CA Transition Alliance Trainings

September 29, 2022

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About The Event

Welcome to the Bridge to the Future V Institute. The California Transition Alliance and collaborative partners are excited to present a three day virtual event integrating live and recorded keynote speakers, breakout sessions, and a youth strand led by highly respected leaders and practitioners in our field. The institute will provide an opportunity to increase your knowledge, skills, understanding, and access to evidence-based best practices related to the changing landscape of transition for students with disabilities from birth to adulthood.


Intended Audience

All Pre-K through age 22 educators, administrators, students, families, business partners, and community stakeholders committed to ensuring ALL students are prepared for competitive, integrated and family-sustaining employment. ALL means ALL.


Benefits of Institute Attendance

Join us to learn, network, and build partnerships that support positive post-school outcomes for students with disabilities. We look forward to the times changing to allow our next Transition Alliance Institute to be in person and continue our momentum forward to the future. We are grateful to have the tools and resources to continue providing quality training for professionals, youth, and parents during the pandemic.


Become a California Transition Alliance Member

Simply to be and stay “in the know”.
The California Transition Alliance was formed in 2002 to provide support for WorkAbility I. In 2005, it was incorporated as a non-profit organization with the mission to provide information, tools, and resources that can be shared with teachers, families, educators, and transition partners at the California Department of Rehabilitation and the Department of Social Services. The California Transition Alliance has sponsored and organized the Bridge to the Future statewide Institutes on Secondary Transition. We provide training in secondary transition throughout the state. We are currently leading the California Alternative Pathways to a Diploma workgroup. All of the Leadership team volunteer their time and are dedicated to helping our youth achieve meaningful employment and smoothly transition from high school to education and training.

Day One Agenda

29th September, 2022

Time Session

Understanding the Pathway to an Alternative Diploma- Sue Sawyer, CATA president

Session 1: High School Diplomas for All Students

Sue Sawyer, President of the Alliance and National Leader in Transition will be the lead presenter. This session will explore strategies local education agencies can implement to ensure all students can earn a high school diploma. California has multiple existing pathways to a diploma. Learn how to ensure students take the first step to college and career readiness- earning the diploma. Explore the Alternative Diploma Pathway for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities

1:00 to 4:00

The Resilience Breakthrough - Christian Moore Founder of WHY TRY

Session 2: WHY TRY
Document Link: Click here

Christian Moore, LCSW, author of The Resilience Breakthrough, creator of the Why Try Program, and a passionate advocate for youth will be the lead presenter. He will share the latest materials and successes of WHY Try and the huge need for youth and others today to navigate the world after pandemic and beyond. He understands the challenges students face. He had a troubled home life, and he struggled in school. He was diagnosed with severe learning disabilities, and was advised that college was probably not an option.

Christian turned his personal insights into the Why Try Program, a proven model, based on his strategies and best practices in education. Today, Why Try is used by over 30k organizations, motivating over 2 million kids to show up, pay attention, and to TRY in life.

Day One Agenda

Monday, March 7, 2022

Focus: Work Based Learning & Business Engagement

Time Session
7:30 am

Let's Yoga!

Get your day started with a yoga class which will energize and nourish the mind, body and soul. All levels are welcome. Please join me for a lovely Gentle Flow Yoga class. This class incorporates breathing exercise, stretching, and yoga poses with an emphasis on developing intuition and body awareness. By day I am a Speech Language Pathologist and on the weekends a certified yoga instructor.

Deanne Opdahl
8:30 am

Institute Welcome-Day 1
Bridge 2 the Future V Institute
"Spanning the Transition Landscape"

  • Heather Calomese, Director of Special Education, CA Dept of Education (CDE)
  • Joe Xavier, Director of CA Department of Rehabilitation (DOR)
  • Sue Sawyer, President California Transition Alliance (CATA)
  • Xirro Jones, Citrus College Student
9:30 am

Keynote and Performance

Jennifer Msumba

Jennifer Msumba, talented singer/songwriter and author of the critically acclaimed book, SHOUTING AT LEAVES, who will take us on a journey of her lived experiences growing up with a disability, learning how to be her own self-advocate, identifying her “talent assets” and how she is leveraging her disability to sharpen her competitive advantage.


CA Statewide Workgroup Update: Alternate Pathways to a High School Diploma and IEP Process/Template Recommendations

Come and join state leadership for panel discussion and Q&A regarding current efforts in California to develop a standardized IEP template, the creation of alternative pathways for a high school diploma, and how this connects to improving postsecondary outcomes for individuals with disabilities.

  • Heather Calomese, Director of Special Education, CA Dept of Education (CDE)
  • Joe Xavier, Director of CA Department of Rehabilitation (DOR)
  • Nancy Bargmann, Director of CA Department of Developmental Services (DDS)
  • Sarah Candee, Chief of Cooperative Programs Section, CA Department of Rehabilitation (DOR)
  • Jessica Grove, CA Department of Rehabilitation (DOR)

(Strand: Hot Topics and New to Transition)

Born to Sparkle, Achieving Your Dreams!

A tv personality, public speaker, artist, and entrepreneur, Megan Bomgaars is a leader in the Down syndrome community. The 28-year-old stars on A&E’s reality television show Born This Way, which features 7 adults with Down syndrome navigating through life in pursuit of their dreams. To date, the show has several awards, including three Emmy Awards and two Critics’ Choice Real TV Awards. Megan was recognized by the A&E producers while giving a keynote presentation at the NDSC Annual Convention in 2015 and invited to participate in the show.

Megan has represented the Global Down Syndrome Foundation at several conferences and events. She has walked as a model in our Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show and appeared on television interviews with GLOBAL’s top doctors and scientists. This year, she gave a heartfelt speech at GLOBAL’s Grand Opening Ceremony of their new headquarters and gave keynote presentations at the Trisomy 21 Research International Conference in Barcelona, Spain and the NDSC Annual Convention in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Megan is a very successful author. Her book Born to Sparkle is on Amazon #1 bestseller list

(Strand: Youth Leadership and Student Voice)

Megan Bomgaars

Using Toastmasters to Help Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Improve Their Communication Skills

For 10 years, Judi Uttal has been utilizing the Toastmasters International Program to help young adults with ASD develop confidence, build friendships and improve their communication skills. In this presentation, Judi will share success stories and deconstruct a Toastmaster meeting, demonstrating the skills that are developed through participation in the program.

