What happens once a special education student graduates from high school?
In order to help parents, guardians and students themselves answer that question, Central Valley School District’s special education department is putting on a resource fair next week for families across the Valley.
The fair will bring together representatives from community agencies to help answer questions about employment, supported living, Social Security assistance, transportation, recreation and leisure.
The fair will run from 3:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at University High School.
A similar event has run in downtown Spokane in past years.
“We have never done (a resource fair) in the Valley before,” said Mary LLewellyn, special education specialist for Central Valley. “As long as we were doing it, we said ‘Why not invite East Valley and West Valley, too.”’ Freeman School District parents and students are also invited.
In the past, individual districts have helped students make these connections individually.
The needs of special education students vary widely depending on their situation, Llewellyn said.
Some special education students will need job coaches to help them succeed in the workplace after they graduate. Central Valley itself has six job coaches who help students with jobs ranging from motel laundry to a larger company’s mail room.
Agencies such as the Job Resource Center, the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, Nova or Crawford can help with employment questions at the fair.
Other students will need information on moving into group homes. Agencies such as S.L. Start will be at the resource fair to answer questions about supported living.
“For some kids, it’s just recreation and leisure that they’re interested in,” Llewellyn said. Agencies such as ARC of Spokane can help with those questions and others.
For questions about transportation, the Spokane Transit Authority will be represented at the fair. The Washington School for the Deaf and the Lilac Blind Foundation will also be represented.
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