Kilgore, Texas – Over 100 attendees were present at the inaugural ‘411 for the Future Symposium’ on October 25, an event created and coordinated by the Center for Special Education at Region 7 Education Service Center and Partners Resource Network. This symposium featured several sessions that provided information and resources to parents and students on ways to remove barriers and increase independence for students with disabilities.
“What a blessing it is to have the opportunity to work with students as they move on to the next chapter of life,” says Tara Evers, Region 7 Education Service Center Specialist. “This is really what all educators work for, to help students graduate and become successful members of society.”
Among students who were last enrolled in a Texas public school and had an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) in place during the 2019-20 school year, one year later 24% were enrolled in higher education, and 53% were enrolled in higher education or competitively employed. (Source: Texas Education Agency; Indicator 14: Texas’ Post School Outcomes Survey, December 2021)
Beverly Beran, Region 7 ESC Assistant Deputy Director, accredits student success to opportunities for individuals to learn more about the critical transition services needed to increase and facilitate student independence. "Collaborative symposiums such as the '411 for the Future' increase knowledge for students, parents, and staff," says Beran. "The increased knowledge leads to more connections and better outcomes for students with disabilities."
Attendees at the ‘411 for the Future Symposium’ joined in on sessions such as finding and keeping employment, Person-Centered planning, financial and medical planning, and dressing for success on a budget. Students had the opportunity to visit with local service providers, spend time with therapy dogs, and even try on and keep professional attire donated by Goodwill Industries of East Texas. Parents had the opportunity to learn how to assist their children as they become ready to take on the next phase in their lives.
“We here at Partners Resource Network have been excited to collaborate with Region 7 for this event,” says Dee Lower, Coordinator at Partners Resource Network. “We hope to collaborate with individual districts to bring our free trainings to their students and to assist parents.”
The Center for Special Education at Region 7 Education Service Center provides customized administrative and program assistance, including professional development to support the planning, implementation, and evaluation of special education programs for 101 districts and charter schools in Region 7. For more information and other upcoming events, please visit www.esc7.net.
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