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EC Transition Fair offers students post secondary options

Eric Marshburn, Beyond Academics' director of admissions at UNC-Greensboro, discusses the various college classes designed for students with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Marshburn was one of about 40 venders at the fifth annual Exceptional Children's Transition Fair held at SPCC.

The fifth annual EC Transition Fair, held Tuesday (May 10, 2010) at South Piedmont Community College, offers Union County Public School juniors and seniors a look at the options afforded them after high school.

Approximately 144 UCPS students attended the event, which lasted from 9:30 am to 1 pm. "I like this fair," said Katie Dawson, a senior at Sun Valley High School. "I got lots of information and met lots of people. They help you out by giving you information and tell you what you can do after high school. I'm going to UNC-Greensboro after high school. I'm going to do ROTC and study acting and French."

There were more than 40 venders present, including everything from representatives from area colleges and universities, to agencies offering help to those with special needs.

"The venders that we have provide insight to the parents and students as to what community resources are available," said Janie Webb, assistant director of UCPS Exception Children's department. "The Arc of Union County, South Piedmont Community College, East Carolina University are some of the venders that have come; all have programs that these students could take advantage of post secondary."

Tammy Pereboom, a consultant with NC Assistive Technology Program, demonstrated numerous types of adaptive equipment for individuals with disabilities, such as voice activated light switches and various adaptive technologies for computers.

"This is so they can try it before they buy it," Pereboom said. "It's very expensive equipment. The consumers could be people with disabilities or teachers or therapists. We show them there are some options to accessing a computer, for example, or for accessing visual things like for the hearing impaired, and we let them know that we're a resource that's out there. We also offer evaluations for all types of assisted technology."

Also on hand was Beyond Academics, a post secondary education program at UNC-Greensboro. The program is designed for students with developmental and intellectual disabilities. It offers courses under the Integrative Community Studies program. The college classes offered include "Healthy Lifestyles," "Basic Cooking Skills," "Public Speaking," and "Principles of Home Management." There are also classes that deal with money management, self-marketing and business.

"These courses teach students about living independently," said Eric Marshburn, the program's director of admissions. "It's a four-year certificate based program. Their families are also interested in these types of programs. I hear from a lot of parents who say they don't know what's next for their son or daughter after high school. This is a new option for them."

Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe, UCPS Communications Coordinator
Posted: May 10, 2011 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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