Transition Bootcamp Supports Families, Professionals, and Youth to Navigate the Future

More than 200 individuals attended Transition Bootcamp on September 19, 2014 at the Sharonville Convention Center. Participants learned from regional experts on the challenging process of transitioning into the adult world as a young person with a disability. Topics included employment, housing, guardianship, financial planning, education options, and more.   A survey of parents of transition-aged students with disabilities (age 12-26 years) showed that more than 90% of respondents reported a need for information about adult services, like housing, post-secondary education, and health care transition. This information is critical for a smooth transition as well as an avenue for improving general disability outcomes, like continued low employment rates despite significant state and national efforts.

[Feature image photo caption: Carolyn Wheeler and self-advocate Megan McCormick smile after their keynote address.]

Transition Bootcamp was planned in coordination with 14 members of the planning committee, representing many of the area’s organizations focused on improving the lives of individuals with disabilities. A generous grant from the Dr. Jack Rubinstein Foundation allowed this event to expand from previous years and welcome more attendees. In addition to attending sessions to plan for the future, attendees also visited the event’s Vendor Fair with more than 35 organizations and agencies represented.
[Photo caption: Patrick Wong presents in session on education and employment.]

Ilka Riddle PhD, Executive Director of the University of Cincinnati University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UC UCEDD) explains the value of Transition Bootcamp in helping families start early and prepare well for these important transitions, “We know the closer it gets to transition from school to work, post-secondary education, or day programs, the more stressed families get with planning and preparing for so many transitions.

There are so many things to think about and so many forms to complete. It can feel very overwhelming! If families have the opportunity to learn about these topics before their child is in the actual transition phase, they have enough time to familiarize themselves with the information and support youth with disabilities to make a successful and empowered transition to living as an active adult member of the community.”

[Photo caption: Ilka Riddle, Executive Director of UC UCEDD, is pictured delivering the Welcome Session for Transition Bootcamp.]

Following the one-day event, attendees and others from the community are encouraged to continue the learning process through a year-long “Booster Session” series. These programs, held monthly, will expand upon information provided at Transition Bootcamp. They are free of charge and open to caregivers, educators, youth with disabilities, and members of the community. The first booster session will focus on employment, co-hosted by Ohio Valley Goodwill and Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities. It will be held Tuesday, October 7 from 6-8pm at Ohio Valley Goodwill. Registration is now open



[Photo caption: Transition Bootcamp Resource binder is pictured.]




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