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Building Collaborative Partnerships: HKNC Regional Representatives

Transition

Building Collaborative Partnerships: HKNC Regional Representatives

Transition

This page was last updated on Dec 13, 2017 at 11:49 am

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Mike Fagbemi, NCDB Transition Initiative Lead

Ellen presenting to HKNC staff members.

In October, the Helen Keller National Center hosted an annual fall meeting for its regional representatives and senior adult services staff. The regional reps, who are committed to sharing their expertise and resources, recognize the importance of partnerships with NCDB and the state deaf-blind projects to meet the needs of transition-age children and their families.

HKNC and NCDB have made a concerted effort to strengthen their collaborative relationship, with the purpose of improving the capacity of the deaf-blind technical assistance network to support youth with deaf-blindness (and their families) who have additional disabilities and require long-term supports. At the October meeting, Ellen Condon, the director of the Montana Deaf-Blind Project and a nationally-recognized expert on topics related to competitive integrated employment, customized employment, and transition from school to work for students with significant disabilities was invited to engage the regional representatives in meaningful discussions, address knowledge gaps, and assist in brainstorming ideas for working towards positive outcomes.

It is widely understood within professional and family circles that achieving positive transition outcomes for youth who are deaf-blind and have additional disabilities has been a long-standing challenge to service delivery systems. A positive step towards meeting this challenge is the recent Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), federal legislation through the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. The purpose of WIOA is to give all young adults who want to work an opportunity to do so in a competitive and integrated setting. Nevertheless, long-standing obstacles remain, and it will require the expertise, resources, commitment, and energy of the deaf-blind network to address them.

Ellen presenting to HKNC staff members.

NCDB recognizes that strong partnerships between the deaf-blind network and transition agencies and organizations outside the network are necessary if there is to be systemic change. The partnership with HKNC is a big step in the right direction.

Moving forward, HKNC representatives will be sharing their knowledge and perspectives about transition in the NCDB Transition Initiative Group. If you are not already a member of the group, please join so you can receive notifications of this important information. 



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