College of Education and College of Applied Health Sciences

Illinois Center for Transition and Work

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Targeted Technical Assistance (TTA) Partners

Eastern Illinois Area Special Education (EIASE): Adult LIFE Academy

EIASE’s Adult LIFE Academy serves areawide students aged 18-22. Prior to receiving TTA, students engaged in job exploration and work experiences in retail, recycling, and janitorial work. Recognizing the need to expand the number and type of work-based learning experiences they provided to students, EAISE initiated a request for TTA in the fall of 2022. The ICTW provided EIASE with on-going training and consultation to assist staff to develop additional skills in the areas of job development, job analysis, and interfacing with businesses. As a result of engagement in TTA, EIASE staff conducted job analyses of existing community-based work sites and negotiated new work tasks for students to sample. In addition, EIASE staff developed promotional materials to share with businesses, identified strategies for recruiting new business partners for community-based job experience sites, and successfully obtained one new business partner for the coming school year.

Evanston Township High School

Evanston Township High School (ETHS) began working the ICTW TTA team in January 2022 and concluded in May 2023. Their primary goal was to restructure the high school and transition programs and increase work-based learning experiences for all students. The ICTW assisted ETHS staff to think about their curriculum and sequence of experiences, revamp the vocational assessment process, and conduct community resource mapping to identify potential work experiences and paid employment for their students. As a result of TTA, ETHS restructured their existing transition program by combining the high school program (9th-12th grade) and transition house program resources (staff, curriculum, courses, materials, environments) to provide a more robust continuum of services. This restructuring also resulted in earlier, more meaningful work-based learning experiences to prepare all students for competitive integrated employment and post-secondary success. In addition, ETHS developed five new community business partnerships and 17 new school employment sites as a result of information learned from community mapping.

Lighted Way

Looking to make a substantive change in the vocational curriculum offered within their transition classroom, Lighted Way began a TTA partnership with the ICTW in January 2023. The goal was to build students’ independence with job tasks, while also creating a schedule that could be individualized for each student to have control over their day. To accomplish this goal, Lighted Way and the ICTW created a binder for each student that contained the student’s critical information, developed visual schedules to increase each student’s independence with completing daily tasks, and provided job coaches with guidance on how to support students to work more independently. Through their partnership with the ICTW, Lighted Way also redesigned their in-school job sites and developed visual prompts to promote more independence with in-school jobs and less verbal prompting from job coaches.

Peoria Public Schools

Peoria Public Schools (PPS) began working with the ICTW TTA team in February 2023 to develop a unified transition to work process for all students. The focus of TTA has revolved around identifying barriers that prevent students with significant support needs from receiving the same quality of services as those who participate in the Student Transition Experience Program (STEP). PPS is currently in the initial stages of discovery about the history of their programs including the challenges and needs of the district surrounding the preparation of students with significant disabilities for work.