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UCPS Transition Fair helps prepare EC students for the work force

Sonya Clark, an Assistive Technology specialist, with NC Assistive Technology Program, demonstrates adaptive equipment for individuals with disabilities, such as voice-activated light switches. She was one of about 30 venders at the sixth annual UCPS Exceptional Children's Transition Fair held Thursday (May 17, 2012) at SPCC.

The Exceptional Children’s Department of the Union County Public Schools held its sixth annual Transition Fair for juniors and seniors with disabilities at South Piedmont Community College Thursday (May 17, 2012), educating students as to their post secondary options.

“After working on job skills all year long, this fair is the culminating activity that brings together all the things they’ve been working on,” said Lori Cauthen, director of the UCPS Exceptional Children’s Program. “We’re always looking for ways to help our students be successful.”

Approximately 180 UCPS students attended the event, which lasted from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm. Students heard motivational speakers, competed in employability seminars, and had access to resources and information that could help them after high school.

“Students get to showcase their knowledge of career and employment skills,” said Linda Little, the UCPS transition specialist who coordinated the fair. One example of spotlighting a student’s skills was a presentation given by UCPS junior Josh Posod from Monroe High School. He spoke to students about the importance of getting involved in their own education.

More than 30 community agencies were on hand to offer assistance and information to parents and students as to what community resources are available after high school.

One of those agencies was Beyond Academics, a post secondary education program at UNC-Greensboro, designed for students with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

Other agencies included A.D.E.P.T. (Adult Developmental Education Pre-vocational Training) Programs, The Arc of Union County, the Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Child Care Resources, Special Needs Plan and the Exceptional Children’s Assistance Center (ECAC).

The fair also included an EC Parent Awareness Night held the same day from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. in the same location. This event invited parents of students with disabilities to come hear about services available for individuals with disabilities. The guest speaker, Columbus Copeland, author of “The Art of Overcoming,” focused on self-esteem, maintaining a positive attitude, and identifying and developing a person’s personal strengths.

The UCPS EC Department and Union County Vocational Rehabilitation sponsored the fair.

Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe, UCPS Communications Coordinator
Posted: May 17, 2012 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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