The Arc of Colorado

Project Name: Transforming the Transition Path

Contact Information:
Marijo Rymer
(303) 864-9334 Ext. 11
1580 Logan St. Suite 730
Denver, CO 80203

Project Goals

  • An increase in the number of students participating in employment related activities;
  • Track and monitor the number and type of employment related elements in individual transition plans—can include: job-shadowing, volunteer experience, work-place observation, exploration of hobbies, and general education experiences;
  • An increase in the identification of community connections in plans;
  • An increase in the identification of social skills needed and specific goals for learning and practicing those skills;
  • An increase in the number of students with plans including components for linking a customized network of supports among families, schools, adult service systems, and the general community; and
  • Track and monitor the number of students participating in training or mentorship efforts for functional skill development as identified in a transition plan.

Project Description

The Arc of Colorado, with eleven local chapters of The Arc, are demonstrating to families of middle school students the value of person centered planning at an early age by incorporating principles of person centered planning in middle school and high school Individualized Education Plans (IEPs). Additionally, they are working with schools to meet Individualized Career and Academic Plans (ICAP) general education goals, Office of Special Education standards for Indicator 13, and to increase the percentage of youth with high quality individualized transition goals.

Local advocates are simultaneously engaging teachers and other professionals who have responsibilities for the identified student to encourage them to participate and are assisting the school with incorporating the student’s personal plan in to his or her IEP. Advocates have continued to provide advocacy and technical assistance to assure continuation and or modification of the plan through the student’s school career.

The Arc of Colorado contracts with a certified person centered planning consultant to train eight additional trainers who, in turn, train person centered training facilitators. The planning team conducts informational workshops with 2-4 school districts or rural special education cooperatives about ways to meet ICAP and Indicator 13 standards by incorporating life planning principles into IEPs and formal transition plans. The Arc of Colorado also contracts with the Colorado Association Supported Employment for train-the-trainer work to build vocational planning into personal plans at the earliest possible point – no later than grade eight.