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Independent Living Centers Play A Vital Role In Helping Students Transition Out Of High School
Date:9/10/2013

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Sept. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Although school just started for the 499,275 California students enrolled in grade 12, as projected by the California Department of Education, graduation isn't that far off and questions of "what's next" loom in the background. Leaving high school may translate into enrolling in college or considering employment options or exploring new cities and cultures. To make informed decisions, students first must understand their options and, second, possess the ability to weigh and exercise those options for successful outcomes. For students with disabilities, these options aren't always clear, which is where California's Independent Living Centers (ILCs) play a vital role.

According to Community Resources for Independent Living (CRIL) Community Organizer Dolores Tejada, "Apprising transition-age youth (TAY) with disabilities about available resources and opportunities makes it easier for them, not only to be more informed, but to enhance their skills and make independent decisions about their futures."

Career and college readiness is a key focus of two pieces of legislation, one federal – S. 1356 Workforce Investment Act of 2013 and one state – Assembly Bill 1041, which propose to expand transitional services for high school students with disabilities. California's public high schools share the same focus; however, they face numerous challenges, including classroom size, curriculum and standard requirements, technology advancements and budget constraints, while ensuring they offer special education services as mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

"California's public schools are overwhelmed by the number of issues and needs put in front of them," said State Independent Living Council Executive Director Liz Pazdra
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SOURCE California State Independent Living Council (SILC)
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