Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires school districts to provide transition services to all students, 16 to 21 years of age who have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Transition Services help students develop a plan for life after high school. There are three main areas that the plan focuses on. They are Education/Training, Employment, and for some students, Independent Living.
The Florence Unified School District's WorkBridge Program provides students with opportunities to explore interests and abilities in the community at different work sites and to develop appropriate social skills needed in to be successful in the work environment. The instructional activities that the students participate in are: interview practice, resume writing, self-advocacy development, portfolio building, and career research. The WorkBridge Program offers opportunities in work training, work experience, exploration, evaluation, volunteer experiences, job shadowing and work assessments. The students gain these experiences in restaurants, nursing homes, childcare facilities, animal care facilities, city service office, retail stores, retirement homes, volunteer organizations, grocery stores, and other sites related to specific career interests as identified by students in the interest and skill assessments they complete in school. Students are also taken on tours of post-secondary training and education sites like community colleges, the local university, and various skill training centers. Students are made aware of adult support service agencies like Vocational Rehabilitation and the Department of Developmental Disabilities. The goal of the WorkBridge Program is to assist students in the development of their plan for life after graduation from high school and to inform families about all the resources and supports that are available to them.
The Florence Unified School District also hosts the Annual Pinal County K-12 Disability Resource/Transition Fair. This is a county event offering families from around Pinal County an opportunity to meet with representatives from around the state who are eager to share the resources and support services they have for families planning for the future and helping youth with disabilities as they move from school to life after high school. Representatives share information from disability services in post-secondary education, social/recreational programs, behavioral health services, Vocational Rehabilitation, employment services, financial planning, Social Security, Division of Developmental Disabilities, Arizona Bridge to Independent Living and many other areas of support. Agency representatives give presentations on specific topics of interest to students and families throughout the evening and many new friendships are formed along with the wealth of information that is being exchanged. Families leave with a bag full of pamphlets and booklets from all the agencies they have had the opportunity to visit with on this very informative evening.