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In This Issue


Age Appropriate Transition Assessments and Activities Guide

A comprehensive guide to transition assessments and activities involving education, training, college readiness, employment and career readiness, adul...

TIG Times Newsletter - May 2017

TIG Times Newsletter - May 2017...

Guiding Principles for Competitive Integrated Employment

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) has established a list of Guiding Principles that build on the value of full inclusion of people wit...


Spotlight News

Take Control of your Employability

Contributed by Jen Bourget, TIG Urban Transition Coordinator

Take Control of your Employability is a workshop for students with disabilities that attend high schools in Waukesha County. The event is sponsored by: Waukesha Independence Network (WIN), WCTC Career Connections, WIA Youth Program, Disability Employment Initiative, Workforce Development Board, Waukesha County TAC, and Manpower. This event focuses on three main topics: Mock Interviews, A Brand Called You, and Resume/Job Application Completion. Take Control of your Employability took place at the Workforce Development Center which is located on the grounds of Waukesha County Technical College.

Here is what Timothy Trombley, Senior at Menomonee Falls High School, had to say: 

On Wednesday, March 18th, I got to get out of class to go to the Waukesha County Technical College to attend the Take Control of your Employability workshop. This workshop was sponsored by several organizations including the Waukesha Independence Network (WIN), WCTC Career Connections, and WIA Youth Program. For the entire day I learned several things about getting a job.

I learned how to go through a job interview. I was taught that I should be confident, open-minded about the questions and be prepared. It’s important to practice as many questions ahead of time as you possibly can so that you are ready. In addition, I should take my time in answering questions so that my answers are thorough and well-thought out. I also need to observe and figure out what type of person is interviewing me – are they serious, professional, casual, easy-going, etc. My answers should be tailored toward that type of person.

During my time at WCTC, I got to go through two different practice interviews. I was a little bit nervous but I was able to keep calm. I found the practice interviews to be very helpful to me and I am happy to report that both interviews were successful. I got both of the jobs! Unfortunately, they were not real. I will have to take the new interviewing skills I have learned and put them into real life situations.

Finally, I learned that I need to use good judgement as to what I post on social media like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Whatever is posted, it is there forever. Whatever is shown in your private life will be shown to the world for all to see on social media. Employers can see this stuff so it’s important that social media represents me as a person an employer would want to hire – a person with good character and integrity.

It was a very good day at the Take Control of your Employability workshop. I learned a lot and would recommend it to other students. 

Students from Oconomowoc High School were excited to share their experience at this wonderful workshop.

According to Brooke Punzel, the opportunity to practice a mock interview helped her learn how to introduce herself and talk about why the employer should hire her. Brooke’s second favorite part of the day was creating a resume and practicing job applications. Brooke felt this experience will help her get a job in the future.

A student named Emma had some good advice to share from her experience at the workshop. Emma learned that she needs to dress up for the interview, think of examples for the interview questions ahead of time, have questions ready to ask the person who is interviewing you, and be ready to talk about yourself. Emma enjoyed the session A Brand Called You. She learned that just like businesses have brands (Nike, Starbucks, etc.) people also have brands: Best worker, Worst worker, Average worker. The best workers have good attitudes, work hard, and solve problems. The worst workers are rude, lazy, and do not think first. The average workers are on time for their jobs but don’t go above and beyond what is asked. 

Avery liked the mock interviews, the games, and the presentations. Avery liked the mock interviews the most because they asked all sorts of questions about what he wants to do in life. The interviewers gave good feedback about the answers Avery gave and helped him understand a more professional way to present himself.

Take Control of your Employability was attended by 50 youth from 10 different school districts. 11 different businesses were represented by 20 employees volunteering their time to interview students and participate on an employment panel. This event shows how the community can impact youth and work toward increasing employment outcomes for students when they graduate and enter the adult world. 



Articles Of Interest

Transition Improvement Plan (TIP) Updates and New Features
Contributed by Mary Kampa, TIG Post High School Outcomes Coordinator

The TIP is a web-based planning tool which creates a transition improvement Plan (TIP) using the predictors of post school success. The TIP combines several tools and resources for individual educators and school teams to understand and improve the transition planning process for youth with disabilities. The TIP self-assessment provides stakeholders a framework for determining the degree to which current transition programs and activities are implementing practices that are likely to lead to more positive post school outcomes for youth with disabilities.

Did you notice?
A few weeks ago we renamed the blue TIP navigation bars to help with easily identifying the TIP steps.

