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Skill-building for success in the community

A plan for becoming a part of their community is critical to the transition journey for students with vision loss and other disabilities.

Ensuring that students are developing skills needed to access and participate in the community is an important part of the transition plan. When considering skills, reflect on the domains of vocational, safety and travel training, social skills and pragmatics and self awareness. They all collectively contribute to the success when connecting with others in the community. Starting young builds foundational skills that will contribute greatly to future experiences.

Each individuals skills greatly differ. For some individuals, a goal might be to identify the support they will need to sit in a van with a group. For others, it will be “reading the room” to identify what is happening in each social scenario. For example, waiting in line at the ATM, a skill would be to wait to enter the ATM until the cubicle is unoccupied.

Regardless of the amount of support that an individual requires, it is important that the student’s family and school team promote the development of these skills through exposure to meaningful community experiences, which may include:

For students with complex support needs, it is especially important to consider things like: 

Skill progression

Starting young, with early community exposure ensures later skills progress. What does progress look like in building these skills? If skills are being generalized and applied, moving on to another skill is appropriate. If repeat exposure and review is needed, staying on that task is perfectly ok. These are some steps you can take to develop experience and create confidence in your student:

  1. Accompanying an adult shopping and next, having a list and finding 1 or 2 items independently.
  2. Attending an appointment with an adult and then moving towards independently registering at the front desk
  3. Try ordering food at a restaurant after so many trials with someone assisting in the ordering process.
  4. Identifying preferred social activities from a list.
Resources 
Assessments 

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