arizona businesses’ workforce needs. The interactive session will include a discussion on how to keep informed about anticipated workforce needs of Arizona businesses and how to prepare students to meet them, using such strategies as career exploration, internships, technical skills training, and postsecondary education. Participants will also learn how to guide job-ready and qualified candidates with disabilities in utilizing the Arizona Job Connection website to actively seek out job opportunities and connect with employers. Untapped Arizona is being supported financially and programmatically by a grant initiative collaborative between the Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council, the Arizona Department of Economic Security (Employment Administration), and the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System.
Handouts: PowerPoint

9:30 a.m. — 9:45 a.m. Break

9:45 a.m. — 11:00 a.m. Concurrent Sessions

August Merz
This session presents a technique by which students develop their own units of instruction, a technique linked to the Arizona K12 Center’s Lesson2Life program and Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards. The “Build Your Own Unit” technique will be described and compared with a teacher-designed unit and will include a look at data on student engagement with the technique. Next, in a gallery walk, participants interact with actual units students developed and completed. The activity concludes with a whole group discussion of their observations that focuses on how the technique promotes self-reliance and provides student practice in “soft” skills, as well as provides for differentiation based on students’ strengths and interests. Shifting gears, the presenter will outline Lesson2Life as a resource for teachers to learn about career expectations and content application from professionals in different fields. This segment illustrates the bond between career planning and Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards. The session will conclude with a discussion of how participants can leverage their students’ transition by combining Lesson2Life, college and career standards, and the “Build Your Own Unit” techniques.
Handouts: PowerPoint and Handout
Lizett Castruita and Russell Randall
Often, when students graduate from high school, they enter the sphere of adulthood, which is foreign to them. This can create an unsure and disconnected young adult, one facing a difficult transition to successful adulthood. To prevent this from happening, high school transition programs can develop partnerships within the immediate community of the high school, making connections for students that can extend into adulthood. In Flagstaff, the Coconino High School Transition from School to Work (CHS TSW) program is reaching out to its community through its Community Work Program, its Community Free Store, and its Student Worker Program. The CHS TSW has also entered into a unique partnership with the Northern Arizona University Sustainability Program, the City of Flagstaff, and the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association to create the “Mercedos de Suenos” (Market of Dreams), a multi-cultural marketplace and micro-entrepreneurship center designed to economically and culturally revitalize the local community. This presentation will describe how these partnerships have been working in Flagstaff to begin creating a “community of dreams,” one offering new opportunities for students as they enter adulthood. Ideas for forming new and creative partnerships with other school communities will also be provided.
Handouts: PowerPoint
Curtis Richards
During the transition years, all youth need opportunities to identify their interests and values, explore career and postsecondary options, set goals and make decisions about their future, and develop skills for planning and managing their own career development. This session takes participants from research to practice by sharing innovative strategies and practices from real programs for engaging youth in career development. NCWD/Youth has identified numerous research-based and promising practices 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, a directory of innovative programs, and new ideas that they can apply immediately.
Handouts: PowerPoint, aHandout 1, Handout 2, and Handout 3
Jeff Studer and Amy Dill
As one of three essential components to facilitated IEPs (FIEPs), standardized meeting practices help to ensure that all meetings are student focused, promote active team participation, and subsequently improve student outcomes.
Handouts: PowerPoint
Sharon Slover and Jacy Farkas
This session is Part II of Person-Centered Approaches: Promoting Strengths and Empowering Youth toward Positive Futures. This session will provide participants with an overview of the various person-centered planning models and their application in the school setting. Person-centered planning is a discovery process used to search out what is truly important to an individual. It is a process that can give voice to young people’s biggest dreams without trying to fit them to school or services ideals. MAP (Making Action Plans), a graphic personal futures planning approach, which is currently being used in Menta Schools in both Arizona and Illinois, will be shared. Essential Lifestyle and Personal Futures Planning, popular methods used throughout Arizona, will also be shared. The session will discuss how a person-centered plan (PCP) and planning process is beneficial to both youth and school personnel. Presenters will show how to lift the information from a PCP and put it in the transition pages or other parts of the IEP. Resources in Arizona for facilitating Person-Centered Plans will be shared with presentation attendees.
