Education & Transition

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Act Early
All children from birth to age five should reach certain developmental milestones such as smiling, sitting up, taking a first step and talking. If your child is not reaching these milestones at the same time as other children of the same age, don’t be afraid to seek assistance. If your child is delayed in his or her development, or you know that your child was born with a disability, there are many programs, services and supports that may help your child reach his or her full potential. To learn more about these programs, click HERE.

To learn about fostering self-determination skills in children with disabilities at a young age, click HERE.

Adverse Childhood Experiences
AIMHiTN is dedicated to ensuring that all children have the opportunity to develop intellectually, socially, and emotionally.

School Age
School age children (3-22) with disabilities are entitled to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) under federal law. These services are individualized and provided through the Department of Education, Division of Special populations. To learn more about the special education services in Tennessee, click HERE and HERE.

Training and Technical Support
Through a grant funded by the Tennessee Department of Education, The Arc Tennessee provides technical assistance to families to help them navigate the special education system, to learn their child’s rights under the law, and to provide guidance and support at Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meetings. For help, email help@thearctn.org or call 615-248-5878 x 28.

Secondary Transition - from school to adulthood
For students receiving special education services in Tennessee the “official” age for transition planning begins at fourteen (14). The Arc Tennessee offers a variety of resources, workshops, technical assistance, and other supports to educators, students and families in the area of secondary transition including:

  • Student-directed IEPs
  • Getting a Head Start with Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Secondary Transition Process
  • Person-centered Planning
  • Stress Management for Students
  • Communication and Conflict Resolution
  • Alternatives to Conservatorship and Conservatorship
  • PATH (Planning Alternative Tomorrows with Hope) Planning
  • Customized Employment

To learn more about Secondary Transition, visit Transition Tennessee. To learn more about how to bring this information to your community or for technical assistance with the IEP process, please email help@thearctn.org or call 615-248-5878 x 28.

Below are informational materials created by The Arc Tennessee or in collaboration with other organizations:

VR Pre-Employment Training Services (Pre-ETS)
The Arc Tennessee received a grant with Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) to work with high school aged students age 14 to 22 that have disabilities to provide services to help them prepare for the world of work as adults. Students do not have to apply for or be eligible for VR services; they simply need to have a diagnosis of a disability. They only need to ask their teacher how to get Pre-ETS services with The Arc Tennessee.

Pre-ETS services include workplace readiness, postsecondary education counseling, and self-advocacy.

  • Workplace readiness includes learning about things like, appropriate dress for interviews and work; interview skills; attendance; interacting with co-workers and customers; problem-solving; reading a work schedule; appropriately calling in sick for work.
  • Secondary education counseling includes learning about different postsecondary education options; information on postsecondary programs for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities; information for other postsecondary educational programs; applying for postsecondary programs; applying for educational financial aid.
  • Self-Advocacy training includes the history of the disability movement; learning/mentoring from other self-advocates; self-determination; student directed Individualized Education (IEP) meetings; basics of learning when/where to self-disclose your disability; learning how to assess your own need for accommodations.

For more information on the Pre-ETS Program, contact Loria Hubbard Richardson or phone (615) 248-5878 extension 28 or visit Vocational Rehabilitation's website HERE.

Fact Sheet on Pre-ETS from Disability Rights Tennessee

Vocational Rehabilitation

Other Useful Resources:

Disability Coalition on Education
The Disability Coalition on Education (DCE) is a group of advocacy organizations, family members and other stakeholders interested in the education of students with disabilities. DCE participates in opportunities for public comment on federal and state Department of Education (DOE) initiatives that impact students with disabilities, works collaboratively with DOE to address concerns brought to its attention, to share resources with families, and to impact change within the public education system that will benefit students with disabilities. Below are topics of interest to DCE:

To learn more about special education services in Tennessee, click HERE.

To learn more about special education in Tennessee Charter Schools, click HERE.

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The Secondary Transition Project is funded under an agreement with the State of Tennessee, Department of Education.

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