The Arc of Rensselaer County

Project Name: Community Transition Partnership

Contact Information:
Charles Miskovsky
(518) 274-3110
484 River Street
Troy, NY 12180

Project Goals

  • Each student in grade 10 will experience at least 1 job tour and one job shadow in the vocational area of their choice;
  • Each student in grade 11 will experience between 1 and 3 internships of their choosing;
  • Each student in grade 12 will experience paid community employment at or above minimum wage;
  • Each student will upon graduation have paid employment or have completed the application process for college or a vocational training school of their choosing;
  • Each student upon graduation will have a completed portfolio containing the following elements indicative of a comprehensive approach to transition: One completed Framework for Planning (or similar person-centered planning tool) including the map, positive profile, and action plan; entries detailing progress on implementing the action plan complete with a listing of barriers and how they were successfully addressed; evidence that the student’s support/planning circle included family; results from the completed/reviewed Myers-Briggs Type Indicator tool; evidence of experiencing at least 1 job tour; evidence of experiencing at least 1 job shadow; evidence of completing between 1 to 3 internships; evidence of being employed; at least one letter of recommendation from an employer; student self-evaluation; employer evaluation of the employee (student); and evidence of the securing of all applicable public support resources; and
  • Parent(s) or family member will participate in the planning process and have a defined role in supporting the action plan.

Project Description

A collaboration of organizations that have the common goal to promote better futures and a wider array of choices for young people with disabilities was established 3 years ago and continues as the foundation of this project.

Troy, Cohoes, and Lansingburgh School Districts have been introduced to the Framework for Planning process and are building the capacity to broaden the use of person-centered planning over time. Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC) is supporting the transition of students with disabilities into college, if that is an interest expressed by the student. They are also providing the World of Work job readiness course during the summer months to students of this project. This course is conducted on campus, allowing students who may not have ever considered attending college an opportunity to experience a taste of college life.

Self-determination is the cornerstone of this project. A critical indicator of long-term success for young adults is the degree to which they have played a central role in the development of a comprehensive plan for their future. Person-centered planning is designed to place the young person in the center of a process that allows them to direct the course of their own life while surrounded by people that know and care about them. This project provides for long-term capacity building to enable ARC staff, school personnel, students, and family members to actively engage in person-centered planning processes over a period of years. A variety of person-centered planning tools are utilized including the Framework for Planning which provides a structured approach to helping people with disabilities think about their life focus, develop a positive profile, and an action plan to achieve their goals.

The Framework for Planning has been successfully utilized with populations including inmates with disabilities, people with psychiatric disabilities, and students with and without disabilities since its development in 2004. The primary developer of this tool and consultant to this project is engaging ARC staff and teachers in learning how to facilitate this person-centered process as well as other tools associated with person-centered planning (MAPS, PATHS, etc). This activity is supporting the integration of person-centered planning into the 3 school districts as the foundation for their Individualized Education Program (IEP) process.