Having a problem viewing this email? You can view it in your web browser
(262) 473-1446 | info@witig.org
TIG Logo

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

Postsecondary Education Opportunities for Students with Significant Disabilities

Contributed by Molly Cooney, Youth Transition Outreach Specialist, and Brian Kenney, TIG Southern Regional Coordinator

Indicator 14 data shows that students with intellectual disabilities accessed higher education at a higher rate in 2014 than in 2013. This is exciting news for our students, families, and their teams, but we need more inclusive college options in our state. The chance to pursue college coursework and life on campus creates many opportunities for growth. If you think back to your college experience, you likely remember it as a time of profound change. You learn to become more independent, make your own decisions (including the occasional bad decision), take risks, and solve problems. Students with significant disabilities who go to college experience the same type of growth, and the emerging national data shows that students with intellectual and developmental disabilities who access college coursework have higher rates of employment and pay compared to those who do not.1

Wisconsin has 2 college programs for individuals who have exited the public school system: Edgewood College’s Cutting Edge and Concordia University’s Bethesda College. Wisconsin also has a number of dual, or concurrent enrollment programs around the state. These programs are partnerships between school districts and local technical colleges or 2-year and 4-year universities. These partnerships can facilitate the opportunity for transition-aged students to take college courses for audit or credit and spend time on campus. To see a list of the current dual enrollment programs in Wisconsin, visit the Think College WI website: http://www.waisman.wisc.edu/thinkcollege/wi_happening.htm.

Demand for more options in our state is high for those who are interested in college. Governor Walker received a proposal from the Think College WI team to allocate resources in the next budget to increase the number of college programs in Wisconsin. Check out the proposal brief at the Think College WI website: http://www.waisman.wisc.edu/thinkcollege/.

If you are interested in developing a partnership with your local college, attend the following Transition Improvement Grant webinar—Developing Dual Enrollment Options for Students with Intellectual Disabilities—on April 27, 2015, from 3:30-5:00 p.m. In the meantime, check out the videos, resources, and archived webinars on the national Think College website: http://www.thinkcollege.net/training/webinars.

Many students with intellectual disabilities want the opportunity to access college, and we’re finding that they benefit just like any other individual who decides to go to college. Let’s continue to support more and more students interested in this option - it’s good for them and it’s good for our communities. For more information on Think College WI, please contact Beth Moss (beth.moss@wisconsin.gov) or Molly Cooney (molly.cooney@wisconsin.gov).

1 Migliore, A., Butterworth, J., & Hart, D. (2009). Postsecondary education and employment outcomes for youth with intellectual disabilities. Think College Fast Facts, 1. Retrieved from http://www.thinkcollege.net

Articles Of Interest

Give the Gift of Voice
Contributed by News@Northeastern: February 14, 2014 by Angela Herring Angela Herring is the science writer for the Northeastern news team.

Since delivering a lecture at TED Women in December, Northeastern University associate professor Rupal Patel has had her work cut out for her. In conjunction with her talk, Patel launched a website called Vocalid.org in an attempt to crowd-source the creation of personalized synthetic voices for individuals with severe speech impairment.

Patel, a speech communication expert who holds joint appointments in the Bouvé College of Health Science and the College of Computer and Information Science, has been creating similar voices for a number of years. To do so, she takes a small sample of the disordered speaker’s voice and infuses it into a library of recorded vocalizations from a healthy speaker of a similar background. But so far, the process has been much different from what she now envisions.

For one thing, the current protocol requires voice donors to visit her lab and record two to three hours of speech. Additionally, the equipment used in those recording sessions is expensive and rather high technology.

“If we’re to make a real difference in the hundreds of peoples’ lives who want their own voice, we need to streamline the process,” said Patel.

Enter The Human Voicebank Initiative. Patel’s goal is to bank 1 million voice samples by 2020. Within a couple of weeks of her TED talk, she had already collected hundreds of potential donors as well as requests from a slew of people interested in having a voice created just for them. To meet the growing demand, which is sure to increase now that the video is available to the public, Patel and her team are working to create a more user-friendly voice-banking interface.

