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In This Issue


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...

Green Bay YIPPEE Flyer

Join the YIPPEE Training in Green Bay...


Spotlight News

2014 Statewide Transition Academy Awards

Contributed by Pam Jenson, TIG Project Coordinator

Three Wisconsin Transition Professionals, one Family Member and one Youth were honored at the 2014 Statewide Transition Academy for their outstanding work in the area of transition.

The Statewide Transition Academy has honored transition excellence for the past 2 years under the Transition Improvement Grant (TIG). Awards are given in the areas of: Distinguished Educator, Distinguished Service Provider, Outstanding Family Member and Outstanding Youth. Award winners were nominated by educators, agency providers, families and youth to recognize those who go beyond the day-to-day demands of their careers, family life and mentorship to improve outcomes for students with disabilities.

This year's award winners were:

Distinguished Adult Service Provider Award: Becky Hebda from Wausau

Becky was nominated for the passion she has for people and her ability to put them first. She is a strong advocate for providing education to assist individuals in making an informed choice in their lives to ensure success. Becky is deserving of this award for her dedication and hard work.

Distinguished Educator Award: Diane Biesek from Tri-County Area School District

A student, whom she has inspired, nominated Diane. Diane provided this student the opportunity to attend CCoT meetings and assisted in applying for DVR and for Disability Services at the Technical College she plans to attend. She has also gotten her involved in the Youth Leadership Forum (YLF) program and has lead her class to receive the National Award for Community Service for Veterans of Foreign Wars. She sets up job shadows, assists with filling out scholarship applications and provides students and parents with transition resources they need to plan for the future. She is an outstanding teacher who will take time for her students.

Distinguished Educator Award: Allison Fisher from Chippewa Falls School District

Allison was nominated by a co-worker, who states: “She has gone above and beyond the position requirements to develop new job placements for students. She monitors student success on these new placements even throughout the summer months when school is not in session. She takes a strength-based approach to finding the right placement for each student. She has also been the chair of CCOT (Chippewa County Community on Transition) and collaborates with community agencies on improving transition services for young adults with disabilities. From this group she has been instrumental in starting a "Job Olympics" which will be the first in Chippewa County this school year. Allison is also committed to facilitating training in this region for YIPPE (Youth in Partnership with Parents for Empowerment). Again, a commitment that goes above and beyond her role in the school district. Lastly, Allison has implemented a plan to survey yearly the Post High School Outcomes of all of our students with disabilities. With this data our district is looking at ways to increase the success of our students post high school. She is very deserving of this award.”

Outstanding Family Member Award: Terri DeGaro from West Allis (Not Pictured)

Terri was nominated by a family member because, “Terri goes above and beyond what is expected of her. She has deep roots in the community. She is a part of the WAWM Coalition, WAWM SEPTA, Wi Facets Parent Leader and, Committee Parent Rep Families As Partners for Children's Hospital. Plus she had a special needs child. She is there for everyone no matter the need. If she encounters a parent in need she does everything in her power to help them.”

Outstanding Youth Award: Searra Hadorn from Altoona

Searra’s teacher nominated her for the Outstanding Youth Award because Searra uses any opportunity to educate those around her about what she can do and is quick to let teachers and agencies know that she wants to be included and not discounted. Over the summer, she worked with Workforce Resource and was a great leader and role model in the program. She embraces all that we hope for in a student who is working to achieve their goals, and is using the services available to help her.”

Please help us in congratulating our award winners and all of the nominees. They are truly inspirational.

Articles Of Interest

2014 Statewide Transition Academy and Transition Collaboration Network (TCN) Meeting
Contributed by Pam Jenson, TIG Project Coordinator

The Transition Improvement Grant October events were explained as the best conference ever attended with a variety of topics and speakers to meet the needs of youth, parents, educators and agency partners. The events began with the TCN Meeting featuring Ron and Alexis Malloy and their transition story. They shared the how to’s of working with funding agencies to meet and sustain the transition goals Alexis and her family had for her future. The panel discussed how the power of community connections can make transition goals come alive through support of agencies, friends, family, community and technology.

The Announcements kicked off the 2014 Statewide Transition Academy with Dr. Carolyn Standford-Taylor, Assistant State Superintendent for the Division for Learning Support. She was followed by an inspirational keynote delivered by Stevie Hopkins from 3E Love. Stevie shared the story of his life from birth to where he is today as well as the inspiration behind it all, his sister Anne. The Academy offered 40 sessions featuring sessions on employment, technology in transition, mental health, transition programs, ACT, higher education programming, Postsecondary Transition Plan, self advocacy, trauma informed care, creating a meaningful day, along with a youth and parent track.

Handouts for the TCN Meeting and the 2014 Statewide Transition Academy can be found on our website at www.witig.org. Please mark your calendars for the 2015 Statewide Academy on October 30th, 2015

Please join us for our upcoming TCN Meetings on December 5th, 2014 at the Holiday Inn ~American Center in Madison and on March 10th, 2015 at the Best Western in Plover.

