Grant Supports Student-Centered Planning

January 15, 2016

When students with disabilities graduate from high school, they enter a world of unknowns. While their peers are moving out, heading to college, or finding jobs, individuals with disabilities often find themselves left behind—unemployed, isolated, and unfulfilled.

With the support of a grant from the Evanston Community Foundation, Center for Independent Futures is addressing this issue by expanding and refining our best practices in transition planning, designed to create more positive outcomes and brighter futures.

The project, funded by an ECF Responsive Grant, is focused on supporting students with disabilities to create plans for the future by developing a Student-Centered Individualized Education Plan (IEP) Process. Center for Independent Futures staff members collaborate with teachers and families to help students create their own person-centered goals, reflect on achievements, identify necessary support, and more, all while piloting a process that can be used in classrooms across the country.

“The students are recognizing the importance of knowing how to advocate for themselves,” says Sharon Purdy, a member of Center for Independent Futures’ School Consultation Staff.

The project currently involves students at King Arts School and the Evanston Township High School Transition House, and will soon involve students at Park School. When students participate in creating plans for their futures, they can better prepare to live full lives according to their hopes and dreams.

Thank you to the Evanston Community Foundation for making the Student-Centered IEP Process project possible, and to all students and families involved. To learn more about Center for Independent Futures’ work in schools, click here or contact us at (847) 328-2044.

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