Patel and her team hope that donors will be able to use the relatively high quality microphone on their own smartphones and tablets to record themselves. They plan to turn the process into something of a game, where donors are encouraged by in-app incentives to return again and again to do more recording. Additionally, they envision creating a learning curriculum to teach young people about the science of speech as they progress through the recording process.

“There’s a lot of work to be done but we are excited about the payoff,” said Patel. “We expect this new approach to help a lot more people than we ever could have done previously.”

People interested in donating their voices can sign up at VovocaliD.org, where they may also donate their time, expertise, and financial support.

This entry was posted in Science&Technologytagged conference, events, facutly, innovation, research, technology, TED, TEDWomen, videos, VocaliD. Bookmark the permalink.

Associate professor of Speech Language Pathology and Audiology & Computer and Information Science Rupal Patel spoke at the TED women conference in San Francisco last December.  To see her speech, go to http://youtu.be/d38LKbYfWrs Footage courtesy of TEDWomen2013.



Ensuring College Readiness in 2015!
Contributed by Brenda Swoboda, TIG Western Regional Coordinator

It’s hard to believe that the school year has reached the half-way point and graduation is on the horizon for students! Based on the 2014 Wisconsin Post School Outcomes survey, 27.5% of Wisconsin youth with disabilities entered higher education last year alone. Now is the time to “dig in” with Seniors to ensure they have the tools required to find success at their postsecondary education or training program of choice! Likely, most students have applied to schools and have completed the required entrance testing. However, we know this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to transition planning. The article, "Nine Strategies to Improve College Transition Planning for Students with Disabilities,” by Elizabeth Hamblet, has some exceptional ideas for schools to implement with upcoming graduates, as well as looking at a comprehensive design with transition planning that can be done for all high school students.

Listed is a summary of her nine strategies, followed by a link to the entire article that can be shared with transition teams and partners.

  1. Educate IEP team members and special education faculty.
  2. Reach out to families.
  3. Encourage students’ future independence. 
  4. Teach students to use assistive technology.
  5. Give students the documentation they need. 
  6. Educate students about their disabilities and strengths.
  7. Explicitly teach learning and organizational strategies. 
  8. Ensure that students are prepared to apply for accommodations at college. 
  9. Create a district wide transition program.

The Wisconsin Transition Improvement Grant website has many resources that can supplement this work at www.witig.org. The full article can be found here: http://tcx.sagepub.com/content/46/3/53.full.pdf . A wealth of knowledge and work completed by Elizabeth Hamblet can be found at: http://www.ldadvisory.com/

Hamblet, Elizabeth C. Nine Strategies to Improve College Transition Planning for Students with Disabilities. TEACHING Exceptional Children, Vol. 46, No 3, pp 53-59. Copyright 2014 CEC.

Scholarship Opportunity Announced!
Contributed by Chewning Legal, LLC

Chewning Legal, LLC, a Social Security law firm here in Wisconsin, has announced that they have put together a $500 scholarship.  They have reserved this opportunity for graduating high school seniors in Wisconsin, who plan on attending a 4-year college or university, and have a parent or parents who are currently receiving SSDI or SSI (Social Security Disability or Income). 

Applications will only be accepted online.  The scholarship application deadline is April 30, 2015.  To complete the application, view eligibility requirements, and obtain other pertinent information, please visit http://chewninglegal.com/chewning-legal-llc-scholarship/.


Parental Expectations and its Effect on Outcomes for Students with Disabilities
Contributed by Jenny Jacobs, TIG Post School Outcomes Outreach

When parents have high expectations for their son or daughter, their child reaches a higher level of post school success compared to children of parents who do not have these expectations. This is measured by involvement in higher education, competitive employment and independent living skills. As educators and service providers how can we assist parents in raising their expectations?

