• How to Locate Resources for Parents and Avoid Internet Search Frustration

    Posted by Misty Crouch on 2/28/2020 7:00:00 AM

    Teachers often struggle to find useful resources to share with parents because of the vast amount of information available on the internet. It can take a great amount of time to research for and find information specific to their students’ situations or the parents’ concerns.  

    In December, Indiana University’s Indiana Institute on Disability and Community (IIDC) shared a useful  resource in their weekly newsletter. It was a website called Indiana Disability Resource FINDER (www.indianadisabilityresourcefinder.org).  This website allows users to filter information by the following categories: 1) Stages of Life (e.g., Early Childhood, School-Age, Transition/Young Adult, etc.); 2)  Topics of Interest (e.g., Family Support, Education, Advocacy, etc.); 3) Diagnosis (e.g., Behavior Concerns, Autism, Intellectual Disability, etc.); 4) Service Areas (county name); and 5) Listing Types (e.g., Advocate, Articles, School, Support Groups, etc.).  

    I looked specifically at the preschool and young adult sections when exploring the website because of the populations of students and teachers I support.  However, if you search by just the county you are interested in, it lists all of the providers, links, articles, etc., and then you can use the other filters to narrow down the results to what could be beneficial to share with your students and parents.  

    Here is a link to the introduction video that explains the website. Check this out if you are in need of some up-to-date resources for your case conference meetings or to quickly answer parents’ questions about how to find specific resources in your local community/county. 

    If you have a transition topic you need more resources for, or another topic you would like covered in this year’s transition articles, please email me at mcrouch@earlywood.org.

    Misty

    ~Misty Crouch, Transition Coordinator 

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  • Less Stress AND Measurable Post-Secondary Goals - You Can Do It!

    Posted by Misty Crouch on 11/1/2019 7:00:00 AM

    Do you struggle with writing measurable post-secondary goals?  Do you stress about transition IEPs and the monitoring of those?  Do you just need a little help narrowing down the vast number of resources to just a few that would help you get started on what a transition IEP even is?  You are not alone and there are people and resources that can help! Like many things in education, you can research and find hundreds or thousands of resources, but I have found that less is best.  How do you choose? Several years back, when I was responsible for monitoring my district’s IEPs, I went straight to the expert with whom we had frequent calls and professional development to correct our non-compliance findings.  The resources listed below have been updated since that time, but they are my go-to resources when assisting someone with transition IEPs.

    In Indiana, when a student turns 14 between the initiation and duration dates of their IEP,or when they enter grade 9, their IEP must meet the requirements for transition IEP’s and include the following components:

    • Measurable postsecondary goals
    • Transition services to provide information for the student’s future decision making on their  post-secondary goals
    • Annual IEP updates based on age-appropriate transition assessments
    • Annual IEP goals related to the student’s transition needs focusing on education/training, employment, and independent living (if applicable)
    • A course of study to effectively enable the student to achieve their goals

    Ensuring measurable post-secondary goals are included is a teacher’s first step to writing a quality IEP for a transition-age student.  As a teacher begins the transition process with a student, it is important to communicate with the student to identify their post-secondary goals.  The statements for each area (education/training, employment, and independent living (if applicable), must be measurable and not contain any words similar to the following: “think”, “might”, “may”, “need to”, etc. 

    It’s often just replacing a vague word or adding a little more detail that is the difference between a non-compliant finding on your transition IEP and a quality, measurable post-secondary goal statement.   Instead of “I will look for a job working with cars”, you could say “I will work full-time at a garage as a mechanic.” Instead of “I may want to go to college,” you could say “I will enroll at Ivy Tech to study early childhood education.”  Similarly, instead of “I need to learn to manage money and care for myself, you could say “I will independently prepare for work each day, including dressing myself, making my lunch, and getting to the bus.”