Email notifications for assigned tasks - 30-day and 7-day reminders plus Past Due notice
It’s now simpler to keep track of your assigned tasks with gentle reminders to help you track your TIP goals and tasks.

  • If you are on a TIP team and are assigned a task, you will now get an email reminder.
  • The reminder contains the due date and a link to the plan.
  • The option to assign a task to “Other” has been removed.

Creating your TIP Team – add anyone with an account

  • Anyone with a www.witig.com user account can be added to the team now – regardless of affiliation with a school or district.
  • When initially creating your plan or by using the button “Edit Plan Options” link, you can now type in a WiTIG user’s name or email address to add them to your team.
  • To remove a member, simply click the X next to their name. 
  • Please remember that Predictor Activity tasks can only be assigned to team members.

Click on “Save Plan Options,” and this person now has access to view and edit the plan!

View previous years’ assessments and plans
Go to the TIP planning page at www.witig.org/transition-improvement-plan/ and select the fourth blue box “View Predictor Activities and Set Tasks.” Click the drop down under “Create/View/Edit Plan” to view all your individual and team assessments, with the most recent ones listed first.

Coming soon…
We are planning so you are able to start your 2015-16 individual or team TIP plan on June 1, 2015. That means you will be able to get a head start on your 2015-2016 assessment and plan! You may continue to work on your 2014-15 plans as well.

Debunking the Myths about the Urban Family
Contributed by Jen Bourget, TIG Urban Transition Coordinator

The first thing I learned in my Culturally Responsive journey this year was that being a Culturally Responsive teacher really starts with me. I have had to identify my assumptions, stereotypes, and misconceptions about people who are different than me. Being a white female from a small farming community in the central part of WI on the great Mississippi, I didn’t understand the depth of culture I bring to the classroom and ultimately this discussion. The goal is to dig deeper to learn more about a person’s culture than just what we see on the outside. I have lived in Milwaukee for 8 years and believed I was really immersing myself in the “cultures” around me. That is until I began my Culturally Responsive journey. It is still a struggle for me to look inward and face the assumptions and stereotypes that still rear their ugly heads. As you continue to read through this article, which I hope you decide to continue on, please dig deeper into your own thoughts, assumptions, misconceptions, etc first about the term URBAN but also in regards to families that you serve. Whether you are living in a small rural town, a medium sized city, a suburb, or Milwaukee, we as a state have a long way to go to reach ALL students and being Culturally Responsive to ALL learners is a great first step.

In no way, shape, or form do I claim to be an expert at engaging families of all cultural backgrounds into the school setting. I turned to the book (Mis)Understanding Families: Learning from Real Families in Our Schools edited by Monica Miller Marsh and Tammy Turner-Vorbeck for insight on urban and culturally diverse families.

Dr. Rochelle Brock, a professor who focuses on Urban Education, begins by identifying the issues of power. In this country, in this state, in our communities, power is distributed to some and kept from others. What influence does the lack of equity have on our children, our school systems, and our communities? Take a minute and think honestly about this question. Take it one step further and list these influences for each environment. Dr. Brock encourages teachers to see the students as a subject of the construction of their own knowledge not an object to be constructed. As we keep this image in mind, how can we start to dialogue with colleagues, students, and families to question the structures in place and where there is room to grow. Dialogue is talking with each other, not at each other. Ideas from all members of this discussion should be tested and validated. Everyone in this dialogue must participate and share the knowledge and wisdom they bring to the table.

Dr. Brock asked a class of college students, who were racially diverse and from different socio-economic backgrounds, to say what came to mind when they heard the word URBAN. Take a minute to identify what comes to your mind when you hear the word URBAN. Some of the words they listed were: poor, crime, gangs, drugs, dysfunctional, and violence. Dr. Brock asked why they link these words with URBAN. Students identified they see these images on the news and in popular media. Think about the images the word URBAN conjured for you. Where do your images come from? How are assumptions, misconceptions, and stereotypes born?

When my family found out that I was moving to Milwaukee, they were terrified for my safety. They had never been to Milwaukee to enjoy Summer Fest, a Brewer’s game, or visited one of the many museums. All they knew of Milwaukee was what they saw and heard on the news. It wasn’t exactly a pretty picture! At first it appalled me of their ridiculous fears and blatant assumptions about an urban area, but really how could I blame them? It wasn’t until I started talking about the wonderful people I was meeting and the great experiences I was having that they started to come for visits. Now they too are taking advantage of all of the benefits an urban area has to offer.

