Representatives from 50 public agencies, ranging from community colleges to the special Olympics and various work programs, will be at the Glendale Civic Auditorium to provide families with special-needs children information about support services they can utilize after high school.
"Nationally, it was determined that families were kind of lost after their child exited the school district," said Linda Lindley, transition specialist for Foothill Special Education Plan Area. "This is to help families know what there is out there for them. They can make a decision based on their individual child's needs."
Some of the agencies include: Glendale Community College, Pasadena City College, Los Angeles Valley College Glendale Assn. for the Retarded, Burbank Youth Employment, California Department of Rehabilitation, Tri-Valley Special Olympics, East Los Angeles Occupational Center, Glendale Unified School District Regional Occupation Program and Build Rehabilitation Industries.
About 150 students and their families are expected to attend, Lindley said.
Staff members from the colleges' disabled students services will provide information about academic programs and resources available to students with special needs, Lindley said.
"There are agencies from the areas of employment and education," Lindley said.
"The main emphasis is for families and students, to help them prepare with what they are going to do when they are out of high school."
The forum will also include a panel of former graduates with special needs who will speak to attendees about their experiences after high school, said Sherri Mudd, director of Foothill Special Education Local Plan Area.
"We are having students who have graduated come back to give advice," said Mudd.
"They come and tell us what they are doing now. That's kind of neat. They are the voice of experience."
Jessica Gould, a graduate of John Burroughs High School, is one of the panelists.
Gould, 20, has cerebral palsy and lives in an independent housing facility.
She has some advice for attendees.
"Even if their initial idea or goal to get to a college doesn't work out, there are other venues to get your goals accomplished," Gould said. "There are many options."
WHAT: Foothill Special Education Local Plan Area family transition forum
WHEN: 6 to 9 p.m., Wednesday
WHERE: Glendale Civic Auditorium, 1401 N. Verdugo Road, Glendale
COST: $5 refundable reservation fee, which includes dinner by the Glendale High School Café Bistro.
CONTACT: (818) 246-1219