  • Judi Uttal, Orange County Asperger’s Support Group

(Strand: Family Engagement 1)

"Family Engagement with Transition to Adulthood: Start Early Repeat Often

Family engagement is an essential component of any successful transition plan. Parents Helping Parents offers an overview of best practices in family engagement during transition planning, resources for professionals and parents, stories from parents who have walked the walk, and a Top Ten List of parent perspectives on transition to adulthood.

  • Alyssa DiFlippo, Parents Helping Parents
  • Debbie Drennan, Assistive Technology Training and Consultant

(Strand: Family Engagement 2)

Collaborative Program Design Providing Student Driven Plans Career Action Plans with DOR Student Services, WorkAbility Services, and Special Education (Elementary, Junior High, & High School Continuum)

I will provide an overview of the process that our program utilizes to provide DOR Student Services and WorkAbility I Array of Services over the course of a year. All of our participating students receive this systematic approach to providing services.

Joyce Montgomery, Vallejo City USD

(Strand: Collaboration & Coordination of Services)

Practices and Strategies for Supporting Students with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities Through College 2 Career (C2C) Programs

The College2Career Programs have more than a decade of experience providing students with I/DD with accommodations, auxiliary aids and services to students who complete academic coursework and exited the community colleges to competitive integrated employment. Learn how we assist students to achieve their academic and career goals- and in the midst of the Covid pandemic.

  • Amber Perez, Shasta College 2C2, Director, Partners in Access to College Education (PACE), Director of College to Career Shasta College
  • Tasnem Sah, C2C Coordinator Counselor Sacramento College

(Strand: Work-Based Learning Experience/Career Development/College 2)

Creating Dialogue on School Mental Health: A Transition Perspective

In 2019, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Bainum Foundation brought stakeholders together to solicit guidance from the field around comprehensive school mental health. Join us for a reality-based conversation about the needs and approaches to school mental health that is truly comprehensive using dialogue guides.

  • Joanne Cashman EdD, President, Shared Work LCC
  • Mariola Rosser EdD, George Washington University, Center for Health and Health care in Schools
  • Ed Amundson MEd, NEA IDEA Resource CADRE, CTA Liaison CA COP on Secondary Transition

(Strand: What Do You Do in the Classroom?)

Peer Mentoring as a Pre-Employment Service

This session highlights the Peer Mentoring Works (PMW) community of practitioners providing Peer Mentoring as a Pre-Employment Transition Services (PreETS). The workshop will share effective practices, service trends, program supports for training and certification, service provision tools and resource-based technical support for Peer Mentoring as Pre-Employment Transition Services (PreETS) support.

  • Steve Allen, PolicyWorks, Peer MentoringWorks
  • Derek Shields, National Disability Mentoring Coalition

(Strand: Collaboration & Coordination of Services)

WorkAbility 101 Overview of the Guidelines for Administration of the WAI Grant

The purpose of the WAI 101 training is to provide WAI regional and district level staff with an overview of the guidelines for administering of the WAI grant, including: project contacts’ responsibilities, array of services, reporting process, fiscal policies and procedures, and allowable uses of grant funds. Additionally, this presentation provides local WAI site administrators and staff a general overview of the applicable WAI education code and CDE policies.

California Department of Education (CDE) WorkAbility I

  • Nicolas Wavrin
  • Wes Roberson
  • Alexa Slater

Director, Technical Support and Transition


Lunch and Business Roundtable Panel Working It!

Understanding how the three sides of the employment equation can work together - employers, service providers and people with disabilities. Learn valuable insights on:

  1. What companies need from job seekers and employment service providers;
  2. Positioning disability as an asset for a job seeker to use to their competitive advantage;
  3. How we as service providers, educators, and family members can build the foundation for success resulting in quality work opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
  • Tari Hartman Squire, Lights! Camera! Action!, EIN SOF Communications
  • Jessica Grove, CA Department of Rehabilitation
  • Malik Potts - Chaffey Joint Union High School District Student


  • Susan Mazrui, AT&T
  • Jorden Snetman, Comcast
  • Lori Golden, EY
  • Rylin Rodgers, Microsoft
  • Stephen Destefani, Wells Fargo

Orange County Local Partnership Agreement (LPA) and Its Work Teams

The Orange County Local Partnership Agreement (LPA) is in its 4th Year of operation with active and engaged participation. We will share information about our collaborative partnership efforts with a focus in Competitive Integrated Employment.

  • Linda O’Neal, Chapman University Thompson Policy Institute, San Diego State University II & Region Center Orange County
  • Arturo Cazares, Regional Center of Orange County
  • Trinh van Erp, Department of Rehabilitation
  • Adam S. Gottdank, North County Continuing Education
  • Ray Bueche, Saddleback Valley Unified School District
  • Rebecca Hoyt, Disability Rights California

(Strand: Hot Topics and New to Transition)

Dani’s Journey to Convert Her Passion into a Career

Dani Bowman, a rising autism advocate, animation instructor and business owner will be sharing her 13 year journey, converting her childhood dream, obsession and passion into a career while educating, elevating and empowering youth on the autism spectrum.

  • Dani Bowman, DaniMartion Entertainment
  • Sandy Vielma
  • Patrick Eidenmiller

(Strand: Youth Leadership and Student Voice)

Practical Supported Decision-Making Tools for Families, Clinicians and Providers

Adults with disabilities who can participate in the decision-making process can be supported using supported decision-making and a variety of legal tools. This workshop will review tools to evaluate if people can be supported without conservatorship and the strategies and tools used within the supported decision-making model.

  • Steve Ruder, UC Davis Mind Institute

(Strand: Family Engagement 1)

First Rate Transition: 20 Years Later

Tales of two young women whose transition programs began with remarkable Person-Centered Plans and what it has meant in their life journey. Their mothers will convey what it has taken to be true to the Plan and what they have learned and continue to learn.

