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Spring 99 Table of Contents
Versión Español de este artículo (Spanish Version)
by Lori Wells, Transition Consultant, Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (formerly known as Texas Commision for the Blind)
Throughout our lives we experience numerous changes that provide us with opportunities for exploration, discovery, and decision making. Adolescents face a major life-change or "transition" upon completing high school and meeting the challenges of adulthood. In an effort to assist students who are blind or visually impaired and their families prepare for this important period of adjustment, the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (formerly known as Texas Commision for the Blind) has developed a system to help bridge the gap between high school and the world of work. The transition process includes the active involvement of the adolescent consumer, parents, educators, and rehabilitation professionals. The basic goal of this effort is to provide our youth with the information and services they need to make a successful transition from the education system to adult life.
The Transition Program was developed to assist adolescents with permanent visual impairments make an effective transition from secondary school to adult life and the world of work by helping these young Texans develop the skills and self awareness to make informed choices about the type of employment they would like to pursue.
Transition services that are available to assist young people in the initial pursuit of their vocational goals may include:
Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (formerly known as Texas Commision for the Blind) works with consumers, their families, local education agencies, educational service centers and other community resources to develop Individualized Transition Plans (ITPs) and to assist students in clarifying their goals related to employment, independent living, recreation and leisure, and post-secondary vocational training. Texas state law requires that an ITP be developed by the local education agency for all students receiving special education services by their 16th birthday.
Transition Counselors assist consumers and their families prepare for an ITP meeting by helping them plan, problem solve, clarify goals, and identify potential resources. Whenever possible, the Transition Counselor will attend ITP meetings with the consumers and their parent(s). The Transition Counselor is particularly interested in assisting consumers to identify summer programs they would like to participate in and helping them to make vocational plans for after high school.
With the proper training and support, blind and visually impaired youth can become successful and independent adults. The transition program strives to provide the opportunities and training needed to assist the young people that we serve gain employment in a career field wherethey are likely to be successful, and find enjoyment.
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Last Revision: September 4, 2003