The Meridian Transition Academy is a community-based program offered to students 18-21 years of age with disabilities. It allows students to begin experiencing adult life activities in the community while having the support of the school system. Students will receive a variety of on the job vocational training working toward increased responsibility and independence. Students participate in community-based recreational/leisure activities, further develop independent living skills and begin developing social connections in the community. The Transition Academy will allow the students to explore day to day “life” options and begin trying out their vision for life as a young adult.
The students open their own savings and checking account and learn skills in personal money management such as; utilizing the bank, debit cards, ATMs, check writing, balancing their check register, checking their balance online, price comparing and budgeting.
The students run a class business learning inventory control, how to make change, and customer service, with all proceeds benefiting the students directly.
The Community-Based Transition Program is the natural progression from public education to adult life. It is not intended to replace high school; rather it is a continuing educational opportunity in an age-appropriate setting. Here, the students will be provided with the opportunity for direct access to adult service agencies within the community.
Parent/guardian and student input is a critical component of this program. It is essential for the success of the student in developing the Individualized Education Program working together towards the same goals in this final phase of their educational career.
Extending the free, appropriate public education from high school to an age-appropriate adult setting, is a logical implementation of IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 1997, P.L. 105-17). Section 602 defines transition services as a coordinated set of activities for a student, designed with an outcome oriented process that promotes movement from school to post-school activities, including post-secondary education, vocational training, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult serviced, independent living, or community participation.