Evansville ARC

Project Name: Successful Transitions

Contact Information:
Crystal Sisson
(812) 492-1206
615 W. Virginia Street
Evansville, IN 47712

Project Goals

  • Students with disabilities will not have a lapse in services upon graduation;
  • 75% of students who are eligible to sign up for Vocational Rehabilitation Services have signed up for these services and have an Individualized Plan for Employment and Supports (IPES) through Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation Services to begin a funded job search;
  • 75% of students will have an active person-centered plan implemented; and
  • 50% of students involved in the program will participate in a community service/volunteer activity.

Project Description

Evansville ARC’s Successful Transitions program began as a grant project funded by the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration in 2003. Through Successful Transitions, the transition consultant works closely with students, parents, and teachers to help identify the needs of students and connect them to the appropriate agencies that will help them reach their goals. Through activities such as the Transition Council of Vanderburgh County, Parent Transition Council, Transition Fairs, person-centered planning, and Get Set For Life, students are becoming more prepared to live an independent life once they complete their high school experience.

Evansville ARC and the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation (EVSC) partnered to address the need for students and their families to have a streamlined transition into a more meaningful adult life. By partnering with the EVSC, the transition consultant serves as a guide through the students’ transition process and has direct access to students and their families through meetings at the Successful Transitions office, the student’s home, or the school. These personal contacts, between all vested parties, ensure a smooth transition for students to receive services or gain employment after graduation.

The project extends greater services and opportunities into the students’ classroom. During one class period each day for 40 weeks the class spend 30 minutes learning about self-advocacy and 30 minutes about work skills. The Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation (EVSC) teacher educate students with curriculum on their rights, disability law, the legislative system, independent living, and communicating wants and needs. Students also have opportunities in the community to increase career awareness through job shadowing and volunteering. Along with the EVSC teacher, Evansville ARC staff, self-advocates, and other community resources are involved in educating the students and lead discussions on work-related topics. Through the work skills curriculum, students learn valuable employment skills, such as interviewing for a job, résumé building, acceptable work behavior, appropriate work attire, conflict resolution, and workplace culture. Students visit organizations in the community to gain a greater understanding of work atmosphere, dress attire, and also become exposed to future volunteer and work opportunities. Job trials are implemented through the use of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS). Each student in their final year of school begins to develop an Individual Plan for Employment and Supports which includes VRS work experience.

Two workshops are held outside of the school day to educate the students’ support networks on a range of issues they are facing with their students; such as how to support their student to be successful at work, truths and myths concerning federal and state benefits, counseling sessions to set up benefits one-on-one, and interaction with self advocates to learn from their experiences. These workshops also focus on the opportunities they have through adult services.