Transition Bootcamp 2015 Helps Families of Young People with Disabilities Make a Plan for Life

The barriers faced by young people with disabilities as they transition to adult life are often created by beliefs and low expectations rather than disability itself.

This was just one of the points made by Sue Beck, Transition Bootcamp 2015 keynote speaker. It is also the reason that more than 400 people attended UC UCEDD’s (University of Cincinnati University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities) November 6th event at Sharonville Convention Center.

Attendees were there to learn more about education, work and career options for young people with disabilities transitioning from school systems to the adult world; and to challenge previously held beliefs about what might be possible. Topics addressed included Transition to Adult Healthcare, How to address Challenging Behaviors in Adults with Disabilities, Advocacy for Transition Age Youth, Post-secondary Education and Vocational Options, Guardianship, Financial Planning, Housing, Transportation and more.

An event of this scope required expertise from across Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC). In addition to the UC UCEDD team, participating in the event as planning members, speakers and vendors were representatives from the CCHMC Transition Medicine Clinic, the CCHMC Family Resource Center, the Perlman Center, Project SEARCH, CCHMC Social Workers, CCHMC Financial Advocates and CCHMC’s Disability Services Vocational/Educational Coordinator.  The planning committee, composed of hospital and community professionals as well as family members of transitioning youth, worked for nearly a year to plan this event.

Transition is always a challenging time for individuals and families but recent state and federal changes have made the process even more complex. As Sue Beck, consultant for the Center at Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI), explained in her presentation “New Approaches to Solving Old Problems,” things are changing, and the government is changing the processes, tools and the ways agencies are collaborating on behalf of young people with disabilities.

“Human services at a federal level are coordinating legislation and work on funding redesign, and at a state level Governor Kasich has appointed a task force to identify and address barriers in the systems that hinder employment for people with disabilities. Now there’s a new agency-neutral practice to develop a person-centered, outcome-focused plan for each young person with disabilities,” said Beck.

After attending some of the presentations and breakout sessions, one family member of a teen with disabilities said, “I finally feel like I’m not alone out there navigating through all these systems.” and Another parent stated, “This was one of the most helpful trainings that I have ever attended.”

Attendees also had an opportunity to visit more than 50 regional vendors and agencies that provide services within the disabilities community. Many said networking at the bustling vendor fair was a very valuable part of the day, and provided many useful resources. “I’ve attended several state and national events and this vendor fair is larger and more extensive than many of those. I’ve found several agencies and service providers that I’m looking forward to learning more about when I get home,” said one parent who attended the day-long event.

“It’s very rewarding to see this event grow each year as we create deeper connections with families, care providers and organizations in our community. Transition Bootcamp benefits so many families of youth and young adults with disabilities, and helps them take steps to achieve the lives they want,” said Ilka Riddle, UC UCEDD Director.

Many of the transition topics will be featured and expanded upon in our Transition Bootcamp Booster Sessions in 2016. Please check our Transition Bootcamp 2016 Booster Session calendar to learn more. UC UCEDD would like to thank all the sponsors who made Transition Bootcamp 2015 possible, especially this year’s premiere sponsor, the Jack H. Rubinstein Foundation.

Click here to access Speaker Presentations from Transition Bootcamp 2015.

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