Adel-De Soto-Minburn recently hosted a first-of-its-kind transition fair to help students with special needs pursue post-secondary careers.
The event, held by Heartland Area Education Agency, comprised of a free meal, break-out sessions including social security planning, student panels, and estate planning, and informational booths for parents, students, and educators.
Special Education Consultant Rhea Wright said participation at transition fairs has been “astounding” this year.
“It’s amazing how many businesses/providers offered to present, have vendor tables, donate for the dinner, and share duties such as childcare during the event,” she said. “We had heard that transition fairs are sometimes not well-attended, so we decided to involve the students directly, offer a free meal, and childcare and ‘up’ our publicity of the event.”
Although this was the first year the event was held at A-D-M, it did bring in almost 200 students, parents and educators.
“A fair like this is very important for students with disabilities to help them, their families, and educators working with them to plan for the future,” Wright said. “They (were) able to gain information about what adult services might be available to them after high school, if they are planning on going to college, what services are available to college students with disabilities and how those might differ from within the public K-12 system.”
Leisure activities for students of all ages were another resource available at the fair, according to Special Education Consultant Paula Allen.
The event wouldn’t have been possible without the regional transition team consisting of individuals within A-D-M, Dallas Center-Grimes, Van Meter, Waukee, and Woodward-Granger districts.