You are a group member!
Advocacy for Youth's transition to Adulthood
Advocacy for Youth’s transition to adulthood
As the caregiver of a youth with deaf-blindness, you face many challenges every day. You have hopes and dreams for your youth, and you want their educational services to help them develop and learn. The youth approaches adult life, it is critical for him/her to be aware of support needs, and that the college, work, and community settings must provide reasonable accommodations if s/he is aware that they are needed.
“Kids are smart. Knowledge is power. Let them figure things out. Don’t turn into that grown-up who they won’t come to.” Lauren Myracie
The development of an effective transition to adulthood plan for your youth with deaf-blindness will serve as a “roadmap” for your youth’s future. You and your youth need to consider five areas when thinking about life after high school:
Post-secondary education/vocation: What kind of post-secondary education is realistic and appropriate? What skills are needed?
Employment: What are your youth’s career goals and what skills do they need? The plan should address how you will get help to apply for and access those services through the State Commission of the Blind.
Independent Living/housing: Consider transportation, getting around the community, food shopping, meal planning, and preparation, using money/making change, personal hygiene, and social relationships. If s/he is eligible for support from other agencies, the plan should address how you will get help to apply for and access those services.
Health: Transferring responsibility for self-care to your youth requires consideration of factors such as complexity of health needs, physical and intellectual abilities of your youth
Reasonable accommodations: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 provides civil rights protections to persons with disabilities similar to those provided on the basis of race, sex, national origin, and religion. The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, state and local government, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation, and telecommunications.
Finally, in order to live active, integrated, productive lives, many people with disabilities require supports and services. With your support and guide, show your youth how to find the services h/she needs.
Co-facilitators: Cecelia Norman and Chris Woodfill
Cecelia "Cece" Norman joined the HKNC staff in January 2017 as a regional representative providing assessment, consultation, technical assistance, and information referral. Prior to this role, Cece worked as a clinician at the Lexington Mental Health Center in New York. Her previous employment included a substance abuse counselor for the Family Service Foundation in Frederick, MD, and a family educator at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf in Washington, DC. She received a B.S. in Family Studies from the University of Maryland and a M.S.W., Social Work from Gallaudet University.
Chris Woodfill was appointed associate executive director at the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults (HKNC) in 2014. In this position, Mr. Woodfill supervises 60 employees in five departments --vocational training, admissions, interpreting, residence life and the community service program-- and monitors the budgets of each department. He also facilitates HKNC’s Professional Learning and Leadership Institute, deaf-blind self-advocacy training, the Young Adult Summer Program, and cultural diversity and sensitivity training programs. Mr. Woodfill earned an M.S. in deaf education from McDaniel College, an M.A. in Latin-American studies from George Washington University and a B.A. in history and Spanish from Gallaudet University. He serves on the boards of the World Federation of the DeafBlind and of the American Association of the Deaf-Blind.