Dover, Delaware – The Delaware Department of Education, the Department of Labor/Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and numerous organizations throughout the state who serve youth with disabilities have formed the Delaware Community of Practice for Transition to host the 2010 Delaware Transition Conference “Shared Work, Shared Vision” at theDover Sheraton on April 29th from 8:00 a.m. -3:00 p.m. More than 500 students, parents and professionals are scheduled to attend from school districts statewide.
The conference is designed for high school students, parents, educators and professionals who are interested in issues affecting students with disabilities as they transition from high school into the adult world. The conference is offering 21 workshops for students, parents and professionals in topics ranging from legal considerations, school and parent partnerships, job seeking strategies and employment and post-secondary opportunities for youth with disabilities. Sample workshops include: YES WE CAN- Partnering with Parents in the Transition Process; Surfing Safely--Using the Internet Responsibly; ADA Provisions for Higher Education; Talent-Opportunity-Support-The Three Components of Helping Youth with Significant Disabilities Find Meaningful Employment.
The keynote speaker is Jonathan Mooney author of Learning Outside the Lines and his upcoming book, The Short Bus: A Journey Beyond Normal, a creative celebration of cognitive and physical diversity as seen through a journey across the United States in a converted short school bus. Mooney, who has a disability himself, bought an old short school bus in the summer of 2002 - the kind used to transport students in many school districts to special education. He converted the bus into an RV and for four months traveled 40,000-mile through 45 states to explore the experiences and culture of people with disabilities. What Jonathan did not realize when he set out was that this journey would take him to the heart of the experience of being an individual with a disability in America, exposed an ideology that is central to all of American culture: the myth of normalcy.
Mooney’s keynote address “The Short Bus Stories,” is based on his journey which brings to life some of the people with disabilities that he encountered on his trip. For example, he will share the story of a young man labeled ADHD and on the autistic continuum, who is a gifted performance artist and writer employed in an industry that pathologizes difference and socializes conformity. He will explore the connection between the dehumanization of people with disabilities and the American eugenics movement through Ashley, a six-year-old deaf and blind girl fighting for inclusion in her local school and fighting the discrimination that many people with disabilities face.Mooney, who graduated from Brown University and holds an honors degree in English Literature, did not learn to read until he was 12 years old. He is founder and President of Project Eye-To-Eye, a mentoring and advocacy non-profit organization for students with learning differences. He is also a winner of the prestigious Truman Scholarship for graduate studies in disability studies and social change. Jonathan also happens to have a disability himself.
Delaware Department of Education
401 Federal Street, Suite #2
Dover, Delaware 19901
Phone: (302) 735-4035
Fax: (302) 739-4654
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