The York Catholic District School Board’s Student Services Department recently held its annual, “Planning for the Future” symposium, which focuses on ways to better help students with special needs transition out of high school. The event was a success, with over 200 participants in attendance.
Grade 10 and 11 students with learning disabilities and Asperger’s Syndrome, along with their parents and caregivers, gathered valuable information about options, supports and services available to facilitate their transition from secondary school to various post-secondary and workplace settings.
Transition planning is a long-term process that involves many components. Presentations from the colleges and universities provided important information about the application and admission process, as well as how students with disabilities can access supports at post-secondary institutions. Representatives from Skills Canada, along with Mary Talamo, Pathways Consultant for the Board, shared information about how to create an educational and career pathway towards apprenticeship programs and the skilled trades.
Information display booths were also set up by the Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario and Kerry’s Place. Parents and students stopped by these booths to ask questions and gather additional resources.
The Planning for the Future symposium was truly empowering for students with learning disabilities and their families. Feedback at the end of the evening was extremely positive and many attendees expressed that they are eagerly awaiting next year’s symposium so that they can return to gather more information to assist in their journey into the future.