Wizdom Education Teams with PACER and the State of Minnesota to Improve Transition Outcomes for Young Adults with Disabilities

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Wizdom Education, the premiere source for special education planning and management software and services for school districts, educators and service providers, and the Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights (PACER) Center, a nonprofit agency serving Minnesota families of youth with disabilities, launched the TransPlanner! component of Project C3 - Connecting Youth to Communities and Careers. The Wizdom TransPlanner!, which was initially developed under a grant by the US Department of Education, helps students with disabilities, their parents, and case managers effectively plan the transition from school to life after graduation. Via the internet/intranet through all phases of transition planning, TransPlanner automatically develops active Individual Transition Plans (ITP) for students with disabilities.

Wizdom Education, the premiere source for special education planning and management software and services for school districts, educators and service providers, and the Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights (PACER) Center, a nonprofit agency serving Minnesota families of youth with disabilities, launched the TransPlanner! component of Project C3 - Connecting Youth to Communities and Careers.

The Wizdom TransPlanner!, which was initially developed under a grant by the US Department of Education, helps students with disabilities, their parents, and case managers effectively plan the transition from school to life after graduation. Via the internet/intranet through all phases of transition planning, TransPlanner automatically develops active Individual Transition Plans (ITP) for students with disabilities.

Project C3 seeks to align state development resources to better serve youth with disabilities, and to demonstrate how innovative partnerships with community intermediary organizations can improve local transition services, using evidence-based best practices.

Phil Vitkus of Wizdom joined Deborah Leuchovius of the PACER Center in working with PACER Center advocates for youth and youth workers from three Minnesota Workforce Areas. The result is the Wizdom TransPlanner! focused for use by youth caseworkers and students with disabilities and their family members to do life planning and transition planning.

The goal of TransPlanner! in this application is to meet the needs of youth who are in situations that place them at-risk for success in post-high school education and employment. Youth caseworkers from three pilot sites of Minneapolis, Saint Paul/Ramsey County, and the Central Minnesota Workforce Centers will use TransPlanner! to help develop an Individual Service Strategy (ISS) with youth who are in one or more of the following at-risk situations.

  • Diagnosed disability
  • Disability that is diagnosed, but the youth chooses not to disclose
  • Disability that is not diagnosed and impedes successful functioning in one or more areas of life
  • Chemical dependency (drugs and/or alcohol)
  • Emotional disturbance that interferes with normal daily functioning
  • A need for assistive technologies to contend with common life obstacles
  • Limited English proficiency, and especially youth and their families who speak only Spanish
  • Have been or are in foster care
  • Parenting or pregnant
  • Homeless
  • Juvenile offender

Students with disabilities and family members will continue to use TransPlanner! to help answer questions for post-high school life - “What will I do? Where will I live? And how will I be involved in the community around me?”

Youth caseworkers will use TransPlanner! to help discern at-risk situations and needs of youth. With TransPlanner!, youth caseworkers and youth will conduct life planning, and identify immediate, high-priority goals

The Wizdom TransPlanner! will work hand-in-glove with the State of Minnesota’s web-based vocational planning and portfolio system, ISEEK, and the State of Minnesota’s web-based community resource system, CYM. From appropriate activities within the resulting life plan /, TransPlanner! will direct the students as needed to ISEEK and CYM. The goal is to enable youth to take advantage of the combined strengths of these three web-based planning and information resources.

The PACER Center has nationally recognized expertise in disability policy, parent professional collaboration, and evidence-based transition practices. For Project C3, the PACER Center is partnering with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Office of Youth Development is coordinating the project. Funding for Project C3 is provided through a grant from the United States Department of Labor to the Governor's Workforce Development Council of Minnesota. The five-year grant target is to improve transition outcomes for young adults with disabilities. For more information, please visit http://www.pacer.org/C3/

About Wizdom Education.

Wizdom Education is a Division of Wizdom Systems, a Naperville, Illinois based company that has been providing government and corporate clients with business process reengineering, instructional design, and special education software and services since 1986. Wizdom’s special education products and services include:

• LiveIEP! - puts the power of the web into the hands of the IEP Team and allows work without depending upon network availability.

• TransPlanner! - helps the IEP Team bridge the gap that often exists between schools and community service providers.

• EducationLive! - allows school and community service providers to self maintain and broadcast their specific services to the public and to their school and community customers automatically over the Internet.

• ClassroomLive! - Provides teacher resource sharing and activity logging to allow teachers and students to do interactive exchange of classroom materials, assignments, and other information.

For more information about Wizdom Education, please call 630-357-3000, visit the Wizdom Education Website at http://www.wizdomeducation.com, or email Robin Davies (robind@wizdom.com).

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