If we take a step back to the words listed above, what images or language does the word POOR call to mind? The students identified welfare, food stamps, WIC, and unemployment. To say the word WELFARE may conjure an image of a person who is not working or refuses to work. Statistically, the vast majority of low-income parents today are working; however, they still struggle to make ends meet, cling to their job in an ever-changing labor market, pay the high costs of health care and housing, and try to give their children opportunities for future success. In 2013, 12.3% of White people were in poverty, 27.2% of Black people were in poverty, 23.5% of Hispanic people were in poverty, and 10.5% of Asian people were in poverty nationwide. 1 in 5 people in poverty are children. A majority of adults in poverty do have full time jobs or several part time jobs. Poverty is maintained because low hourly wages increase at such a slow rate, people are not earning living wages and remain the working poor. How might knowing these statistics change the way you think about poverty and how it may affect some of your students and families? How might they change the dialogue about the structures in place?

So what does all of this have to do with transition? To that question I say we must go back to the dialogue that capitalizes on the wisdom and knowledge our students and families can bring to the table. We have to start looking into the communities in which we teach and capitalize on the strengths, not focus on the deficits. I truly believe the proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child,” and I would even go one step further. It takes a village to raise a responsible adult that has truly been given equitable opportunities throughout their upbringing. Take a look back at the list you created and add a column to identify the strengths you know about in your students, families, and communities. How can you utilize these strengths to increase post school outcomes for students with disabilities?

Dr. Brock digs deeper into the pathologization, demonization, and ideology of urban families. As these assumptions and myths were debunked in the classroom, the college students became angry and felt they had been lied to. However, the discussion ended with great reflection – teaching isn’t all about lesson planning and behavior management. If we don’t really know our students then we can’t really teach our students. (Mis)Understanding Families: Learning from Real Families in Our Schools is a great resource to help deepen your understanding of the family role in education and how you can impact your students in a positive and meaningful way.



Wisconsin County Communities on Transition Going Strong
Contributed by Kathy Tuttle, TIG Northern Regional Coordinator

Wisconsin County Communities on Transition (CCoTs) continue  “going strong” as we head into the last month of the  2014-15 school year.    Here are some past and upcoming events!  Check out the Wisconsin CCoT Guide for specifics on these collaborative opportunities for students and families.  http://www.witig.org/wstidata/resources/CCoT_Guide_03_2014b.pdf



Chippewa Falls CCoT:  Job Olympics  February 11  (Wisconsin CCoT Guide p. 14  Appendix E)

Sauk County :   Job Shadow Day March 12 in Sauk Prairie  (Wisconsin CCoT Guide  p. 6-7  Appendix B)

Waukesha CCoT:   Take Control of Your Employment  March 18( Wisconsin CCoT Guide) (See Special Student Report on this event in this E-News)

Waushara CCoT:  Transition Expo  April 15  (Wisconsin CCoT Guide p.24)

Sauk County:  Job-R-Tunities at Kalahari  April 16 (Wisconsin CCoT Guide  p.14)

Grant County CCoT:  Parent/Student Transition Fair April 29  (Wisconsin CCoT Guide p.24)

Ozaukee County CCoT:  Resource Fair  May 11  (Wisconsin CCoT Guide p. 24)

Upcoming Meetings:

Oconto CCot Meeting: May 5

Kewaunee CCoT Meeting: May 12

Green Lake CCoT Meeting: May 12

Chippewa CCoT Meeting: May 13

Brown CCoT Meeting: May 14

Fond du Lac CCoT Meeting: May 19

Juneau CCoT Meeting: May 20

Tip of the Month:

Use a Live Binder for all of your CCoT’s resources and contacts. 

Here is an example: 

Sheboygan CCoT       http://www.livebinders.com/play/play?id=1598441


What is Project Search?
Contributed by Judy Quigley, Project SEARCH Statewide Coordinator

Project SEARCH is a 9-12 month program which provides training and education leading to integrated employment for youth with disabilities. Project SEARCH is based on a collaboration that includes a local business, school district(s) or CESA, DVR, a vocational services agency and a disability services agency (MCO, IRIS or County). All partners are vital to the success of the program. The business provides a training classroom, a business liaison and rotational internships for on-the-job training. The school provides an instructor.  DVR works with a local vocational services agency to supply job coaches who supports the students on their internships as needed and assist with final job placement.  The disability services agency provides follow along services for any eligible student who is hired at the business site or in the community. 

