Institute for Innovative Transition Receives Grant to Expand Services to Web-Based Learning for Youth with Disabilities

Students working at computersThe Institute for Innovative Transition Institute for Innovative Transition (IIT) at the University of Rochester has been awarded a grant aimed at supporting the transition needs of students with intellectual and developmental disabilities in New York State. The grant from the EnvisionIT Program at Ohio State University is the most recent award given to IIT, a partnership among the Golisano Foundation and the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education and Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities, to address transition issues in high school curricula.
Martha Mock, director of the IIT and an associate professor in education and pediatrics at the University of Rochester, says that the grant will help to fill a much-needed gap in the educational community for young adults with disabilities and their families as well as professionals who work in transition.
“Preparing students with disabilities to transition to the next phase of life, including work and college, by setting sound goals and creating a meaningful plan is essential to ensuring their success,” says Mock. “This grant will allow us to work with existing and new partners to offer a curriculum that will help to address transition planning across New York State and ultimately support our mission of improving the quality of life for young adults with disabilities.”
The funding of nearly $100,000 over three years will go toward implementing and sustaining the EnvisionIT web-based curriculum in New York State. This online high school curriculum teaches students skills in three core competency areas: information technology (IT) literacy, transition planning, and reading. Despite the emphasis on higher academic standards and transition services, many students with disabilities continue to leave school lacking these skills. EnvisionIT, which was designed for inclusive classrooms but can be taught in self-contained settings, will prepare students both with and without disabilities for successful completion of high school as well as help boost students’ college and career readiness skills. EnvisionIT, which is being tested in classrooms across Ohio and Michigan, is funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Grants program.
The IIT aims to support satisfying, successful adult lives for youth with disabilities, with a focus on continuing education and competitive employment. The Institute, which is now housed at the Warner School in LeChase Hall, was launched in 2008 and has been sustained through $1.9 million in grants from the B. Thomas Golisano Foundation and $5.5 million in funding from New York State and federal entities. Learn more about the Institute, which has been renamed the Center for Disability and Education.
About the Warner School of Education
Founded in 1958, the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education (www.warner.rochester.edu) offers master’s and doctoral degree programs in teaching and curriculum, school leadership, higher education, educational policy, counseling, human development, and health professions education. The Warner School of Education offers a new accelerated option for its EdD programs that allows eligible students to earn a doctorate in education in as few as three years part time while holding a professional job in the same field. The Warner School of Education is recognized both regionally and nationally for its tradition of preparing practitioners and researchers to become leaders and agents of change in schools, universities, and community agencies; generating and disseminating research; and actively participating in education reform. 
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Tags: developmental disabilities, disabilities, Institute for Innovative Transition, Martha Mock, transition