Assistive Technology Corner
Contributed by Judi Cumley, AT Consultant, CESA 5

Many of you have already downloaded the free (for all teachers) version of Read&Write for Google (use with Google Docs on Chrome) for text-to-speech on Google docs & websites, study skills features such as highlighting & collecting your highlights into a new document for studying, fact finder, talking dictionary, vocabulary builder, PDF reader, word prediction and even more! But did you know that TextHelp recently added additional features? You can read about it on their blog, but briefly they have added Speech Input (dictate into Docs). This is exciting news, because speech recognition/dictation has been seriously lacking for Google docs. I hope you and your students find it useful. Another added feature is an expansion of the tools that can be used on the web. The same highlight feature previously only available in Docs is now available for students on the web. As they are reading a website and want to “capture information”, they highlight the words or phrases on the site & click “collect highlights”. All of their highlighted text will be extracted to a new Google Doc AND it collects the source of the highlights. Students can also create a vocabulary list of individual words from a website by selecting the Vocabulary List Builder icon. Lastly, Read&Write for Chrome has added a built in Simplify tool. It not only “declutters” websites to eliminate distracters that interfere with focus and comprehension, but it can simplify the amount and complexity of text on a website. Students can still use all of the traditional Read&Write tools such as text-to-speech, highlight, talking dictionary, etc in the simplified version which can be further adjusted to increase/reduce the text even more. The TextHelp blog includes video examples to help you learn about these new features.

Here is a “cool way” of collecting data using a Google Form combined with an iPad. Create a Google form for collecting data for IEP goals, student behavior, student self-assessment, etc. (I find that it is easiest to do this step on the computer or Chromebook). Open the Form on the iPad (in Safari) and Select View Live Form. In Live Form mode, tap on the “Out Arrow” icon & select “Add to Home Screen”. There is now an icon on the iPad screen that when tapped will open directly to the live form. Complete the form, click on submit & the data automatically goes (with a date & timestamp) to a collected responses spreadsheet in your Drive. Full directions for going through all of the steps are shared on Google Drive.

Culturally Responsive Resources that address Poverty in America and our Schools
Contributed by Jane Ahl, Employment Training Specialist, Milwaukee Public Schools

Culturally Responsive Teaching can bring many different ideas to mind. The most important, I believe, is being responsive to ALL learners and meeting them where they are at. One aspect of life that can affect a person on a day to day basis is poverty. It is something that a person can be born into or thrown into after losing a job or becoming ill. Regardless of how it came to be, by 2011 there were 150 million Americans living in poverty or near poverty. After the “Great Recession” of 2007 the face of poverty has changed drastically, it does not discriminate against race, gender, age, or where you live.

How does this impact us as educators? How does it affect our students and families as they try to find a job that will pay a livable wage? How can we help students and families find ways to get higher education and employability skills? What can we do to help this situation? I have provided summaries for three resources I have found during my research. Some will give strategies and ideas that can be used in the classroom when working with students affected by poverty. Others will help provide a new perspective on the stereotypes that have been passed down through generations about people struggling with poverty. Ultimately, they have left me inspired and full of hope that the resiliency to survive and the support of others will help end this epidemic in the United States.

The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty 
By: Tavis Smiley and Cornel West

“The theory for a long time – is that poverty means there’s something wrong with your character, that you’ve got bad habits, you’ve got a bad lifestyle, you’ve made the wrong choices. I would like to present an alternative theory….poverty is a shortage of money. And the biggest reason for that shortage of money is that most working people are not paid enough for their work and then we don’t have work.”

The book talks about the history of poverty and how it has changed in the last decade. It paints a vivid picture of how families and children are living in poverty in today’s world. ‘Ten Lies about Poverty that America can no Longer Afford’ is followed by ‘From Poverty to Prosperity: 12 Poverty-changing Ideas.’

Reaching and Teaching Students in Poverty: Strategies for Erasing the Opportunity Gap
By: Paul C. Gorski

Gorski begins by defining Poverty, Working Class, Middle Class, Managerial (Upper) Class, and the Owning Class. He creates a picture of what schools and education can look like for students in each of these categories. The focus is on creating equitable classrooms and helping all students achieve to his/her fullest capability. Gorski creates a framework with ten guiding principles for teachers on how to become equity-literate educators. He warns of the dangers of stereotypes about families in poverty and education and how these can impact beliefs and behaviors. Gorski helps educators reflect on the Achievement Gap and how it may really be an Opportunity Gap. A short quiz on poverty statistics and the connection to race and disability status may surprise you.

So Rich, So Poor: Why it’s so hard to end poverty in America
By: Peter Edelman

Like the first two books, So Rich, So Poor also addresses poverty in America and how it is affecting families, children, and communities. However, this book takes a direct look at what young adults are doing from ages 18-29. Edelman categorizes the three million young adults, who aren’t in postsecondary schooling or employed, in the cradle-to-nowhere pipeline. This is an even wider pipeline than the cradle-to-prison pipeline that encompasses 804,100 young adults from ages 18-29. Dropout rates are at an all-time high and students don’t see a meaningful reason to stay. Zero-tolerance policies have sent students away from school instead of working with the student to learn appropriate behaviors. Edelman stresses the importance of good transition planning and creating an achievable road map toward a successful adult life.

Wisconsin County Communities on Transition (CCoT) in Action
Contributed by Kathy Tuttle, TIG Northern Regional Coordinator

Our Wisconsin CCoTs are busy meeting and planning and putting their collaborative work into action. Click the links below to get suggestions and ideas for your CCoT events.  http://www.witig.org/wstidata/resources/CCoT_Guide_03_2014b.pdf or http://www.witig.org/wstidata/resources/Appendix_CCoT_Guide_03_2014b.pdf

If you are interested in becoming involved with your County Community on Transition, contact your Regional TIG Coordinator for more details.  Click HERE for contact information.

Upcoming Meetings

Waupaca CCoT

November 3, 2014, 2:00 - 3:30 p.m.
Fox Valley Technical College
1825 N. Bluemound Dr., Room E113E
Appleton, WI 54912

Juneau CCoT
November 19, 2014, 1:00 - 2:30 p.m.
Hatch Public Library
111 W. State Street
Mauston, WI 53948


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