Students should be active participants throughout the transition process.
- Include students in the discussions from the beginning! Attending IEP meetings in elementary school can help students to learn about the process and get to know members of the team, along with their roles.
- Learning about their vision conditions and the types of accommodations needed can help students to develop self-advocacy skills.
- Self-determination is a key part of the Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC) and participation in planning can help students with visual impairments to develop these skills.
- Students should have an active voice in expressing their preferences regarding career and independent living.
We believe that the student being at the center of this process leads to the most successful transition to adult life.
Each situation is unique and the transition plan will depend on factors such as the student's interests and abilities, the student's geographic location, the amount of functional vision, hearing and motor abilities that the individual has, and the resources available to provide programming, training, and support. We have chosen several case studies as examples of the process and we invite you to share your stories with us too! Please contact us if you would like to share your story.
Transition Planning with a Focus on Work
In his last two years of high school, Jack spends much of his time working on campus and in the community. Jobs have included washing dishes using the industrial washer, waiting on customers in the Perk Café, and volunteering at a local food pantry. Jack joins other students in production of a weekly radio show, he develops and practices his script in Speech and Language Arts classes. Jack attends his IEP meetings and makes suggestions for his schedule and future goals which include supported work, hopefully at a car wash! Jack works closely with the Low Vision clinic and clinicians offer consultation at each job site. Jack lives on campus and prepares basic meals in the residence and shares the recipes with his family at home.
Student Who is Deafblind Focuses on Giving Back
Heather attended the academic program and earned a High School diploma while at Perkins. She worked with a Speech and Language Therapist on strategies to best communicate with people unfamiliar with her communication style. As a young women who is deafblind, Heather learned to face the speaker and to request clarification as needed. Heather has a passion for travel and a strong interest in creating sustainable income for those in need, especially in developing countries. Her vocational jobs included work in a boutique that carried products created around the world. Heather offered explanations of the origin of craft items to interested customers. For her Senior Community Service project she created crafts of her own and had a fundraiser for a local agency supporting recent immigrants. Heather took courses at local community colleges before leaving Perkins to pursue a career as a community organizer at a four year college.
Focus on Post-Secondary Education
David attended public school before coming to Perkins to develop skills that are part of the Expanded Core Curriculum. David participated in Career Exploration and Vocational Planning classes and identified Computer Programming as a career interest. He applied and interviewed for a position in the IT department where he currently assists customers with technical questions. David took a course at a local community college and an on-line course, he identified which accommodations were essential in order to access the curriculum. The information was included in his transition portfolio along with a personal profile, resume and strategies for problem solving. While at Perkins David kept in close contact with the Commission for the Blind and received Orientation & Mobility services both at school and in the community. During that time he focused on cultivating relationships in his field of interest. He was accepted at a four year college and is learning to navigate the campus, access the disability office and locate food in the cafeteria.
These photos show David doing product testing with the Perkins SMART brailler.