  • Sharla Brown, Parent
  • Hilda Sramek, Parent, Carla’s Movie Restaurant

(Strand: Family Engagement 2)

Pomona Valley America’s Job Center of CA (AJCC)

America’s Job Center of California (AJCC) is your one-stop shop for work.

  • Michael Thomas, Pomona Valley America’s Job Center of California

(Strand: Work-Based Learning Experience/Career Development/College 1)

Stop Searching and Start Finding a Great Job

They say it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Learn how to put a team of staffing professionals to work for you to help you find the job you want. And learn what you can do right now to make your resume get noticed by hiring managers.

  • Chelsea Asaro, SourceAbled

(Strand: Work-Based Learning Experience/Career Development/College 2)

Inspiring and Engaging Students with California Career Resource Network (CalCRN) Resources

Learn about the latest updates to the CA Career Resource Network (CalCRN) free career exploration tools. The CA CareerZone and other resources are used widely to inspire and engage students by assessing their career related interests, identifying occupational options and helping them relate school experiences to career goals

  • John Merris Coots, California Department of Education, CalCRN
  • Blair Dore, CA Career Zone

(Strand: What Do You Do in the Classroom?)

Lights! Camera! Access! Career Incubator for Careers in Media LCA Orientation for Professionals

DOR has a long history of supporting employment of people with disabilities in the media, starting with the Media Access Office in the 1980s, and continuing with Lights! Camera! Access! (LCA) the Career Exploration and Career Incubator Initiative. Learn how your clients can explore media careers and leverage their disability as assets to sharpen their competitive edge to explore and develop careers.

  • Tari Hartman Squire, Lights! Camera! Access! EIN SOF Communications
  • Steve Allen, Peer MentoringWorks/PolicyWorks
  • Jd Michaels, michaels.adams.
  • Derek Shields, ForwardWorks Consulting and National Disability Mentoring Coalition

(Strand: Collaboration & Coordination of Services)

WorkAbility I Spring Meetings

(At least one site representative from each WAI program to required to attend)

WorkAbility I (WAI) Regions 2, 3, and 4 Spring 2022 Meetings - Only WAI representatives that are part of the Region should attend the Region meeting. The mission of WAI is to promote the involvement of key stakeholders including students, families, educators, employers and other agencies in planning and implementing an array of services that will culminate in successful student transition to employment, lifelong learning and quality of life.

  • Region 2
    - Melissa Mills, Jennifer Reimer
  • Region 3
    - Lisa Fettig
    - Annette Rodarte
  • Region 4
    - Shawna Pacheo
    - Linda Vargas

(Strand: Scheduled Meetings)


Accentuate the Positive: How Can Adults Change Behavior to Support Youth in Developing, Recognizing and Using Assets to Prepare for Adult Life?

How can we as adults change our behavior to support youth in developing. recognizing and using their assets as they prepare for adult life? Assets help individuals be stronger, more self confident and resilient, not to mention more employable and happy in their lives.

  • Vicki Shadd, California State University, Chico

(Strand: Hot Topics and New to Transition)

RJ Mitte and Michael Coffey: Tell Your Own Story

Telling your own story is important for your school IEP and self-advocacy in college, at work and in the community. Effective storytelling is an important and "every day" aspect of self-determination. Learn from both RJ Mitte (star of the TV show BREAKING BAD and new movie TRIUMPH) and Michael Coffey (writer/producer of TRIUMPH) about how they tell powerful stories about ourselves and others with disabilities - and have fun!

  • RJ Mitte, Actor and Motivational Speaker
  • Michael Coffey, Writer

(Strand: Youth Leadership and Student Voice)

Post Adult Transition Program (ATP) Options for Students with Disabilities

Coast College will present on the evolution of the Intellectual Disabilities program from our start in the State Hospital to our current community-based enrichment classes. Our presentation will focus on the development of Career Options through Academic Support and Training (COAST) program. The purpose of the program is to provide job training in a specific field (with demonstrated demand) as well as employability training. COAST offers several different vocational certificate programs.

Coastline College

  • Rachelle Lopez
  • Katie Stubblefield
  • Christina Calcanas
  • Allison Ferrier
  • Beth Syverson

(Strand: Family Engagement 1)

Parent Successes and Challenges Panel

This Family Engagement Proposal will feature three parents of young adults with disabilities who are currently working in competitive, integrated employment. They will share their experiences with early preparation of their children and will talk about the challenges they encountered as well as the awesome successes they have experienced.

  • Melissa Cory, Parent
  • Sandy Martin, Parent
  • Cheryl Cohen, Parent

(Strand: Family Engagement 2)

CA Community Colleges/Services for Students with Disabilities

This session will present information relevant to students with disabilities attending a California community college. The emphasis will be on the Disabled Students Programs and Services (DSPS) process for receiving accommodations, and the employment-focused services provided at some colleges by the WorkAbility III program.

  • Scott Hamilton, Consultant, CA Community College Chancellor’s Office Counselor, Consumers River College

(Strand: Work-Based Learning Experience/Career Development/College 1)

How to Prepare for a Post-Secondary Education Pathway

This session will provide support to students and their parents as they transition into adulthood. We'll take a look at resources for post-secondary opportunities. Wendy Abarca, UCLA Extension

(Strand: Work-Based Learning Experience/Career Development/College 2)

Teaching Work Ready Skills, Communication and Problem-Solving for Safety

Learn to teach job health and safety critical thinking and self-advocacy skills. We will share activities adapted from the NOISH Talking Safety Curriculum. We will also share teaching tools to help students recognize and problem-solve around sexual harassment, and what is needed for protection from COVID in the workplace.

  • Diane Bush, MPH Labor Occupational Health Program, UC Berkeley

(Strand: What Do You Do in the Classroom?)

Camp Networx! Session 1

Using the Camp Model Students Pack for an Adventure in Asset Discovery and Story-Sharing

Join us for Camp Networx! - Session 1- “Packing for Camp”. Reconnect with the spirit of camp and follow a cohort of campers as they pack for an adventure in asset discovery using the Camp Networx model beginning with a fireside summit orientation to adventures in asset discovery and story-sharing.

