~~The Transition Alliance of South Carolina is a broad systems improvement and technical assistance resource for professionals working with students with disabilities. Their primary outcome is to empower students to transition into community-based employment. Local transition programs choose to enhance their curriculum through a variety of evidence-based transition practices, including student-led IEP meetings, goal setting and attainment, socializing in the workplace, job accommodations, and other activities meant to empower students with disabilities to control their career strategy. TASC consists of a state-level interagency steering committee that supports local interagency transition teams across the state. (Page 42) Title I
SC Department of Education Office of Adult Education has a special education task force that creates and delivers training for adult education practitioners serving students with special needs. The OAE meets regularly with SCDE Office of Special Education Services to ensure compliance with all special education regulations. Additionally, OAE requires that all funded local providers have a written plan with local Special Education Departments to transition IEP (Individualized Education Plan) students, and that local providers comply with the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA) which requires each provider to describe the steps they propose to take to ensure equitable access to, and participation in, its federally assisted programs. OAE monitors for compliance with the written transition IEP as part of its annual compliance process, and collaborates with the Office of Special Education to monitor all other GEPA requirements. (Page 109) Title I
GEPA (General Education Provisions Act) 427 requirements are overseen by the SCDE-OAE in the following ways:
•In cooperation with SCDE - Office of General Counsel and the SCDE - Office of Special Education Services, OAE delivers training for adult education practitioners serving students with special needs.
•OAE meets regularly with the SCDE - Office of Special Education Services to ensure compliance with all special education regulations.
•OAE requires that all funded local providers have a written plan with local Special Education Departments to transition IEP (Individualized Education Plan) students, and that local providers comply with GEPA which requires each provider to describe the steps they propose to take to ensure equitable access to, and participation in, its federally assisted programs.
OAE monitors for compliance the written transition IEP as a part of its annual compliance process, and collaborates with the SCDE - Office of Special Education to monitor all other GEPA requirements. (Pages 170-171) Title I
SCVRD utilizes the “Guideposts for Success” (based on the work of the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth — NCWD/Y) as a framework for school-to-work transition services. This includes regular activities that focus on each of the required pre-employment transition service activities: job exploration counseling, work-based learning, counseling on opportunities for comprehensive transition or postsecondary educational programs, workplace readiness training to develop social skills and independent living skills, and instruction in self-advocacy. Group activities provide opportunities to not only facilitate peer mentoring, but also allow transition staff to observe and cultivate students’ leadership skills, as well as communication and social skills. Mentoring is a key component of the High School High Tech (HS/HT) program, and SCVRD collaborates with organizations that have youth-led mentoring programs in place. Through the agency’s VR Ambassadors program, former clients that have successfully transitioned into employment or postsecondary activities are available to assist with mentoring and participation in transition activities such as Disability Mentoring Day, and summer transition institutes. (Pages 174-175) Title I
In collaboration with the SC Department of Employment and Workforce (SCDEW) and the SCDE, SCVRD’s school-based transition counselors work together with local education agencies, community partners, workforce development boards, SC Works Centers and business partners to advise students with disabilities, and their families, regarding available career pathways and educational/training opportunities. SCVRD maintains a Transition Services Coordinator position and additional regional Transition Specialist positions whose duties focus on the authorized activities required for effective provision of pre-employment transition services. These include:
• Coordinate all transition-related activities and projects including those that involve other agencies, community organizations and local SCVRD field offices;
• Develop, monitor and update all transition documents and cooperative agreements;
• Provide technical assistance, professional development and training on transition-related issues to field office staff, education personnel, community organizations, families, and students;
• Review and update client service policy to ensure policies and procedures are reflective of SCVRD mission and focus on quality in serving youth in transition;
• Serve on the planning committee for the interagency South Carolina Youth Leadership Forum, a summer youth development and leadership program; • Participate in TASC, an interagency initiative to create systems change and support development of local interagency transition teams. (Page 175) Title I
Strategy 1.2 Enhance school-to-work transition services.
• Objective 1.2.1 Maximize relationships with education officials in all South Carolina school districts to support development of education and career pathways.
• Objective 1.2.2 Improve services to individuals with autism spectrum disorders and intellectual/developmental disabilities.
• Objective 1.2.3 Enhance services for at-risk youth with disabilities.
• Objective 1.2.4 Expose students with disabilities to careers in science, technology, engineering and math through High School/High Tech programs. (Page 247) Title IV
SCCB Career BOOST (Building Occupational Opportunities for Students in Transition): Is a contractual pilot program in partnership with South Carolina’s Independent Living Centers, the National Federation of the Blind of South Carolina, and LEA’s. Pre-Employment Transition Services are provided to eligible and potentially eligible students with disabilities in the public schools and other settings. These services include Self-Advocacy Workshops, Work Readiness Soft Skills Workshops, Exploration of Higher Education through College Tours, and Work Based Learning Experiences. (Page 272) Title IV
SCCB Vocational Rehabilitation Comprehensive Transition Services Program: This program serves students from age 15 until exit from high school at which time they are served by the SCCB adult VR program. SCCB has four (4) dedicated Transition Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors statewide building program infrastructure and education relationships to improve services to Transition Students. The Transition Counselors primarily collaborate with education officials such as the South Carolina Department of Education (local school districts), the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind (SCSDB) and the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (SCDDSN). Transition Counselors develop the initial Individualized Plan of Employment (IPE) while the consumer is attending high school. The IPE includes services pertaining to the adjustment, prevention or stabilization of vision, and Pre-Employment Transition Services as defined in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA). In an effort to avoid the duplication of services, low vision and assistive technology needs will be coordinated with local school districts in accordance with the student’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and IPE. In such instances, the alternative service providers and funding sources will be identified on the IPE and coordinated accordingly. SCCB will conduct semiannual meetings with the statewide vision teachers in an effort to facilitate the coordination of services to the most significantly disabled students and their need for supported employment services. Discussions will include, but not be limited to, collaboration with SCDDSN, SCDOE and the SCSDB to coordinate transition services. (Page 273) Title IV
While these gaps are areas of continued focus for SCCB, much has been accomplished since the Statewide Needs Assessment. SCCB now provides Career BOOST services to students with disabilities who are eligible or potentially eligible for VR services. Career BOOST provides students with instruction in self-advocacy skills, work readiness skills training, work based learning experiences, and exploration of opportunities for career training in post-secondary schools and institutions of higher education. SCCB designed and operates the Student Internship Jr. Program that provides high school transition students with a paid work experience. SCCB Transition VR Counselors have increased their involvement in IEP meetings, and SCCB has formalized memorandum of understandings with LEA's. (Page 288) Title IV
SCCB established contractual programs for Pre-Employment Transition Services with South Carolina’s Independent Living Centers and the National Federation of the Blind. Since inception Career BOOST has provided 761 students with Self-Advocacy Workshops, 494 Work Readiness Workshops, and 160 Work Based Learning Experience such as paid internships and work site tours and job shadowing. Under Career Boost 62 eligible and potentially eligible high school students have participated in college and university tours, exploration of post-secondary educational options, and counseling on financial aid opportunities. SCCB conducted public awareness outreach and implemented a social media presence to enhance agency visibility. In 2017 SCCB rewrote the curriculum and courses offered at the Ellen Beach Mack Rehabilitation Center for Employment and Independence. This new curriculum includes pre-test and post-test assessments to measure skill gains and provide for continuous improvement. Several new center programs have been implemented including a partnership with Adult Education that brings GED preparation instruction and testing to the center. SCCB added a Basic Financial Literacy course using curriculum designed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. SCCB has also added Soft-Skills training based on the “Skills to Pay the Bills” curriculum. (Pages 322-323) Title IV