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Welcome to the Transition Fair

List of Presentations

Accommodations at Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC)

This presentation will review the process for students with disabilities seeking accommodations at NVCC (all campuses). It will review the general legal differences and practical differences between high school level accommodations and higher education accommodations.

Presenter: Corey Esparanza and Pamela Lucas, Office of Disability Services, NVCC

Audience: Families and students that are interested in attending NVCC

Formed Families Forward: Outside the Box Options for Young Adults in Foster, Adoptive and Kinship Families.

Nearly 15% of children in Prince William Co. are raised by foster and adoptive parents and kinship (extended family) caregivers. Youth and young adults in these families often face extra challenges to the smooth transition to independent adulthood, due to disability, trauma histories, fractured service delivery systems, and other individual and system barriers.
Staff from Formed Families Forward, a federal grant-funded community resource center for foster, adoptive and kinship families, will share some unique resources and programs available for transitioning youth and young adults and their families.

Presenter: Dr. Kelly Henderson; Ph.D., Formed Families Forward .

Graduation Requirements in Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS)

This presentation is a brief description of the graduation requirements for the Advanced, Standard, and Applied Studies diplomas in PWCS. The presentation also covers Credit Accommodations that are available locally and through the Virginia Department of Education. These Credit Accommodations may enable students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) to meet some of the requirements for the Standard Diploma.

Presenter: Jessie Swinderman and Janelle Grimm, Transition Specialists, PWCS
Audience: All participants

Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC) Information and Major Exploration

Join Jocelyn Hanly and Karen Todd as they discuss the admissions process, programs offered, and navigating next steps at NVCC.

Presenters: Jocelyn Hanly and Karen Todd, High School Outreach and Recruitment Specialist(Manassas/Woodbridge)
Audience: Families and students who are interested in attending NVCC.

PWCS Post-Secondary Transition Services, Office of Special Education

Does your student have a plan for life after high school? Thoughtful, student-centered post-secondary transition planning will ensure the student's successful transition from high school to post-secondary roles and activities. This presentation will provide an overview of the process for transition planning through the Individualized Education Program (IEP), PWCS programs that prepare the student to achieve his or her post-secondary vision and available community resources.

Presenters: Kelle Connolly and Heather Lontos, Transition Specialists, PWCS
Audience: All participants

SSI / SSDI and Work - What You Need to Know!

The Social Security Administration offers two types of disability benefits: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Although both programs provide income to individuals who are unable to work due to a medical disability, the eligibility rules for these programs are different and they serve two distinct groups.
Presenter: David Melton, Social Security Administration.
Audience: All participants.

Turning 18 in Virginia: What Individuals with Disabilities Need to Consider.

Turning 18 is a big deal for all individuals. An 18-year old is legally considered an adult in Virginia. Therefore, when your child turns 18, he/she is the person that makes legal, financial, medical, and educational decisions in his/her life. For some individuals with disabilities, this will not be an issue. Others may need support.

Presenter: Tammy Burns, Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center (PEATC).
Audience: All participants.

What is Supported Employment and Supported Employment Opportunities

Service Source provides employment opportunities through affirmative employment contracts to support the mission to provide employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Learn more about the qualifications required and opportunities available through the community employment positions.

Presenter: Gonzie Gray, ServiceSource.
Audience: For families with students with autism, intellectual disabilities, others as appropriate

YHELP! (Youth Help) Online Mental and Life Skills Platform for Teens

YHELP! will provide an overview discussing the importance of teens to learn about their mental health, self- advocacy, and life skills. YHELP! will also provide information and resources for teens related to mental health and life skill topics, such as crisis intervention, career exploration, independent living, financial literacy, college prep, relationships, self-esteem, bullying, fitness, and health, etc.

Presenter: Jamese Jefferson, Founder of YHELP!
Audience: All participants

Dream it Do it - Manufacturing Academy (WWRC)

An overview of Woodrow Wilsons Rehabilitation Center 5-day Manufacturing Academy offered to DARS consumers to gain experience and job skills for interested participants to enter the 20 week manufacturing program at WWRC.

Future Planning and Able Now

Planning ahead is necessary when wanting to support a person with an intellectual or developmental disability (ID/DD) to lead a good life as independently as possible. A plan is important throughout all stages of life, especially in the future when the parent is no longer able to provide help and advocate. Join Tia Marsili, Director of Trusts at Arc of Northern Virginia, to better understand the varying parts of the whole picture and how to plan systematically for your loved one's future. Included in the presentation will be special needs trusts, ABLE accounts, guardianship, alternatives, and more.

Presenter: Tia Marsili, Arc of Northern VA
Audience: All participants

Guardianship in Virginia

Barbara Lloyd Kessinger, Esq., will provide a PDF overview of guardianship proceedings in Virginia and some related topics, including estate planning for special needs. What is guardianship and when is it necessary?

What distinguishes guardianship from conservatorship and what strategies can help avoid conservatorship?

What are some alternatives to guardianship and when are they appropriate? .

Presenter: Barbara Lloyd Kessinger, Attorney with Lloyd Law, PLLC
Audience: ; For families with students with autism, intellectual disabilities, others as appropriate

Post-Secondary Education is not Always College: Options 2- and 4- Year Degrees

A four-year college degree is not the only option for post-secondary education. Alternative, non-traditional post-secondary educational options include apprenticeship programs, career certificates, military, technical education, and more. Programs discussed will cover options for students with high-incident disabilities (LD, ED, mild ID, and Autism). Attend this breakout session to learn more about these varied options.

Presenters: Roger Styron and Jay Iacuele, Transition Specialists, PWCS
Audience: All participants

Services Provided by the Virginia Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS)

The Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) identifies, coordinates services, and assists individuals with disabilities reach their vocational potential. Attend this session to learn about the DARS services provided to transition-age students. Presenter will discuss services available through the Pre-Employment and Transition Services (Pre-ETS) program for students with disabilities as well as the application process and services for those individuals who may benefit from traditional vocational rehabilitation services.

  1. Deana Holinka, MA,CRC, Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, DARS
  2. Leslie Diaz-Ortiz, MRC, CRC, Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, DARS
  3. Alex Spangler, MA, Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, DARS

Audience: Students interested in entering the workforce after graduation and who need assistance identifying and/or attaining their vocational goals.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)/Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Rules and the Impact of Earnings

Join Stacy Chapman, Program Manager at Didlake and Work Incentive Specialist Advocate (WISA), to obtain information that will help beneficiaries understand the rules around SSI and SSDI and the impact of earnings on their cash and medical benefits.

Presenter: Stacy Chapman, Didlake Program Manager.
Audience: All participants.

Virginia Medicaid Waivers.

Virginia offers two Medicaid Waiver Programs that are used by many individuals with disabilities. This presentation is for individuals with disabilities, family members, educators, and disability service providers who want to learn about the basics of Medicaid Waivers.

Presenter: Lucy Cantrell, The Arc of Virginia.
Audience: All participants.


This brief video is an introduction to Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center's PERT Program. A 10-day program for students transitioning from high school to assist students in learning about their interest and potential post-secondary options.