Class Act Collaboration Strategies: Schools and VR Improving Student Transition Outcomes during COVID

Research has shown that interagency collaboration is a key component in secondary transition; however, collaborating to provide educational and employment preparation learning experiences for students with disabilities in the COVID environment has been challenging for education, vocational rehabilitation, and other agency professionals. This session will highlight resources and strategies that partners are using to maintain and strengthen their collaboration as well as how they are using effective programming strategies to help support students and youth in their transition journey.

Session Participants were able to:

  1. Increase knowledge of effective interagency practices and resources.
  2. Gain knowledge of virtual and distance learning cross-system collaboration strategies, resources and activities for students to achieve successful postsecondary outcomes.
  3. Discuss potential state and national resources to support families and transition age students, including students with complex needs.

Session Presenters

Ruth Allison, M.B.A.

Ruth Allison, M.B.A. is a Senior Faculty Specialist at the University of Maryland and a Technical Assistance provider for the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition: the Collaborative (NTACT:C).

Michael Stoehr, M.S.

Michael Stoehr, M.S. is a Knowledge Development and Technical Assistance Specialist with the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition: The Collaborative (NTACT:C).

Linda O'Neal, M.A. 

Transition Specialist/Consultant

Linda O’Neal, M.A. is a transition specialist, consultant and the Chair of the Transition Initiative at the Thompson Policy Institute, Chapman University.

Mary Jackson, M.A.

Mary Jackson, M.A. has worked at the Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services (IVRS) for over 16 years, where she began as a VR Counselor and currently serves as the Transition Resource Manager. 

Kirsten Varnum Lane

Kirsten Varnum Lane has been a secondary special educator in Iowa for more than 35 years and is the Secondary Transition Program Facilitator for the Department of Education.