Research shows that parental participation and expectations increases the positive outcomes their child will obtain following exit from high school. Work-based learning and employment experiences during the school years lead to better post school employment outcomes for students with disabilities. Family involvement in planning for employment and the use of personal networks as a job search strategy are key factors for employment success following exit from high school. As educators and disability services providers, how can we assist parents in being full participants in thinking about their child’s future?

“The concept of ‘expectancy’ forms the basis for virtually all behavior. Expectancies can be defined as beliefs about a future state of affairs. As such, expectancies represent the mechanism through which past experiences and knowledge are used to predict the future.” (Olson, Roese & Zanna)

Parental expectations can change over time when given new information. Finding job shadows and paid work experiences in the community while a student is still in high school can greatly influence parental expectations of employment for their son or daughter. Introduction of new information is another effective means of changing expectations. A collaborative effort between the Transition Improvement Grant (TIG), Wisconsin Statewide Parent-Educator Initiative (WSPEI), Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) and the Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) is being held in each CESA area. This is a great opportunity for parents and educators to come together to have a discussion about “thinking about work” for all students. Watch for upcoming information on this event in your area.

Notice from Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development
Contributed by Scott Jansen, Division Administrator - Employment & Training, Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development

Blueprint for Prosperity: Apply Now for Round 2 High School Pupil Worker Training Grants

The Office of Skills Development recently announced a second round of the High School Pupil worker training grant opportunity through the Wisconsin Fast Forward - Blueprint for Prosperity initiative. This grant opportunity enables Wisconsin businesses to collaborate with school districts, technical colleges and/or other educational and workforce partners to train and hire high school pupils. Thirty grant awards were made in 2014, which resulted in more than 900 high school students participating in employer-driven training programs this school year with employment opportunities awaiting for successful program graduates. A quick review of this list may inspire thoughts for your second round application.

Successful graduates of the program should receive employment opportunities in recognized high-demand fields and should earn an industry-recognized certificate. Examples of successful programs may include:

  • Technical college/high school dual credit models;
  • Workplace-based or high school-based transcript credit and industry-recognized certification(s) that are part of an embedded diploma;
  • Work-based learning programs;
  • Apprenticeship preparation models that allow for seamless transition into Wisconsin’s registered apprenticeship programs; and
  • Other skilled employment opportunities.

The grant instructions, requirements and application timeframes for this program are included in the Grant Program Announcement online and the highlights are listed below:

  • Range of potential grant awards: $5,000 to $150,000 per grantee
  • Grant amount match requirement through funds or in-kind sources: 50 percent Grant application available online: December 22, 2014
  • Grant application deadline: February 2, 2015 at 11:59 p.m.

Below is the link to how the Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce teamed up with their local high school to train student CNA’s. Check it out below:

Round 1 Success:
Learn how the Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce has teamed up with local high schools and Agnesian HealthCare of Fond du Lac to train students as Certified Nursing Assistants.

VSA Wisconsin Looking for Artwork

VSA Wisconsin is currently looking for artwork from Wisconsin residents with disabilities, aged 5 and up.  The artwork will be displayed in "Visual Expressions: A Call for Art Exhibition," an exhibition which is open to the public and many pieces are put for sale.  Ten works of art will be chosen to be added to VSA Wisconsin's Traveling Exhibition.  

The exhibition will be held in Madison and will be open for public viewing April 13 - May 2, 2015, with a Public Reception on Saturday, May 2nd from 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

For more information, please visit their website at http://vsawis.org/exhibitions_sales/call_for_art/

The Call for Art Entry Form can be obtained at http://vsawis.org/exhibitions_sales/call_for_art/cfabrochurefyfy15.pdf



© 2017 TIG Transition Improvement Grant (TIG) | Phone (262) 473-1446 | info@witig.org
The Transition Improvement Grant (CFDA #84.027) acknowledges the support of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction in the development of this website and for the continued support of this federally-funded grant program. There are no copyright restrictions on this document; however, please credit the Wisconsin DPI and support of federal funds when copying all or part of this material. [34 CFR Sec. 75.620]