  • Steve Allen, PolicyWorks
  • Tari Hartman Squire, Lights! Camera! Access, EIN SOF Communications

(Strand: Collaboration & Coordination of Services)

WorkAbility I Data: Provide Steps for Local Staff to Complete Online Reporting within the WorkAbility I Database

The purpose of this training is to provide the steps that Local-Level staff will use to complete each of the online reports located within the Workability I (WAI) database. This training also provides a 10,000-foot general overview of the WAI database’s features and navigation including: student records, project reports, site management,

  • Jorge Aleman, Vocational Counselor II, Technology, Education, Communication Chair, Yuba County Office of Education
  • Wes Roberson, Education Programs Consultant, Workability I Regions 4 and 5, California Department of Education
  • Nick Wavrin, Education Programs Consultant, Workability I Regions 1 and 3, California Department of Education

(Strand: Scheduled Meetings)


TRIUMPH - Movie Screening and Conversation with the Filmmakers with Disabilites

Join TRIUMPH writer Michael Coffey and star RJ Mitte for a private screening of their new movie TRIUMPH, plus a wonderful conversation about the film afterwards. This film helps raise awareness about disability and challenges that kids with disabilities face - self-advocacy, self-determination, bullying, believing in yourself, youth leadership and peer mentoring.

  • Student Ambassador, Yamilex Bautista Vazquez, West Sonoma County Union High School District
RJ Mitte

RJ Mitte is an actor, advocate and philanthropist who has carved out his niche in Hollywood by breaking down stereotypes and changing public mindsets with his easy-going and positive outlook, through the unique lens of his lived experiences with cerebral palsy. Currently, he is starring alongside Oscar winner, Terrence Howard, as a high school wrestler defying lowered expectations, bullying, and shattering stereotypes to make his dream happen and be taken seriously as an athlete in Triumph. Ahead of the COVID lockdown, he was mid-filming Isacc, a thriller starring opposite Disney starlet Dove Cameron. Texas-based, RJ is also the head of his family's legacy project, The Mitte Foundation aimed to revitalize South Texas.

Michael Coffey is the writer and a producer of Triumph, the movie starring, RJ Mitte. Michael likes writing, casting, and producing, and has four different movie projects in the works using his other screenplays. He hopes to direct at least two of his new film projects—The Funny Guy and One Eye Open. Michael is a person living with cerebral palsy. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from West Texas A&M University. Over the past 18+ years, Michael has invested in three feature films, and he is credited as an Associate Producer for the feature film, Nailbiter. His first speaking part is in the feature film, The Sublime and Beautiful, filmed in Lawrence, Kansas in 2012.

Lawrence Carter-Long is a respected authority on the history and changing face of disability in film and TV. He has curated, critiqued, or consulted on projects for the National Endowment for the Arts, Turner Classic Movies, Sundance, SAG-AFTRA, AFI, NPR, ITVS, the BBC, along with other notable names and initials Non-Disclosure Agreements don't allow us to mention. His work has been featured in academic journals like Film Quarterly, by PBS, and in mainstream publications like USA Today. He has lectured on disability and media representation at the Library of Congress, the Whitney Museum of Modern Art, and the United Nations. He is featured in the 2020 feature length documentary, "Code of the Freaks," a radical reframing of disabled characters in film, and as an actor in the 2021 NY Times Critic’s Pick, "Best Summer Ever." He works as the Director of Communications for the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund in Berkeley, California.

Day Two Agenda

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Focus: Youth

Start Session

Let's Yoga!

Get your day started with a yoga class which will energize and nourish the mind, body and soul. All levels are welcome. Please join me for a lovely Gentle Flow Yoga class. This class incorporates breathing exercise, stretching, and yoga poses with an emphasis on developing intuition and body awareness. By day I am a Speech Language Pathologist and on the weekends a certified yoga instructor.

Deanne Opdahl

Institute Welcome-Day 2
Bridge 2 the Future V Institute
""Spanning the Transition Landscape""

  • Aaron Carruthers, Executive Director, Caalifornia State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD)
  • Philip Loi, Student Ambassador, Mt. SAC IMPACT Program Student

Senator Elena Durazo, Senate District 24



Micah Fowler - JJ DiMeo on ABC’s Speechless

For three seasons Micah starred as JJ DiMeo on the ABC Network comedy, Speechless, filming a total of 63 episodes. At age 15, Micah made his feature film debut in Jason Reitman’s Labor Day, opposite Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin. Micah most recently wrapped shooting the role of Christopher in the pilot episode of Baron and Toluca and James in the short film Princes which is currently being revised into a full-length film.

Micah was honored to have been named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 – Class of 2018, which acknowledges the inspiring work of young entrepreneurs and youthful visionaries making a difference in our world today.

Additionally, Micah was featured in Variety's 2017 Youth Impact Report and was thrilled to have received a 2017 Teen Choice Award Nomination, for Choice Comedy TV Actor, for his work on Speechless. Micah was additionally honored to receive the 2018 United Cerebral Palsy LA Trailblazer Award.

Micah, the cast and executive producers of Speechless received the 2017 Television Critics Association’s Award and the 2017 Catalyst Award for “Television Show of the Year”. They also received the 2016 SAG-AFTRA Disability Awareness Award for their contribution in raising visibility and awareness of disability issues within the entertainment industry.

In addition to his acting career, Micah uses his voice to be a constant advocate for those with disabilities doing public speaking engagements for corporations, schools, universities, medical conferences, and expos, including Forbes, Microsoft, Web-MD and Abilities Expos across the country.

Micah is also a proud ambassador for the Cerebral Palsy Foundation.

Representation: Paradigm Talent Agency in New York
Twitter/ Instagram: @micahdfowler


Kelsey, an actress, voice-over artist, photographer and disabilities advocate is a veteran of 4 Broadway musicals. She began her acting career portraying the role of Lee Bouvier in the original Broadway production of Grey Gardens. Her other Broadway credits include Louise in Sunday in the Park with George, Jane Banks in Mary Poppins, Young Bonnie in Bonnie & Clyde and the US National Tour of Mary Poppins. Kelsey earned a BFA in Musical Theater and a minor in Homeland Security from Pace University. Kelsey wrote her senior thesis on the power and portrayal of disabilities in the entertainment industry. She travels nationally alongside her brother Micah Fowler from Speechless, doing disability advocacy through public speaking engagements for corporations, schools, universities, medical conferences, and expos, including Forbes, Microsoft, Web-MD and Abilities Expos across the country.

