Monthly Wednesday evening meetings will continue October to June
Michelle Strutzenberger

Building on its breakthrough in connecting with the local school board last year, the Vancouver Parents Transition Group is looking to work more closely with schools in 2012-13.

One of the hopes of co-organizer Yuko McCulloch is to raise awareness with special education teachers in high schools about the work of the group, and then for those teachers to share that knowledge with families.

From there, as families are interested, the group is willing to arrange meetings through the school.

Yuko McColluch (left) and co-organizer of the Vancouver Parent Transitions Group Liz Cochran.

“I’m hoping we can connect more with the families through the school,” Yuko tells posAbilities Today, noting it could be more convenient for many families to meet in this way, especially if their sons and daughters can remain an extra hour or so at school while they do so.

The Vancouver Parents Transition Group has worked hard in the past several years to bring the concept of the transition process out in the open, especially with government and the school board.

Yuko says it’s been gratifying to see these entities begin to recognize the importance of focusing on transition and helping students develop plans for their post-high school lives.

The group has recently been invited to speak with teachers in the special education system about their work and support they offer.

Looking ahead to the new year, the Vancouver Parents Transition Group will be continuing its meetings on the first Wednesday of the month from October to June.

Meetings are held in one of two locations, on the west side at Pacific Spirit Community Health Centre and on the east at Britannia Community Services Centre.

Topics that have been discussed in the past include transition planning and Community Living B.C., family support and advocacy, financials, as well as employment training and opportunities.

Housing will likely be a key focus for this year, Yuko notes.

Yuko sees possibilities in families connecting and exploring innovative housing options together.

While the monthly Vancouver Parents Transition Group meetings are often organized around a presentation from a guest speaker, there is also usually ample time for families to exchange ideas and encouragement.

The group understands the value in learning from someone in a similar situation, says Yuko.

As co-organizer of the group, Yuko also facilitates a lot of connection and provides support and information via e-mail.

The Vancouver Parents Transition Group is supported by posAbilities. Other sponsors include the Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion, Spectrum Society for Community Living, BC Children’s Hospital Foundation and Vancouver Coastal Health.

To learn more about the Vancouver Parents Transition Group, visit their website.

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