— It’s often hard for students to make choices about their future after
school. Last week 30 students were given some extra help in making
choices about the transition from school to life.
A three day
workshop called “It’s My Turn” was provided for 30 Putnam County
students, ages 14 and over, with disabilities. A different group of
students participate each year on a rotating basis throughout the
On Thursday students in the morning class were busy
sorting through file cards, making choices about the type of job they
would like. Choices including inside or outside work and being around a
lot of people or working alone. One student proudly said she wanted to
go into the medical field and be a doctor to help people. Another said
he wanted an outside job.
“It’s My Turn” includes five sections.
This includes the laws of special education, employability, post
secondary option, living skills and community.
focus is on students planning for transition from school to life by
highlighting their skills, interest and talents,” said Karen Maag, one
of the coordinator’s of the program.
Tim Calvelage, Maag and Julie
Selhorst started the program locally by coordinating it with Sandy
Brickner from the Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with
“The Putnam County ESC special education staff
enjoys this program because it helps the students plan for their future
and to develop self advocacy skills,” Maag said.
She said the
students mostly enjoy the hands-on activities which include designing a
hat about the special education laws, making a poster about their future
and sorting their employment choices and community participation cards.
“The cards help them determine areas of their special interest,” Maag said.
program is sponsored by the Ohio Coalition for the Education of
Children with Disabilities. Brickner presents the program in this area.
The program was developed by the Ohio Coalition for the education of
Children with Disabilities (OCECD) through funding from the Ohio
Rehabilitation Services Commissioner. It is currently supported by the
Ohio Department of Education, Office for Exceptional Children.’
who participate in this program learn to take charge of their future.
The teachers and students continue to work on what they have learned
from the program throughout the rest of the school year,” Maag said. A
parent night was held at the conclusion of the program for the students
to celebrate their achievements with their community, school and
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