You can follow Kelsey on Twitter and Instagram @kelseyfowlernyc and visit her website at


Get Acquainted with the California Transition Alliance (CATA) 2022 and Beyond


SB 639 Minimum Wages/Elimination of Subminimum Wages for Persons with Disabilities

Senate Bill 639 has been Signed into Law…once implemented it will guarantee all California employees with disabilities will earn at least minimum wage. DRC & SCDD Staff will review the history and talk about the long and difficult road to ensuring this protection and creating opportunities for people with disabilities.

  • Vivian Haun, Disability Rights of California
  • Tania Morawiec California State Council on Developmental Disabilities
  • Rebecca Hoyt, Disability Rights California

(Strand: Hot Topics and New to Transition)

From Client to Provider

When incredible success occurs in students with special needs those stories should be told. This is that story. Despite a traumatic brain injury, Matthew Traugh has achieved great success as he and his family journeyed through special education and has emerged to give back to the community that supported him.

  • Susan Traugh, Parent
  • Matthew Traugh, Son

(Strand: Family Engagement 1)

Pathways to Diploma - What is a Course of Study that Leads to Post-Secondary Goals?

This session will explore strategies local education agencies can implement to ensure all students can earn a high school diploma. California has multiple existing pathways to a diploma that define the course of study the student requires to achieve their postsecondary goals. Learn how to ensure students take the first step to college and career readiness- earning the diploma.

  • Sue Sawyer, President, California Transition Alliance
  • Vicki Shadd, Vice-President, California Transition Alliance

(Strand: Family Engagement 2)

Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) Student Services – Helping Students Achieve Employment

DOR presents on five core services they provide to students and invites a student presenter to share their success resulting from the innovative techniques and strategies used by DOR to engage and support students as they explore and prepare for the world of work

Department of Rehabilitation (DOR)

  • Yuki Long
  • Danielle Hackworth
  • Justin McIntire
  • Anna Tolentino
  • Tammy Woodard-Welch
  • Kelli Guillory
  • Sara Abdrabou
  • Elizabeth Musgrove
  • Alfonso Jiminez

(Strand: Work-Based Learning Experience/Career Development/College 1)

Fremont Union High School District Transition Partnership Program (TPP) Summer Program

This program is designed specifically around the five DOR Student Services and is a five-week referral-based program serving IEP students ages 16-18. Students gain meaningful transferable skills and information via paid work experience, virtual guest speakers, field trips, and workshops provided by TPP staff.

Fremont Union High School District

  • Andrew Suarez
  • Flerdia Noble
  • Latisha Dorsey

(Strand: Work-Based Learning Experience/Career Development/College 2)

Saddleback Velley Adult Transition Program (SVUSD) Vocational Training Program in Agriculture for Adult Transition Program

Saddleback Valley Adult Transition Program and the University of California South Coast Research and Extension Center have developed a Vocational Training Program for Adult Transition Program. Students assist with propagating vegetables in the greenhouse, harvesting, post- harvest processing. Come and learn how to create your own program.

  • Ray Bueche, Saddleback Valley USD
  • Jason Suppes, UC Ag riculture and National Resources

(Strand: What Do You Do in the Classroom?)

Expanding Transition Services through Collaboration and Innovative Practices Pre-Recorded/Live Q&A

Department of Rehabilitation, California Department of Education and Lodi Unified School District Staff will share best practices and lessons learned during a three-year pilot program that focused on expanding transition to high school and young adult aged students through collaborative and innovative practices.

  • Nicolas Wavrin, California Department of Education (CDE)

Department of Rehabilitation (DOR)

  • Sarah Candee
  • Sylvia Robert
  • Mahalia Gotico
  • Zachary Nathan
  • Suzanne Coronel
  • Alethea Huggins-Pfifer

Lodi Unified School District, , WorkAbility I, Transition Partnership Program (TPP)

  • Lisa Chaves
  • Sheri Whalen

(Strand: Collaboration & Coordination of Services)

Let’s Work – We Are the Future
9:00 – 2:00

  • Derek Shields, Facilitator ForwardWorks

This strand is limited to participating student and their adult allies. It will be recorded. If you are interested in learning more about the workshop, please view the recording. The resources used during this workshop will be available on the California Transition website. Scheduled Meetings Strand


Lunch Panel

Facilitators: Wilbert Francis Facilitator, UCLA Tarjan Center, Post Secondary Education; Stormy Miller Sabia, Ed.D., College of Marin, Director of Student Services, Student Accessibility Services/Psychological Services. Panel Members: Adam S. Gottdank, Ph.D., North Orange Continuing Education, Director, Disability Support Services; Melinda Lara, San Diego State University, Associate Director of Student Ability Success Center; Alina Sala, Ed.D., San Joaquin Delta College, DSPS Counselor/Faculty;

Tom Thompson , University of California Santa Cruz, Interim Director, Disability Resource Center. Tom entered the field of Disability Resources in Higher Education in 1980, taking a position at William R. Harper College, a large suburban community college outside of Chicago. He had previously worked in the field of rehabilitation, as a Workshop Supervisor, a Vocational Evaluator and as a Counselor with Deaf/HH young adults. In 1981, he joined AHEAD and has remained active with the organization up to today. He served on the Board of Directors twice, from 1988 – 1990 and from 2009 – 2012. Tom’s focus working in the DRS field has been on improving administrative and operational practices in DRS offices, mentoring new professionals and in teaching about the elements and best practices of doing this work in higher education.

Jodi Johnson, California State University, Northridge, Director, Disability Resources and Educational Services. Employed Since 1984, Jodi Johnson has provided support for students with disabilities on the CSUN campus while serving in a variety of student assistant, staff and administrative positions. In her current role as director of DRES, she provides leadership and direction to the department while helping other campus entities understand their impact in providing an accessible and inviting campus for students with disabilities. Ms. Johnson earned her bachelor's degree in liberal studies at California State University, Northridge and her master’s degree in college student affairs at Azusa Pacific University. As a former CSUN student with a disability, Ms. Johnson is very acquainted with the struggles and triumphs of students with disabilities. Using her personal experiences, educational knowledge and professional skills, Ms. Johnson supports students in following their dreams, growing to overcome challenges and achieving their goals.

