My son recently transitioned out of high school and into adult services and I also work in Employment Services for a adult agency. I feel there is a disconnect between all agencies involved in the transition process. I also feel everyone plays a part in transition NOT working. Schools-no communication with adult agencies, put students with cognitive disabilities into "slot" jobs for 1 hour a week, don't understand adult services, little education for parents, and much more. Adult agencies-don't understand school system, place people in sub mininum wage jobs, staff shortage due to cuts, need to change how staff view people with disabilities, change on how they operate to accomadate people who want to live, work and be a part of their community, etc. Parents-need to teach their child how to "Dream", advocate for their child, start future planning at grade school level, etc. State agencies-money needs to be shared between school and adult agencies to assist with transition earlier, voc rehab, adult agencies, and schools need to work together to create/find jobs for people instead of each having contracts to make and flooding community employers with three of the same programs. It all basically comes down to funding and everyone wants to keep the money, but it needs to be about what is best for the person and everyone should work together. I really think if everyone knew what each other did it would open up doors of communication and hopefully change. I have worked in adult services for a long time and been the mother to my son even longer and it has been a slow process of change in the last 20 years. Hopefully we actually see the change this time and not just policies being made that only help a select few. Everyone has different needs/wants and we have individual meetings from school-age into adult services, so things should be in place for each individual and changed if needed along the way. I feel people from person,school, and adult services feel their hands are ties by regulation and rules that they can't try anything out of the box to help support people with disabilities that have been taught to"dream" for more than institutional living.
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