This week I am sharing an awesome resource for teaching about transition. This resource comes from AFB's Career Connect. Go to their main page: www.afb.org. You can find the Career Connect link under the Living with Vision Loss tab, select "For Job Seekers" from the drop down menu. Once on the Career Connect page, look to the right side of the screen and look at the "For Job Seekers" menu. There are many choices but I want you to focus on "Lesson Plans for Teachers and Professionals" link. Click on it!
The lesson plans cover a variety of topics related to transition, work, social skills, etc. Today we are going to click on the "Social Skills" link (see below):
Once in the topic, there are a variety of lessons that you can use! You can customize them to fit your student's needs.
Each lesson has a section where you can clearly identify how this topic relates to an IEP goal, how to start the lesson, exercises and discussion topics. One thing that I really like about this is that these lesson plans have the access that multiple members of the education team can use. Guidance counselors, general education teachers, vocational instructors and parents can all access what the TVI is teaching.
Transition skills can play a vital part of the education needs of youth with vision impairments. Transition planning starts at age 16 but we often see it as early as age 14. Transition falls under the career education section of the Expanded Core Curriculum. For several students, transition means meeting with the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) counselor to discuss post high school plans. VR counselors can be invited to IEP meetings. There is a nice, easy read on what transition is on the site teaching students with vision impairments,
I feel like we put a lot of front loading effort into transition teaching. This means that we teach a lot about how to get a job, career shadowing, resume writing and tips for interviewing. An area that I feel like we are not teaching strongly enough is how to keep a job. How do students learn how to be good long term employees? Do our students know the difference between having a career and having a job? I believe that we need to make better efforts in these areas. The Expanded Core Curriculum helps with these areas! Independent living skills, compensatory skills, social skills, assistive technology, orientation and mobility and of course, self determination all directly relate to this!! So let's start making sure that we are consistently teaching ECC skills instruction as we address transition.