Alondra Garmendia , Student Ambassador, San Jacinto Unified School District Graduate


Trauma Informed Practice in Transition

CA was an early leader in recognizing trauma as a factor to physical and behavioral health and learning. Trauma is also a consideration in developing individual, family and community strategies in support of transitioning youth. In this session, we will explore trauma informed practices and cross-agency work that is important in achieving sustainable outcomes for youth.

  • Joanne Cashman EdD, President, Shared Work LCC

(Strand: Hot Topics and New to Transition)

UC Davis Redwood SEED Scholars Program (first 4-year inclusive program with dorm living for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities)

This session with introduce the impact and the power of inclusive college programs.

  • Beth Foraker, Supervisor/Lecturer, UC Davis School of Education Credential/Master’s Program, Co-Director UC Davis Redwood SEED Scholars Program

(Strand: Youth Leadership and Student Voice)

Virtual Community Mapping

Participants will learn how to create a virtual community resource map for youth and their families. It is a fully customized, online, interactive resource map showing services, supports, travel, recreation, education and employment within their community. Virtual Community Mapping is a way for students to become more independent in their community.

  • Janet Barakat, West San Gabriel Valley SELPA

(Strand: Family Engagement 1)

SSI and SSDI Benefits Planning and Management

The California Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) is excited to support your journey to financial independence with Work Incentives Planning Services. This session will address disability benefits, Social Security Work Incentives, and related resources. A DOR Work Incentives Planner will address the question “How can I work without losing my benefits prematurely?”

  • Austin Nobles, Department of Rehabiliitation, Work Incentives Planner

(Strand: Family Engagement 2)

Riverside School of Career Education

Riverside County Office of Education – School of Career Education is a not-for-profit adult vocational school that focuses on hands on training and getting students prepared to enter the World of Work. Riverside School of Education offers short term CTE programs for students of diverse academic functional levels interested in pursuing careers as medical assistants, nursing, Dental Assistant, phlebotomy, pharmacy tech, Business Administration and welding.

  • Madelynn Knust, Riverside County Office of Education – School of Career Education

(Strand: Work-Based Learning Experience/Career Development/College 1)

Life After High School: Making the Dream a Reality for Students with Moderate Disabilities

Participants will learn how to design and implement local adult transition programs as they collaborate with community partners.

  • Tina Carpenter, MA, Program Specialist -Junior High Moderate/Severe High School; Mod/erate/Severe Adult Transition Coordinator of Workability, Anaheim Union High School District Special Youth Services
  • Julie Ornelas-Smith, Anaheim Adult Transition Progrram

(Strand: Work-Based Learning Experience/Career Development/College 2)

A Glimpse into College to Career at Fresno City College

Please join us to learn about Fresno City College (FCC) College to Career (C2C) program, located in the Central Valley! C2C students, like other college students have had to endure quite a bit during this "Covid era". An adjunct counselor will provide a program overview and will share what the student experience looked like in the transition from virtual participation to in-person instruction during the spring of 2022. The program's Job Developer and Ed Coach will present on challenges, accomplishments, and success in supporting C2C students in the areas of academic and employment. Lastly, current student and alumnus will share their stories of navigating higher education and employment to varying achievement of success!

  • Sage Talbot
  • Lashun Davis
  • Kim Nguyen
  • DSPS, C2C, Fresno City College

Orange County Local Partnership Agreement (OCLPA) Universal Referral Process

ODLPA has developed a Universal Referral process. An “integrated Resource Team determines needed services and supports for individuals with disabilities where there appears to be a need for multi-agency efforts in career relevant education, work-based learning and competitive, integrated employment programming.

  • Ray Bueche, Saddleback Valley USD
  • Arturo Cazares, Regional Center of Orange County (RCOC)
  • Trinh van Erp, Department of Rehabilitation (DOR)
  • Karena Gibbs, Irvine Unified School District
  • Rebecca Hoyt, Disability Rights California (DRC)

(Strand: Collaboration & Coordination of Services)

Transition Partnership Program (TPP) Meeting Department of Rehabilitation (DOR)

TPP partners and DOR field staff to discuss best practices, recent policy and guidance updates, and resources. The DOR Cooperative Programs Section will lead a meeting with Transition Partnership Program (TPP) partners and DOR field staff to discuss best practices, recent policy and guidance updates, and share resources. This meeting is intended for existing TPPs and DOR staff who work with TPP partners. There are two TPP meeting sessions that will cover the same information, so attendance of both sessions is not necessary.

DOR Cooperative Section

  • Sarah Candee
  • Katelyn Williams
  • Diane Shinstock
  • Matthew Brown
  • Lisa Cushman

(Strand: Scheduled Meeting)


Building Back Better

The Building Back Better for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access Coalition is working to transform California’s economic landscape in a manner that is more just, more inclusive, more equitable and more resilient than the economy we had going before the pandemic. Disability Rights CA and our diverse partners are working through collaboration to engage federal, state and local government officials, disability community partners, business leaders, labor leaders, educators, civil rights leaders, service providers and family members to increase employment opportunities for all people with disabilities.

  • Rebecca Hoyt, Disability Rights California
  • Vanessa Ochoa Disability Rights California
  • Steve Ruder, UC Davis
  • Karen Navarro, Jay Nolan Community Services
  • Susan Senior, Department of Rehabilitation

(Strand: Hot Topics and New to Transition)

One Districts Approach to College and Career Readiness

In an effort to have your students with disabilities to become College and Career Ready, San Jacinto Unified has developed a portfolio for students to complete. The portfolio includes activities to help students gather information they will need to prepare for life after high school while meeting College and Career Readiness criteria.

