NEWS

State Board of Education hosts Transitions Summit

Special conference aimed at disabled students, adults, families, practitioners

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 23, 2001

FOR INFORMATION:
(217) 782-4648 OR (312) 814-1486

Springfield – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will host a unique conference designed to help students and adults with disabilities make a smooth transition from school to adult life.

The conference titled “Illinois Transition Summit: Planning for the Future,” will be held Tuesday and Wednesday, March 27-28 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 3000 S. Dirksen Parkway, Springfield.

The summit will provide young people with disabilities, their parents and families and professionals an opportunity to network, explore and plan for implementation of new and improved approaches to transition planning.

Registration will begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday. A keynote speech will follow at 10 a.m. from Marsha Katz, an organizational consultant at the Rural Institute. Katz has worked in disability rights for 20 years. She came to the Rural Institute in late 1998 after serving as vice president of the Association for Community Advocacy in Michigan.

She is an experienced trainer in all aspects of Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security law and policy, persons with cognitive disabilities in the criminal justice system, parents with disabilities and fetal alcohol syndrome/fetal alcohol effects.

“The State Board is proud to present this important conference as we continue to work to provide an education that is Second to None for all of our students,” said State Superintendent of Education Glenn W. McGee. “Every student deserves an opportunity to succeed and live a happy life and we hope this conference helps to make that happen.”

The conference will include several breakout sessions and roundtable discussions on such topics as:

  • Developing preferences and skills through longitudinal work-based learning experiences

  • Steps to a well-written transition based IEP

  • Job development for the non-specialist

  • Planning for transition of medical care

  • Student rights

  • Least restrictive environments

  • Lifelong learning

  • Living arrangements

Conference speakers include: Sue Walter, the Technical Assistance and Training Coordinator for the Illinois Systems Change Project and parent of a high school student with disabilities; Darcy Contri, University of Illinois at Chicago-Division of Specialized Care for Children is a registered nurse with 17 years of broad experience in direct patient care and service coordination for children with special health care needs; Paul Jacob, Medical & Social Consultant for the University of Illinois at Chicago-Division of Specialized Care for Children, Deb Russell, a social security expert and Project Director overseeing the grant that the Illinois Department of Human Services-Office of Rehabilitation Services received from the Social Security Administration;

Speakers also include: Debbie Shelden, Technical Assistance Coordinator for the National Transition Alliance/Transition Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Kathleen Treutler, Principal Management Consultant for ISBE’s Department of Special Education/Least Restrictive Environment division; and Terry David, Consultant, Consultant for ISBE’s Center for Special Education; and Tom L. Thompson, Director, Access and Disability Services, William R. Harper College.

Speakers also include Nancy Brittin, Transitional Services Director, Youth Service Bureau; Donna Hutcheson, Policy Director at the Illinois Assistive Technology Project; Vernessa Gipson, ISBE Regional Coordinator; and Kathy Conour and Diana Braun who are citizens with disabilities.

The conference is co-sponsored by the Illinois Transition Systems Change Project: An Illinois State Board of Education Funded Initiative; University of Illinois at Chicago-Division of Specialized Care for Children; SSA State Partnerships Initiative: Putting the Pieces Together; Education To Careers Steering Committee; Family Resource Center on Disabilities; Family T.I.E.S. Network; Illinois Center for Specialized Professional Support/Education To Careers, Including Individuals with Disabilities; and the National Transition Alliance/Transition Research Institute at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.