KAYSVILLE – A host of agencies gathered earlier this month to aid students with special needs as they plan their transition from high school.
“Build your future” was the theme of the evening event, now in its third year.
Sponsored by Davis Applied Technology College and Davis School District, the transition fair was a chance for students with special needs, their parents and teachers, to see all the help available to them.
“It’s amazing what we can really do for people with disabilities,” said Kathy Chisholm, special education director for Davis School District.
“It’s fun to bring this all together for families,” she said. “Typically they have no idea what’s available so this is one place where they can see what’s available and what meets their needs.”
In the past, those with disabilities thought there were only limited opportunities after high school, said Chisholm.
“What we want to do is be able to give students the skills they need to be successful as adults and be contributing members of society,” she said.
Agencies now help those leaving high school develop skills and learn to interact socially so they can be employed.
“It’s all about getting individuals ready to be functioning adults,” she said.
Both public and private organizations, from United Way to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, from Special Olympics to Pioneer Adult Rehabilitation Center, had representatives at the transition fair.
The beginning of a winter storm affected attendance of both agencies and families, but those who did attend were anxious to share and anxious to learn.
“We are preparing families to let their students go a bit, to be more independent and learn those skills that will help,” said Scott Kupferman, who represented USU’s transition program.
“There is life after high school,” he said. “We need to look at how we can prepare them while they are in high school.”
More information on services is available from Roz Welch, parent consultant with the Utah Parent Center, at 801-402-5120 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parent consultants provide free, private consultations and information on rights and responsibilities, resources and support.