On Saturday, September 23, 2014, 342 youth with unique abilities, their parents, caregivers, provider staff, vendors and volunteers, attended the 8th Annual Teens' Transition to Life Summit hosted by the Children's Services Council of Broward County in partnership with Transition to Independence Special Needs Advisory Council (SNAC) Subcommittee, the Exceptional Student Learning Support Department at the Broward County Public Schools, CareerSource Broward, Florida Diagnostic and Learning Resources System, and the One Community Partnership 2 (OCP2).
Youth and families were inspired by Russell Lehmann, an award-winning and internationally recognized motivational speaker, author, poet, and advocate, who also happens to have autism himself. Mr. Lehmann talked about his experience with a delayed autism diagnosis, childhood, and his advocacy work. His goals in life are to erase the stigma and stereotypes that come with having a disability and to make this world a better place by spreading hope, awareness, acceptance, belief, and tolerance.
Youth interested in college, vocational education and other options in life after high school selected 2 sessions from 8 sessions in the Youth Track. Sessions included topics from "Soft Skills for Employment" to an interactive session with Dr. Galen Chun on "Relationships and Self-Determination."
Parents, caregivers and provider staff supporting youth transitioning to adulthood also had the opportunity to attend workshops. Topics included a "Discussion on Post-Secondary Education" and an interactive session "Team up for Families: Road Map for Navigating Services for Youth". The final session for parents, caregivers and provider staff of the day was a question and answer panel discussion on "What you need to know benefits" which provided parents and caregivers with information about the Social Security Administration and Vocational Rehabilitation of Florida. Information provided on the differences between Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI); as well as the benefits, rules about income and resources and the application process for both programs; and what happens when your child turns 18.
Youth ended the afternoon enjoying an after-party with Stitchiz and DJ Ivory from iHeart Radio.
We look forward to seeing you at the 9th Annual Teens' Transition to Life Summit next year!
If you are interested in joining the Special Needs Advisory Coaltion or any of its subcommittees please click here!