Handouts: PowerPoint, Handout 1, and Handout 2
Sarup Mathur, Leslie LaCroix, James Short, and Heather Griller Clark
Project Re-entry Intervention & Support for Engagement (RISE) focuses on developing a model for effective reentry of youth with disabilities from long-term secure care facilities back into schools, employment, and community programs. Arizona State University (ASU) is coordinating development and implementation of the RISE model and its evaluation procedures with Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections (ADJC) and local schools. This session will present how to establish partnerships to support continued educational programming, integrated transition services, and individualized aftercare for youth with disabilities. An example of a data-tracking system that facilitates pre- and post-release programming for youth with and without disabilities will be shared. Recommendations for developing a sound community capital of resources and supports for successful re-entry of youth will be discussed.
Handouts: PowerPoint
Suzanne Perry and Mary Keeney
Video modeling is an evidence-based practice for working with students with autism spectrum disorders and other disabilities. This teaching strategy takes advantage of today’s mobile technologies, such as smartphones and tablets, to create and show video models to improve targeted communication, academic, functional, and social skills. Apps and software make it easy to produce videos that show only positive, appropriate behaviors. Participants will leave this session excited to begin using video modeling in their classroom or work setting tomorrow!
Handouts: Handout
Charlotte Alverson
(This session is closed to general participants.)
Michelle Klein, Cynthia Lotts, and Angela Sedore
Often, a schoolwide event considers only a target group of students. For example, general education high school students who are college bound are generally provided with numerous transition opportunities through their teachers, guidance counselors, and their career and technical education departments. The presenters are from an Arizona high school that has come together to reach all students, regardless of disability. As a team, this high school’s teachers have collaborated to create a “Career Networking Night,” implementing a multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS) for transition to benefit all students, including students with intellectual disabilities. This MTSS will be measured in various ways, including “exit tickets,” surveys, and interviews that will take place during the Career Networking Night. The presenters will share data, video artifacts, and other measures of success with this project to help participants learn and implement these activities in their own schools.
Handouts: PowerPoint and Handout
Kay Schreiber and William McQueary
In this session, the presenters will discuss Arizona student plans for success, special education transition planning, and high school Education Career Action Plans (ECAPs). The requirements for transition plans established by IDEA will be reviewed and a crosswalk for comparing these plans with the four ECAP attributes required by Arizona State Board Rule will be provided. Additionally, the presenters will describe how participants can assist students in identifying their high school and postsecondary options using the Arizona Career Information System (AzCIS). (This is a repeat session.)
Handouts: PowerPoint, Handout 1, Handout 2, and Handout 3
Ed O’Leary
Do you want to go beyond just doing the minimum requirements for transition services and get to results? This session will cover the basic Indicator 13 requirements, introduce enhanced and evidence-based practices, review predictors of post-school success, and provide examples of how to use all of this information in developing IEPs to get to results.
Handouts: PowerPoint, Handout 1, and Handout 2
Melinda Jacobs
The best way to avoid special education litigation is to learn from the mistakes and successes of others. In this session, the attorney presenter reviews, analyzes, and explains the winning strategies and losing arguments from the most important federal cases of the past two–three years from Arizona and the Ninth Circuit. Get ready for a fast-paced, thought-provoking, and often humorous tour of judicial decisions.
Handouts: Handout
Leigh Virgil and Corey Montaño
This session will focus on how to create a student Transition and Achievement Portfolio (TAP). The TAP includes a four-year scope and sequence of reasonable and attainable transition outcomes and objectives with a checklist for each year of high school. These transition services are documented throughout the IEP and include present levels of academic achievement and functional performance (PLAAFP), transition needs and activities, age-appropriate assessments, such as AzCIS and ECAP, a coordinated set of activities, and a course of study that meets the federal and state regulations for transition of students with disabilities. Academic achievement will continue to be evaluated through school records, IEP reviews, and evaluation of quarterly progress on IEP annual goals and objectives, and the evidence collected and preserved in the student’s TAP.
Handouts: PowerPoint, Handout 1, Handout 2, and Handout 3

11:00 a.m. — 11:15 a.m. Break

11:15 a.m. — 12:15 p.m. Lunch and Closing Remarks


Promote Strengths

Sponsored by:

ess logo 2013 H color
Arizona Department of Education,
Exceptional Student Services
RSA Logo
Arizona Department of Economic Security,
Rehabilitation Services Administration,
Vocational Rehabilitation
Arizona Department of Economic Security,
Division of Developmental Disabilities
Arizona Department of Health Services,
Office for Children with Special Health Care Needs