The Arc of Nebraska

Project Name: School-to-Community Transition Project

Contact Information:
Marla Fischer-Lempke
(402) 475-4407
3601 Calvert Street, Suite 25
Lincoln, NE 68506

Project Goals

  • 15% increase in competitive and supported employment opportunities for Nebraskans with developmental disabilities in the Omaha area;
  • 25% overall awareness of information about employment opportunities for all Nebraskans with disabilities in the Omaha area; and
  • 90% of students receiving special education services in the Omaha area will receive information about the project throughout the grant period.

Project Description

For successful transition to adulthood, The Arc of Nebraska is piloting an endeavor that involves the concerted effort of parents, students, organizations, and community members to ensure that students receiving transition services are able to pursue their desired employment and career goals without being restricted to systems-based approaches. We are working in close partnership with The Arc of Omaha as well as collaborating organizations including the Munroe-Meyer Institute, Nebraska’s UCEDD, Nebraska Advocacy Services, Nebraska’s Protection and Advocacy organization, and PTI-Nebraska, the Parent and Training Information center in Nebraska. These organizations are instrumental in beginning this work and successful outcomes will result as students are provided the resources and supports they need to achieve a transition to the life they want.

Through this self-sustaining process, students who transition are becoming economically self-sufficient. They have connected with networks of like-minded individuals and organizations that have provided the support necessary for them to become valued members of their community and contributing tax payers. This project requires vision from those who wish to participate in making it happen. This long-range systems change endeavor is leading by example to be presented and replicated not only to other communities across Nebraska, but to others across the nation as well.

The objectives include: identifying gaps and barriers to the current transition planning process for students leaving high school to pursue employment and career goals; and developing a comprehensive community plan that will facilitate seamless transition from students in the educational system to full participation in their community by pursuing careers of their choosing.

Transition services should be closely linked with communities to ensure that students are able to select self-directed career paths without restrictions of prescribed systems-based approaches. A community plan in which a community stands ready to make this happen is a holistic way in which people will become full participants and contributors to their community.