  • Robynn Gualtiere, San Jacinto Unified School District, Transition Specialist/Orthopedic Impairment Specialist, WorkAbility I Region 5 Co-Manager, WorkAbility I State Advisory Committee Alt. Chair

(Strand: Youth Leadership and Student Voice)

Limited Conservatorship and Alternatives to Conservatorship Panel

The Limited Conservatorship and Alternatives to Conservatorship Panel includes family members, advocacy and agency staff. The process for each will be described, advantages and disadvantages will be discussed. Real life experiences with these processes will be shared. Workshop participants will be encouraged to ask questions with materials, brochures available to download.

  • Jeremy Martin Regional Center of Orange County
  • Christine Tolbert, California State Council on Developmental Disabilities
  • Richard Rosenberg, Chapman University Thompson Policy Institute
  • Melissa Cory, Parent
  • Vivian Haun, Disability Rights California
  • Arturo Cazares, Regional Center of Orange County

(Strand: Family Engagement 1)

Transition: A Conversation with Parents- Transition Booklet for Parents

Transition: A Conversation with Parents will be presented. The book was written to help individuals with disabilities, their families and professionals to better understand the transition from childhood to adulthood. We hope the book will help families identify resources, services and supports that will help them to successfully navigate this transition.

  • Adam S. Gottdank, Director Disability Support Services, North Orange Conitinuing Education (NOCE)
  • Casey Sousa, Counselor, Disability Support Services, North Orange Conitinuing Education (NOCE)
  • Linda O’Neal, Transition Specialist/Consultant

(Strand: Family Engagement 2)

How to Be Successful in College and Competitive Integrated Employment

Hear from staff of Shasta College’s College to Career (C2C) program about what students, families, schools, and service providers can do before, during, and after college and job placements to optimize success. Our C2C program has been successfully helping I/DD students transition to college, obtain college certificates and degrees, and move to permanent employment at businesses throughout our community since 2015. Learn about what we have seen that can help and hinder success throughout all these stages.

  • Amber Perez, Director, Partners in Access to College Education (PACE) and Director of College to Career - Shasta College
  • Jamie Cole
  • Kendra Hornbeck

(Strand: Work-Based Learning Experience/Career Development/College 1)

Get Started on Your Journey Toward a Paid Internship or Competitive Integrated Employment

This session with highlight strategies to dive into the Discovery Process to determine the individual’s specific interests, educational experiences and personal hopes and dreams and explore how to collaborate with the Regional Center, families and businesses as we focus on the Individuals Plan for their Future. We will explore effective job development strategies and the differences between internships and employment.

Mains'l Services

  • Lynn Kennedy
  • Stephanie Allen
  • Jamie Markey
  • Anne Silcher

(Strand: Work-Based Learning Experience/Career Development/College 2)

Hidden STEM Occupations: What and How

This session will define what hidden STEM occupations are and provide strategies for how to increase student awareness of hidden STEM occupations. Strat4egies to increase awareness of hidden STEM at the student, school and community will be shared along with lesions learned from focus groups with students, teachers and employers.

  • Charlotte Alverson, University of Oregon

(Strand: What Do You Do in the Classroom?)

Enhancing the Workforce through California Department of Rehabilitation Business Services

In this presentation, Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) will highlight tools and resources available to businesses that work with DOR and hire people with disabilities. We will explore incentives, tax credits, business-based services, technical assistance, available training and more!

Department of Rehabilitation (DOR)

  • Jessica Grove
  • Danielle Hackworth
  • Toussant Wade
  • Justin McIntire

(Strand: Collaboration & Coordination of Services)

Entrepreneurship, My Journey and How Others Can Join Me [This session is a recording]

Join Daman Wandke, CEO and Founder of Wandke Consulting as he shares about his entrepreneurship journey. He will discuss the role mentors played in his life, how he has built a successful business, his dedication to employing and empowering others with disabilities, helpful resources and his role as a mentor for future entrepreneurs.

  • Daman Wanke, CEO and Founder of Wandke Consulting

(Strand: Scheduled Meeting)


Open Mic with Danny Woodburn, SEINFELD and Americans with Disabilities Lead on Productions

Calling all aspiring comedians, singers, dancers, actors, muscians and artists with disabilities! Now is yourr chance to share your talent with your peers, friends, and family AND our special guest, Danny Woodburn, emcee for the BRIDGE TO THE FUTURE V -Open Mic. you may remember Danny fromthe Seinfeld on television show as Mickey Abbott, Kramer's friend. Sign up for this fun evening. Be one of the top 10!

Danny Woodburn

Day Three Agenda

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Focus: Parent Engagement & Agency Collaboration

Time Session

Let's Yoga!

Get your day started with a yoga class which will energize and nourish the mind, body and soul. All levels are welcome. Please join me for a lovely Gentle Flow Yoga class. This class incorporates breathing exercise, stretching, and yoga poses with an emphasis on developing intuition and body awareness. By day I am a Speech Language Pathologist and on the weekends a certified yoga instructor.

Deanne Opdahl

Institute Welcome-Day 3
Bridge 2 the Future V Institute
""Spanning the Transition Landscape""

  • Robynn Gualtiere, San Jacinto Unified School District, Transition Specialist/Orthopedic Impairment Specialist, WorkAbility I Region 5 Co-Manager, WorkAbility I State Advisory Committee Alt. Chair
  • Ryan Chua, Student Ambassador, Milpitas Unified School District