    The Indiana Secondary Transition Resource Center (INSTRC) provides an excellent online directory of transition materials and training information.  Their searchable database includes recently updated resources that can assist both veteran teachers and those new to the profession in writing quality transition IEPs.  Here are two that I have added to my transition resource binder that might be helpful to you the next time you sit down to work on a student’s transition IEP:

    The Indiana Transition IEP Rubric 2018-2019

    Transition Services and Activities: Making the Connection

    Over the next several articles, I will explore some specific resources for the requirements of a transition IEP.  Next month’s article will feature information on resources on transition services and tips for writing more individualized transition services for your students.

    If you have questions about transition IEPs or If you have a transition topic that you need more resources for or another topic you would like covered in this year’s transition articles, please email me at mcrouch@earlywood.org.

    Misty

    ~Misty Crouch, Transition Coordinator

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  • Transition Resource: Don't Leave Home Without It

    Posted by Misty Crouch on 9/19/2019

     Do you ever misplace your information that you found on an internet search for transition?  Do you wish someone would’ve given you the link for the resource they were telling you about?  Are you new to transition IEPs, and all of this transition information is a foreign concept to you?  

    Well, I’ve put together a listing of the frequently visited resources that I have used over the years to help improve my own transition IEPs or to help train new teachers on the ins and outs of transition.  If you have a transition resource that you think is helpful, please share in the comments below.

    1.Earlywood’s Transition Corner

    Transition Corner is a resource for parents, teachers, and students in need of post-secondary information.  Whether you are headed for college or work, this site will help navigate you through a number of helpful topics and contacts.  You can also check out previous transition articles from previous Earlywood Special Editions.

    2. Indiana Dept of Education (IDOE) Indicator 13 (Secondary Transition with IEP Goals) Information

    IDOE provides information on monitoring timelines for districts, definitions on how this indicator is measured, information and guidance on this federal indicator, and a list of current resources for school districts and teachers.

    3. Indiana Secondary Transition Resources Center (INSTRC)

    Staff members of the Indiana Secondary Transition Resource Center (INSTRC) work closely with transition educators and teams throughout the state, providing technical assistance, troubleshooting challenges, and assisting schools as they collaborate with state agencies and organizations to build seamless transitions for their students.

    4. Indiana Secondary Transition Resource Center (INSTRC) Resource Collection

    Indiana Secondary Transition Resource Center (INSTRC) provides a multitude of resources for teachers who work with transition age students, including resources that focus on: career videos, curricula, health, new administrators, postsecondary education, professionals new to transition, sample IEPs, self-determination resources, writing quality IEPs, and collected resources for families.

    5. Indiana Transition IEP Rubric

    The Indiana Transition IEP Rubric is a guide to help you create quality IEPs for your transitioning students. It is distributed by Indiana Secondary Transition Resource Center (INSTRC) and updated often.  This is a link to the most current version.

    6. Transition Assessment Matrix

    Teachers and transition professionals can access a searchable database on the Indiana Secondary Transition Resource Center (INSTRC) website with filters for Employment, Independent Living, and Education/Training, which can be sorted further by Grade Level(s) and Disability Area(s).

    7. Tuesday’s Transition Tips

    Indiana Secondary Transition Resource Center (INSTRC) sends out weekly tips on Tuesdays.  Teachers and transition professionals can subscribe to the emails. Previous tips can be accessed on their website, as well.  Their tips include topics such as: quality and compliant Transition IEPs, transition assessments, drop-out prevention strategies, work-based learning, academic and life skills instruction, family involvement, working with Vocational Rehabilitation Services and much, much more.

    8. Indiana IEP Resource Center (IEPRC)

    Teachers can access resources and trainings on IIEP, transition IEPs, and many other special education topics through Indiana IEP Resource Center (IEPRC).  They facilitate workshops throughout the state on various topics including, but not limited to, the following: goal writing, facilitating effective CCC meetings, and IIEP walkthroughs.  Virtual Office Hours (VOH) are available each month as an open webinar for individuals to ask questions concerning IIEP or special education.

    If you have a transition topic that you need more resources for or another topic you would like covered in this year’s transition articles, please email me at mcrouch@earlywood.org.

    Misty

    ~Misty Crouch, Transition Coordinator

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