Tuesday, March 16, 2010

2010 Virginia Transition Forum

Day Two of the 2010 Virginia Transition Forum has come to a close. I feel so energized! I have networked with people I see only at this conference each year, and I have met young people who are accomplishing amazing academic and vocational milestones. These young people have a range of physical and intellectual disabilities, but their disabilities aren't preventing them from transitioning into meaningful post-secondary educational and vocational endeavors.

I talked with Adam, a freshman at my alma mater...Virginia Wesleyan College in Norfolk. He's a member of the Youth Leadership Forum and participates in the I'm Determined program. Adam, who uses a wheelchair for mobility, told me about the changes underway at the campus that will make getting around easier for people who use wheelchairs. He specifically mentioned the renovation of the science building, a building he described as old. It was new when I was a student there!

The students from Wise County, Amy, Heather, Mason, Coleman, Matthew, and others, operate a consignment shop and run a catering service. Their enterprise, Duds & Dough, will be included as a chapter in my upcoming book, The School-Based Business: A How-to Guide for Teachers of Students with Intellectual Disabilities. This is the third year the business has been up and running and the second year the students and their teachers have presented information at the Transition Forum. They are such an inspiration that six other schools in Virginia have opened stores based on their model!

One of the stores is in my backyard: Purple Pride, a post-graduate "classroom" for students at Essex High School in Tappahannock. I will feature them in the book, too. A few of my students and the paraprofessionals who work with me were among the store's first customers opening day. I had the privilege of shopping at the store that Saturday...the day of the grand opening.

Stay tuned for more information about the Transition Forum and the book!

No comments:

Post a Comment