Tips

All Tuesday Tips

'Tomorrow Will Come Again, I Promise'

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, we’re sharing this gem of a video from the Excelano Project at the University of Pennsylvania. Excelano is a spoken word poetry group focusing on mental health awareness and empowerment. And we certainly can’t describe them any better than they do:

“This group is about finding voice. It is dedicated to the power of the mic and using personal experience to touch the lives of audience members. It’s about breaking down barriers. It’s about holding a speaker up to life’s white noise, to find that every one of us can be heard.”

 Watch and listen to “Tomorrow Will Come Again, I Promise,and promise to share it with your students!

Nine Fun Ways to Learn Workplace Skills

There’s more to successful employment than knowing the step-by-step, how-to’s of a task. It’s those “softskills” that often get shuffled to the back burner when students are facing deadlines or focusing on standardized test scores. But without interpersonal skills, teamwork, flexibility, and negotiation (to name just a few), finding success in the workplace could be tough.

Here is a list of nine activities, from the site We Are Teachers, to help students build those softskills (and have some end-of-the-year fun).  “Nine Awesome Activities That Teach Job Readiness Skills

Promoting Self-Determination

In 2003, the National Center for Secondary Education and Transition at the University of Minnesota published a nice, simple listing of a multitude of ways to promote self-determination. It includes strategies for self-advocacy, reasonable risk-taking, problem-solving, and more. As a handout, it might be helpful for case conference meetings or transition fairs.

Take a look at “Promoting Self-Determination in Youth with Disabilities: Tips for Families and Professionals.” 

Find more tips and information on NCSET's page Self-Determination: Supporting Successful Transition.  

Cadre Leaders Presentations

Members of the Indiana Cadres of Transition Leaders are meeting today in Indianapolis for their annual Capacity Building Institute. This year’s Institute, “Innovate, Integrate, Motivate” features presentations from state leaders and Indiana transition teachers.

Topics covered today will include mental health, benefits, transition portfolios, student-led IEPs, and more. To review today’s presentations and related materials, go to the Training page of the Indiana Secondary Transition Resource Center website and scroll down to “Innovate, Integrate, Motivate.”

Transition Portfolio Resources

One of several new changes Indiana is implementing for all students receiving special education services is the transition portfolio. A portfolio is a collection of information and materials related to a student’s academic and work-related activities. The new portfolios will help students share their learning characteristics, academic skills, and employability skills with postsecondary training programs or potential employers.

Last week the Indiana Department of Education’s Office of Special Education announced that it has published “Transition Portfolio Guidance” for the state’s secondary teachers.

This summer, the Office of Special Education will also be providing Transition Portfolio Regional Trainings for special education teachers, administrators, and counselors. For more information and to register for trainings in Fort Wayne, South Bend, Washington, Fishers, or Seymour, see the Transition Portfolio Regional Trainings flyer.

And one more heads up. We’re thisclose to publishing an updated version of Indiana Diploma Decisions for students, families, and teachers. Stay tuned to your Tuesday Tips!

Summer Fun!

Summer camps are a wonderful way for our students to meet new friends, explore new interests, experience independence, and participate in activities they might never be exposed to during the school year.  It can be challenging, though, to find the right camp for a student with disabilities.  Day camp, weekends, near home, robots, exotic animals, anime, music,  medical or physical supports, picky eaters, fear of the water, stargazing.  You name it; families are looking for it.

 Thankfully, our colleagues at the Indiana Resource Center for Autism publish an annual Summer Camps and Programs Guide, where parents, teachers, and counselors can find a myriad of camps that take place throughout Indiana. (The guide is not just for students with autism.) It’s listed by region and alphabetically and even includes therapeutic horseback riding programs and sensory-friendly movie theaters.

Deadlines for enrollment vary, so explore now and send the link to your families!

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's Off to Work We Go!

For those of you with students who are soon headed off to the wonderful world of work (and wages), today’s tip comes with a couple of different resources.

  1. Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation asks eligible job seekers (VR refers to them as “participants”) to choose an employment provider that can support students with a number of different work-related services. You’ll find the employment providers in your area here, on a document VR refers to as “the pick list.” But, to help students and their families select the provider that’s right for them, they’ll need to make a few phone calls and ask a few questions. A Roadmap to Choosing an Employment Provider,” from the Center on Community Living and Careers (CCLC), can guide students as they ask those questions and compare providers.
  2. What if your student wants to start her/his own business? For those students, CCLC is offering The “ABCs of Self-Employment,” a FREE information session designed to help students and adults with disabilities learn more about starting and running a business. Entrepreneurs with disabilities who are successfully managing self-employment will talk to attendees and their supporters about how they’ve made it work. The program is sponsored by the Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities.

South Bend will be hosting the next “ABCs of Self-Employment” on April 24 at the Hilton Garden Inn and Gillespie Conference Center. Can’t make it to the South Bend session? CCLC will also be offering the sessions in New Albany and Indianapolis later in the year. For more information and to register for the April 24 session, see the “ABCs of Self-Employment” registration flyer.

It's Spring!

We would like to point out that the sun is actually shining today—over the whole state of Indiana. It’s been a while.

Since many of you are off cavorting for spring break—you are cavorting, right?--Tuesday Tips and the team at the Indiana Secondary Transition Resource Center is taking the week off.

We’ll return next week with more tips, strategies, and resources.
Rest, relax, have fun, and soak up some sun!

Transition Planning for Students Who Are Deaf

Who am I? What do I want? How do I get there?

Those are the three questions that form the basis for “Map It!: What Comes Next?” a free, online module designed for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. The Map It! Training modules and curriculum are funded by the Department of Education and administered by the National Association of the Deaf.

In addition to facilitator guides and print resources that you can download, Map It!: What Comes Next? uses several videos that are signed in ASL with spoken English. The Map It! curriculum also includes student self-assessments and guiding questions to help students identify their goals and strategies to reach them.

Explore Map It! What Comes Next? Meanwhile, we’ll also add Map It! to the Transition Resources on the INSTRC website, so that you’ll also be able to find it there.

Charting the LifeCourse: Exploring Life Possibilities

A few months ago, we shared a series of employment videos from the toolbox of Charting the LifeCourse, a compendium of resources from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Institute for Human Development. For families looking at all of life’s choices—housing, work, leisure, relationships, advocacy—the UMKC Institute has another tool: Exploring Life Possibilities.

The Exploring Life Possibilities chart helps individuals and families look at and compare choices in each of the life domains. The chart “sorts” these options into more traditional supports, and newer, innovative approaches so that families and professionals can begin researching what might be available and doable now or in the near future.

You'll find the Exploring Life Possibilities chart and more LifeCourse tools on the LifeCourse Resources page.