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Transition Programming S.T.E.P.S.

Transition Programming: S.T.E.P.S. (School Transition and Employment Program for Success) provides a partnership with students, parents, teachers and school districts which will enhance a student’s success as they leave school through graduation or “aging out” and enter a career or the adult service system.

The program was developed by agency personnel and area educators. A committee was formed to focus on developing a solid relationship between schools and the agency in order to transition individuals with disabilities out of school and into the workforce. Outreach efforts have been targeted to special education teachers and coordinators as well as students’ families. The goal is to educate these individuals on the services Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara provides once the student enters the adult service system.

Many parents are unsure of what services are available for their children upon graduation. S.T.E.P.S. creates a link to these services putting a parents mind at ease. If eligible for the program, the special education student has options such as supportive services, recreational opportunities, clinical services and residential placement that are available through the agency. S.T.E.P.S. has assisted many students in smoothly transitioning to the adult service system. The school to work transition exposure has given many individuals the needed training and work skills to be successful in a job after graduation with support from Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara.

S.T.E.P.S. can provide assistance to students through:

  • Transition Exposure: Provides students with paid work experience by performing contract work for area companies while working to build self-esteem and confidence
  • Shadowing Program: Provides an opportunity for students to work “side-by-side” with another worker and experience career interests in vocational training areas located in Niagara Falls and Lockport
  • Shadowing Through Volunteerism: Provides students with opportunities to expand their exposure to the community by developing work habits and attitudes through community involvement
  • Tours of Supported Employment Sites: Provides students with a tour of a community-based supported employment job site
  • Functional On-site Assessment: Provides ongoing observations and feedback on the job, their skills, performance and interactions

S.T.E.P.S. offers the following supports to school personnel and administrators:

  • Attendance at Committee on Special Education Meetings
  • Written reports on student performance, observations and recommendations
  • Tours of pre-vocational, day and/or residential programs
  • Teacher training
  • Teacher assistance with linkage and referral to other supports needed upon transitioning
  • Parent training on a variety of topics related to transition to the adult service world

Are you a student with special needs or parent of a student with a disability? Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara’s School Transition and Employment Program for Success (S.T.E.P.S.) provides comprehensive training to students with disabilities. In partnership with local school districts, special education students can make a smooth transition into the workforce and the community. Contact Lori Flaugher at (716) 504-2617 or lflaugher@opportunitiesunlimited.org for more information.