The passage to adult living can be daunting for anyone, but the challenges are multiplied for students with disabilities. The goal of our Transition Program is to teach and reinforce a variety of social skills, life skills and to prepare our students for employment. An individual plan is developed for each student that will include tasks, activities, community outings, projects and work experience opportunities with a variety of partners. Initially, the program includes four components:
- Food preparation (including planning, budgeting and shopping)
- Leisure activities and hobbies
- Physical fitness and recreation activities
- Community service
While Mary Cariola Children’s Center has successfully placed 100 percent of its graduates in adult settings, some former students have been unable to maintain their placements because of behavioral and other issues. One of the biggest challenges for students is to learn how to constructively manage time when structured or day programs are not in session.
These struggles were documented in a 2006 joint study by the B. Thomas Golisano Foundation and the University of Rochester. Their findings underscored the need to better prepare students with disabilities for adulthood. Program Improvements
In 2008, MCCC was awarded a $210,000 grant from the Golisano Foundation to enhance our Transition Program and better prepare students for the future. It’s one of the largest grants in Agency history.