As parents and students all know, the transition into adulthood can be a stressful period that is full of uncertainties for many families in transition from Special Education into Adult Services. There are many unknowns and questions about options, eligibility, and how the overall process works. For this reason, the Staten Island Developmental Disabilities Council‘s Education Committee hosts the Annual Spring Seminar titled, Journey to Adulthood, which allows parents, students, and transition coordinators to meet with an expert panel and provider agencies for an information session and an opportunity to link with provider agencies and all partners involved in the transition process.
About the Education Committee
The Education Committee is co-chaired by AHRC New York City’s past President, Laura Kennedy. This year, AHRC New York City’s Associate Director of Employment & Business Services, Salvador Moran was on the panel representing AHRC NYC as one of the key provider agencies on Staten Island. He spoke about transition services and what AHRC NYC can offer to parents and families. The panel also included Jennifer Prensky, Director of Transition and Academic Policy, NYC DOE Office of Special Education, Natalie McQueen, Transition Coordinator with NYC DOE District 75, Florence Tuchman Shomer, Teacher from Office of Travel Training with DOE District 75, Nancy Gentile, Senior Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor from ACCESS-VR Staten Island Office, Joanna Buccellato, Transition Coordinator from NYS OPWDD, Margaret and Raymond Ferrigno.
Guiding Young Adults as They Continue to Grow
As Candi Genovese, Borough Director of EBS Staten Island said, “It’s memorable to be a part of the transition process of a young adult’s life. It’s a special thing to be able to guide parents and the young adults, during a time when they have many questions.”
The panelists spoke about important topics to parents and students in transition:
- IEP planning from school to adult life
- Collaboration with varies entities (volunteer agencies, employment services, ACCESS-VR, OPWDD and The Front Door, Adult Services)
- The importance of Travel Training and Benefits Counseling
- Time-frames for transition
Following the seminar, some of AHRC NYC staff spoke with to parents and students, exchanged contact information for further discussions, and linked with families who need more information and assistance with services. Salvador Moran said, this was a “great opportunity to meet with parents, individuals, and advocates and present some of the creative employment initiatives AHRC NYC is doing in Staten Island.”
Naira Aslanyan, Regional Director of EBS Staten Island also attended the event: “Every day we come across parents and students who are uncertain and afraid of what future holds. Events like this are important so that families know they are not alone and they can seek help in obtaining services that their loved ones need and understand all options that are available to them.”
Anna Chakryan, AHRC NYC’s Program Manager for Staten Island employment programs sponsored by the Department of Youth and Community Development said, “This type of event help us focus on schools that need most help with transition services and link us to DOE Staff that can help families to connect with us.”