The Arc of Jackson County

Project Name: School-to-Community Transition Project

Contact Information:
Trisha Pelzel
(541) 779-4520
121 N. Central Avenue
Medford, OR 97501

Project Goals

  • Increased employment, work experience, and volunteer opportunities in or near students’ in rural communities;
  • Increased staff time spent instructing students’ in homes developing the skills of cooking, chores, home safety, hygiene, leisure activities, and stranger danger;
  • Increased staff time spent with students in the rural communities working on independent living skills of banking, mobility, and accessing transportation, shopping, and accessing community centers;
  • Increased involvement with students’ friends in the rural communities for social skills development; and
  • Increased communication with students’ families and supporters.

Project Description

The purpose is to engage students in year-round activities throughout Jackson County within their home communities. It is well documented that students with intellectual and developmental disabilities benefit greatly from year-round instruction. Research has shown that students that are engaged in meaningful activities year-round are more successful, less likely drop out of school, get into less trouble, and enjoy a better quality of life. The goal is to have initial instruction occur at the transition site with concurrent instruction being given in the students’ homes and communities and broadened to include non-academic school year services. Toward the end of each student’s transition period, the final outcome will be full community inclusion.

Project activities include: locating employment and volunteer opportunities within students’ communities, learning to create a resume, fill out job applications, and go through the interview process. Additional components include personal safety, community adult and independent living skills, health and wellness, as well as skills for improving communication and social interactions.