The Arc in Hawaii and The Arc of Kona

Project Name: Arc in Hawaii and Kona Transition Services

Contact Information:
Becky Tyksinski
(808) 737-7995
3989 Diamond Head Road
Honolulu, HI 96816

Project Goals

  • Transition 90% of eligible students with intellectual and developmental disabilities from project high schools into the Developmental Disabilities Division (DDD) service system prior to graduation from high school;
  • Increase off-campus work experience of students in project high schools by 30%; and
  • Find competitive employment or self-employment for students from project high schools within 24 months after graduation from high school.

Project Description

The Arc in Hawaii and the Arc of Kona Transition Services project focuses on the transition of youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities from high school to employment and is being implemented over a three-year period on two very different islands in the State of Hawaii: Oahu and Hawaii. The Arc in Hawaii and The Arc of Kona is working with a total of five project high schools on the two islands: two on Oahu (The Arc in Hawaii) and three on Hawaii (The Arc of Kona).

The target group is youth between ages of 14 to 23 years, eligible for services from the Developmental Disabilities Division of the Hawaii State Department of Health and receiving special education services from the Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) in the following eligibility categories: mental retardation, autism, multiple disabilities, and traumatic brain injury. The students and their families are offered the opportunity to participate in the program and receive training in how to access the support systems necessary to achieving each individual’s employment goals. The project incorporates the concept of building individual school teams and emphasizes inter-agency collaboration among school personnel, Arc staff, service/support agencies, and community members.

At a system level, a project advisory group consisting of family members and key state agencies provides guidance and system follow-up to address issues identified by each school team. The advisory group also focuses on sustainability of outcomes through a model of interagency and community collaboration.