Arkansas Interagency Transition Partnership
What is the Arkansas Interagency Transition Partnership?
The Arkansas Interagency Transition Partnership is a state interagency team which includes a variety of stakeholders who are supporting youth with disabilities so that they can have the best chance for success as adults.
State interagency teams are comprised of representatives of all agencies involved in preparing, connecting, and receiving youth with disabilities as they transition from secondary school to post-school environments. There is a need for an interagency team to look at the issues in successfully transitioning youth with disabilities: many of the services available to students under IDEA end when the student leaves secondary school; students with disabilities are significantly unemployed and underemployed upon leaving school compared to their peers that do not have disabilities; too many students with a disability leave school without successfully earning any type of diploma; and adults with disabilities are much less likely to be employed than adults without disabilities, the unemployment rates for working-age adults with disabilities have hovered around the 70% level for over ten years.
Mission and Vision: The AITP envisions a state that respects and values all individuals with and without disabilities who fully participate together in all life experiences. Our mission is to, through coordination and collaboration, improve lifelong outcomes for youth and young adults with disabilities.
Goals: Through the collaboration of the AITP we will work to: review the transition process among all stakeholders to articulate and propose data-driven system improvements (policy and programs); establish creative problem solving transition teams to minimize barriers and address unmet needs; discover common, cross-agency goals and how they can cooperate to address the needs of youth with disabilities; identify current weaknesses in the system of care for youth in transition to improve the overall efficiency and the overall application of resources and maintain and grow the application of effective practices
The Executive Committee of the AITP will help guide the group as a whole in becoming educated on agency services and the transition process and assessing those needs for improvement. The EC will hold quarterly meetings for general membership at which point important issues, concerns and solutions will be presented or discussed with the membership of AITP. Membership shall consist of representatives of ATS (Arkansas Transition Services) ARS (Arkansas Rehabilitation Services, ATP (Arkansas Transition Program), Arkansas Department of Human Services, DDS (Division of Disability Services, DSB (Division of Services for the Blind), Parent Centers, Public and Private Schools, Private Sector and other stakeholders.
The AITP Resource Guide offers some guidance to parents on activities they can do from ages birth to high school, that will help in the secondary transition process. This durable folder, when placed in the parents’ hands, can offer a “roadmap” of important things to look into, activities to do at home, agencies to connect with and suggestions for becoming more involved in the transition process—AND encouraging their children to become more involved. The folder contains contact information for valuable resources that can help in the secondary transition process. We have even coordinated some of the activities with agencies and resources that can offer assistance in many of the activities. But we have to get them in the hands of our parents!