The Transition to Adulthood and Service Navigation for students with special needs

Consultant:  Anne Kresta, M.Sc.

This workshop, geared towards parents, teachers and support staff, clarifies the process and timelines to keep in mind as students transition through high school and prepare for post-secondary life. Referencing “Bridging to Adulthood: A Protocol for Transitioning Students with Exceptional Needs from School to Community,” (Manitoba Education) Anne reviews important milestones, how to navigate the various services and supports as they change from those geared towards children to those in place for adults, and what parents and support staff can do to smooth the path ahead. Anne shares her personal and extensive professional experience working with families, educational assistants and teachers to take theory and make it meaningful for the audience.

Schools are mandated to initiate the transition planning process for students who will require adult community support services. However, educators often lack knowledge of and contacts with the adult system and do not understand their own role in transition planning. This workshop not only closes those gaps but also prepares educators to be efficient facilitators of planning for adulthood.

Anne Kresta is a parent, advocate, presenter and researcher who contributes to improving inclusive education for all children. She began working in community service and inclusive education in 1998 when it became apparent that two of her three children had neurodevelopmental disorders that affected learning and functioning in a typical classroom setting. Already a proven researcher at the time, she quickly developed skills to advocate for her own children’s schooling. Then, recognizing the broader need and her ability to make a positive difference, she expanded her work into helping other parents, schools and community services to respond more effectively with all persons who require additional supports. From 2009-2014, she worked as Community Living Manitoba’s point person for educational and community initiatives. She has written and presented extensively and has been involved in provincial, national and international initiatives.