This past week, Ms. Virginia Murray and Mr. William (Bill) McQueary presented at Life Development Institute’s monthly Speaker Series.  They spoke to a packed house about the available support services that exist for young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, and other learning disabilities.  The information provided covered aspects of requirements and rights surrounding these support services in addition to further discussion that identified specific support agencies as well as their populations and functions.  The following discusses some of the items covered and is then followed by resource links for further information.

First, Employment First is a statewide initiative that “prioritizes employment as the first choice and preferred outcome for day services for individuals with developmental disabilities” (Arizona Department of Economic Security (AZ DES).  Next, students and families are encouraged to research TTE or Transition to Employment.  According to AZ DES, TTE “is a service that provides a Division member with individualized instruction, training, and supports to promote skill development for integrated and competitive employment.”  Third, Education Career Action Plan (ECAP) was covered, which as of February 25, 2008 mandates that 9 -12 grade Arizona students have an ECAP.  An ECAP “reflects a student’s current plan of coursework, career aspirations, and extended learning opportunities in order to develop the student’s individual academic and career goals” (Arizona Department of Education). Finally, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) went into effect this year as of July, 1.  For persons with disabilities, WIOA now provides 15% of funding to support transitional services.  Finally, the Speaker Series contained an enormous amount of additional information regarding support services and opportunities.

Virginia and Bill covered a lot more information during their time with LDI.  Since all this information cannot be included in one post, the following links can be used as resource tools: