STAR, Inc.

Project Name: Lighting the Way…

Contact Information:
Linda Snell
(203) 354-0142
182 Wolfpit Avenue
Norwalk, CT 06851

Project Goals

  • An increase in the number of students who continue to participate in educational and recreational activities at exit;
  • An increase in the number of students that graduate with individual paid employment (minimum wage of above);
  • An increase in the number of students that receive support from an adult service provider at graduation;
  • An increase in the number of students who continue to participate in a volunteer activity at exit; and
  • An increase in the number of students who continue to perform one personal errand per week (i.e. banking, post office, dry cleaning) at exit.

Project Description

This grant has allowed STAR to offer a newly designed transition service for youth with developmental disabilities. The focus of the program is employment, post-secondary education, community learning, and independent living. It is an individualized and integrated approach to preparing for a future beyond high school. The student’s needs and interests as identified in their individual education plan are used to develop a weekly schedule and design the plan of support.

The services are integrated in various settings such as employment sites, Norwalk Community College, community locations, etc. Training in the community is a critical component of the program. This consists of paid or unpaid work, accessing community services, personal care, volunteerism, and recreation. An individualized schedule is established for each student, based upon his or her needs, interests, career goals, and personal goals. The student moves throughout their daily schedule and receives needed support from STAR personnel or peer mentors from the College if appropriate.

Through this grant, STAR has developed a partnership with Norwalk Community College to provide transition services to high school students who may and enroll and attend extended studies classes given support from STAR staff or a peer mentor. These extended study classes are integrated and offered as part of the Colleges standard curriculum. Students also have the opportunity to audit classes from the general course catalog, and participate in certificate programs such as child care or culinary arts. Students are supported to select classes based upon their interests, needs, and career goals. Students are able to access campus clubs and take classes at the Wellness Center. As transition students become involved in the Community College, it is the expectation that they exercise self-determination throughout the process. Students are supported to identify interests as they relate to the college experience. Students receive guidance in determining which courses will be beneficial in meeting their transition goals.