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Third D. 202 “Next Steps” event gives “Keys to Independence”

State Rehabilitation Counselor Damien McDonald will discuss the “Keys to Independence” at the District 202 “Next Steps Transition Program” on Tuesday, January 21, 2020.

The program will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the District 202 Administrative Center, 15732 Howard Street, Plainfield.

The “Next Steps” program helps parents and caregivers plan, transition and advocate for their children with disabilities. 

McDonald is a counselor with the Department of Rehabilitative Services, a branch of the Department of Human Services.

The DRS helps students interested in working and pursuing post-secondary training/education with employment services after high school or possible support with community college sponsorship of tuition and textbooks through an application and selection process.

The DRS partners with people with disabilities and their families to help make informed choices to achieve full community participation through employment, education, and independent living opportunities.

This is the sixth year that District 202 is offering the Next Steps Transition training for community members interested in helping parents and caregivers plan, transition and advocate for their children with disabilities.

The Next Steps team comprises District 202 Vocational Education staff focused on improving delivery of services to families of students with disabilities; increasing family awareness of disability options and resources; and linking families in need to agencies that can support them with issues related to transition, said Dee Graves, District 202’s assistant director of private placement and transition.

“Next Steps” team members include Kathy Thomason, vocational coordinator of the Work Training Program at Joliet Junior College; Colleen Goldenberg, Plainfield Academy vocational coordinator and Project SEARCH teacher.

The “Next Steps” team also includes Jennifer Donckers, Kenneth Holowczak, Charlotte Kics and Lisa Scanlan, vocational coordinators at Plainfield North and Plainfield East high schools, Plainfield High School – Central Campus and Plainfield South High School respectively.

This school year’s scheduled “Next Steps” programs include:

  • February 2020 – Brian and Benji Rubin, of Rubin Law (specific date TBA)
  • March 24, 2020 – Sherri Schneider, Family Benefit Solutions
  • April 21, 2020 – Mary Ann Ehlert, Protected Tomorrows

For more information please contact Dee Graves at (815) 577-4023 or dgraves@psd202.org