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Transition Institute(s) are coming this summer !


Building Capacity, People, Networks one idea at a time

“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much” – Helen Keller

In June, two state projects will host Transition Institutes in collaboration with other states within our network. What is the buzz about the Transition Institute anyway? What is that quality that inspires the DB projects to commit to a multi- state collaborative relationship to each other, the families and the young adults? There are a few of us who have participated in every transition institute since 2008 and we answer that question with one of our own; “why not? “ “if not the deaf-blind network than who will assure that young adults are given the best chance at becoming adults prepared for college, career and independent living?”
The transition institute is rooted in a rich history of shared expertise, resources and common vision. The institute organically grew from two states Georgia and Florida who recognized that the deaf-blind youth in their states were living in isolation with little knowledge of other young adults and role models who they could learn and grow from. These young adults had something else in common too. They all wanted their lives to be their own, to be self-directed and supported by their teachers, family and community. The first institute hosted in Georgia with approximately 15 young adults ages 15 – 22 years old learned together what self- determination means and what were the things that they could do in their own lives to advocate effectively for themselves at school , at home and in the community. With deaf-blind successful deaf-blind adults as presenters the transformation for many of these young adults was an inspiring and empowering one. These participants who had rarely considered the value of their own opinion were now thinking about action planning, IEP development and pathways to college, technical or trade schools as well as employment. Perhaps one of the most notable indicators of how much of an impact this multi collaborative effort has had on young adults is the cultivation of the mentors who were once participants. The mentors, many in college and now working competitively agree to return and share some of their experiences with the new group of participants and crop of burgeoning mentors!
This institute which has been branded primarily through the collaborative efforts and spirit of the southeastern states has expanded and now with state projects from other regions can be considered national. Deaf-Blind projects utilizing the toolkit as a guide can host institutes with adjoining states with the same quality and relevance. This year the transition institute will offer two opportunities for young adults , families and select providers to participate in either the institute hosted by the Alabama deaf-blind project ( June 11th – 15th) or the institute hosted by the Kentucky deaf-blind project ( June 18th – 21st)
If you are interested in learning more about the institute, are interested in sponsoring a sending a young adult and his family we are still accepting registrations until May 15th 2015.
The toolkit a product developed as a result of the transition institute experience is a free online resource that can be downloaded and utilized by any entity who would like to host an institute that embraces access, equity and opportunity.
If you have any questions please contact me

Mike Fagbemi
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