Project SEARCH was developed in 1996 by Nurse J. Erin Riehle, then the Director of the Emergency Department at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC).  As the flagship program, Cincinnati Children's Hospital provides technical assistance for replication and leadership worldwide. 

The cornerstone of Project SEARCH is total immersion in a large business.  Each day, students report to the host business, learn employability skills in the classroom and job skills while participating in three or four internships during the year. If available, students utilize public transportation.  Students participate in progress meetings to define their career goal and plan necessary steps to achieve that goal. Managers at the internship sites work with the Project SEARCH instructor and job coaches to support the students.  The ultimate goal for students upon program completion is competitive community employment utilizing the skills learned on their internships and throughout their Project SEARCH experience.  

Where is Project SEARCH in Wisconsin?

  • William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital and University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison
  • Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Wauwatosa
  • Ministry St. Joseph’s Hospital in Marshfield
  • St. Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton
  • Waukesha Memorial Hospital in Waukesha   
  • Wal-Mart Distribution Center #6025 in Menomonie            

 New Project SEARCH sites to begin Fall 2015:

  • River Falls Area Hospital, River Falls
  • Sauk Prairie Hospital, Sauk City
  • Kalahari Resort, Wisconsin Dells
  • Riverview Hospital, Wisconsin Rapids
  • Sentry Insurance, Stevens Point
  • St. Vincent Hospital and Bellin Hospital, Green Bay
  • Milwaukee County Zoo,  Milwaukee.

What are the outcomes?

1.  2012 graduates, 87% were employed.

    • The graduates work an average of 25 hours per week.
    • 30% were hired at the host businesses

2.  2013 graduates, 87.5% were employed.

    • The graduates work an average of 23.2 hours per week.
    • 28% were hired at the host businesses

3.  In the 2013-2014 school year, there were 60 interns in the programs.

    • In the 2015-2016 school year, there will be over 150 interns.

What is the goal of expansion?

Upon successful implementation, Wisconsin will be home to up to 27 Project SEARCH sites and will have over 325 participants each year graduating from this program.

What are the costs associated with expansion?

Currently the technical assistance provided by Cincinnati is funded by a grant from Department of Workforce Development Fast Forward Grant for all new Project SEARCH sites.

For information please contact:

Judy Quigley
Project SEARCH Statewide Coordinator



Transition at its Finest
Contributed by Jen Bourget, TIG Urban Transition Coordinator

Lizbeth Carrillo-Lopez aspires to be a cake decorator, as she prepares to graduate from Rufus King High school.

As a student receiving Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services, Lizbeth has participated in the School to Work Transition Program throughout her high school years.  Child care assistant, clerical worker and food service crew member are some of the volunteer jobs she has held in the program.

This Milwaukee Public School’s transition team in collaboration with the Wisconsin Restaurant Association’s Education Foundation and the Baker’s Association arranged for Lizbeth to visit the Midwest Foodservice Expo recently.  Hands on demonstrations in the Pastry Studio gave Lizbeth a chance to create “whimsical spring cupcakes,” fill éclairs, and learn ways to decorate with chocolate.

During the Expo Lizbeth had the opportunity to meet the CEO of the Bakers’ Association; he will interview Lizbeth at an upcoming School to Work Off-Site Interview event.  She will be considered for a position on the Association’s State Fair “Team Cream Puff.”

Lizbeth also interacted with MATC Culinary staff and students who were leading the activities in the Pastry Studio; she has taken the entrance exam with hopes of being accepted into the MATC program this coming fall.

Traquon Moore started his work experience at Senator Lena Taylor’s Milwaukee Office; this opportunity is a result of ongoing collaboration between Senator Taylor and the School to Work Transition Program.

Over the years the Senator has visited student workers on the job, as a participant in the Wisconsin Board of People with Developmental Disabilities’: Take Your Legislator to Work Campaign.  She has also spoken at the annual Student and Employer Recognition Luncheons.  Traquon is a senior at, Senator Taylor’s alma mater, Rufus King H.S.

Among other volunteer and extra-curricular activities Traquon is active in the Boy Scouts of America with the goal of achieving Eagle Scout in 2015; while working in the Senator’s office, staff will support his efforts to reach this goal.  Traquon will also be assigned various projects, assist and support community events, and ultimately travel to Madison to observe the legislative process.

© 2017 TIG Transition Improvement Grant (TIG) | Phone (262) 473-1446 | info@witig.org
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