Holly Robinson Peete Actress, author, talk show host, activist and philanthropist, Holly Robinson Peete has been touched by the entertainment industry almost all of her life. Her career as an actress dates back more than four decades and has led her to becoming a voice for her father, her son and her community. Robinson Peete had her first experience in front of the camera at the age of four when she appeared on television opposite her father, Matthew Robinson who served as a producer and portrayed the original beloved character of ‘Gordon’ on the iconic children’s program “Sesame Street”. While she knew even at that young age her calling was to be in entertainment, Robinson Peete opted to lead a more typical childhood rather than searching to be the next child star. However, upon finishing her BA at Sarah Lawrence College, majoring in French, Robinson Peete’s heart led her back to show business. She soon landed the part that made her recognizable to viewers throughout the world on the groundbreaking series ""21 Jump Street"" opposite Johnny Depp and went on to star in many other successful television series including ""Hangin' with Mr. Cooper"" and ""For Your Love."" She additionally was also seen on iconic hit drama series “Chicago Fire” and “Law and Order: SVU” as well as the smash comedy series “Mike & Molly” and “American Housewife”. Robinson Peete’s successful television career places her as one of only a handful of actresses to star in four shows in syndication. Robinson Peete has starred in 13 movies for Hallmark Channel (The Christmas Doctor” & “Christmas In Evergreen” to name a few) and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries where she stars in her own murder mystery wheel “Morning Show Mysteries” as Billie Blessings-a chef, author and talk show host with a penchant for crime solving. Her latest Hallmark movie was the groundbreaking Christmas film Our Christmas Journey in December 2021. This film was near and dear to Robinson Peete because of it’s autism theme. In 1999, Robinson Peete and her husband, former NFL quarterback Rodney Peete, formed the HollyRod Foundation, inspired by her father’s courageous battle with Parkinson’s disease, with the mission to help improve the quality of life of people with Parkinson’s. Then in 2000, inspired by their eldest son’s autism diagnosis, HollyRod Foundation’s mission expanded to provide support and resources to those affected by an autism diagnosis. Most recently the foundation opened RJ’s Place Vocational and Family Support Services Center in Los Angeles. RJ's Place is a 2,500 square foot facility created with the objective of providing training and job opportunities for young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The facility features a computer lab, family support center, a think tank and features a 10' x 5' freshwater aquarium. In addition to job training the HollyRod Foundation will provide Support services to parents and siblings with all services free of fees. Through the HollyRod Foundation and her family’s personal experiences, Robinson Peete has become one of the most trusted advocates for consistent and reliable education, outreach and support for both Parkinson’s and autism. Her autism advocacy also extends to her book co-written with daughter, Ryan Elizabeth Peete, entitled “My Brother Charlie” (Scholastic): a bestselling, NAACP Image Award-winning children’s book about autism from the sibling’s perspective. With her first book “Get Your Own Damn Beer, I’m Watching the Game: A Women’s Guide to Loving Pro Football” (2005, Rodale), Robinson Peete won the 2006 Quill Literacy Award. The follow-up to the children’s book entitled “Same But Different: Teen Life On The Autism Express” – which was co-authored by her twins Ryan Elizabeth & RJ – was released in spring 2016. Robinson Peete’s 4th book- “Charlie Makes A Splash” will be out summer 2022! Her longevity and visibility in the entertainment community has led Robinson Peete to a successful career as a trusted brand ambassador/spokesperson for some of the country’s biggest corporate brands. Robinson Peete’s consumer and mom-friendly personal brand has partnered with Target, Toys 'R' Us, Colgate, Skechers, Epipen, Cigna, Carnation and AARP, among others. Robinson Peete’s philanthropic efforts have earned her numerous awards and honors including: Ford’s Freedom Sisters, American Mentor Award, The Southern California Broadcasters’ Assoc Community Service Award, Gerald R. Ford People Helping People Award, The March of Dimes Healthy Babies, Healthy Futures Award, USC Woman of Distinction Award, Anheuser Busch John E. Jacob Community Service Award, The Genii Award, The Girls Inc. Mentor Award, A Place Called Home Humanitarian Award, McDonald’s 365 Black Award, Los Angeles Magazine’s Most Inspirational Women Award, Habitat For Humanity Dream Builder’s Award, The YMCA MLK Jr. Brotherhood Award and many more. Born in Philadelphia and raised in Los Angeles from the age of 10, Robinson Peete was voted “most talented” in high school alongside fellow classmate and future star Rob Lowe. She did her undergraduate studies at the prestigious Sarah Lawrence College where she majored in Psychology and French. She spent her junior year studying abroad at Sorbonne University in France and became fluent in the language. Robinson Peete and husband of 26 years Rodney Peete are the proud parents of four children. Holly’s mantra is “I wouldn’t change my child for the world- but I would change the world for my child.”

Robinson Peete

Mission Possible: Leveraging Individual Assets to Empower a Self-Determined Life

Hear from a panel of seasoned parent warriors who defied a “deficit mindset” and empowered their children to realize their greatness.

  • Kristin Wright, M.Ed. , Executive Director, Equity, Prevention, and Intervention, Title IX Coordinator, Sacramento County Office of Education

Hot Topics and New to Transition Strand

We are Business Owners! Microbusiness Panel

  • Richard Rosenberg, California Transition Alliance (CATA)

Youth Leadership and Student Voice Strand

Camp Networx Session 2

Join us for Camp Networx! Session 2 - “Campfire Finale” -, This presentation will recap the Camp Networx! model and conference mini-camp adventures before facilitating a return of camp cohort

who will share tales of adventure demonstrating the MyCube construct though story-sharing around asset and experience connection

  • Steve Allen, PolicyWorks

Family Engagement 1 Strand

Achieving a Better Life Experience – ABLE Act

Some people with disabilities and their families rely on a variety of public benefits provided by state and federal government to make ends meet. Many of these programs do not allow individuals to save or earn a real income. The ABLE Act gives eligible people a simple way to save enough money without losing public benefits.

  • Julie Eby-McKenzie, California State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD)

Family Engagement 2 Strand

Making Sense of Secondary Tran Data WorkAbility I

Take a deep dive into secondary transition data collection including College / Career Indicator on the CA School Dashboard, State Performance Indicators 13 (Transition Regulations) and 14 (Post-secondary outcomes and baselines/follow-ups n the WorkAbility I Database. The presenters will connect transition goals, services/activities and outcomes through the data lens.

California Department of Education (CDE).

  • Joanna Del Gatta
  • Wes Roberson
  • Dr. Kevin Lovelace
  • Brandi Jauregu

Development/College 1 Strand

Insights on What Works in Supporting Student Success and Job Attainment for Students with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities

This presentation will share factors that contributed to academic success and job attainment among students with I/DD at a community college district. It will highlight the findings from a dissertation case study that involved 40 participants, comprised of 16 students, 13 college staff with ID, 8 parents and 2 businesses.

  • Wilbert L. Francis, MBA, Project Director, Open the Doors to College, Tarjan Center at UCLA

Work-Based Learning Experience/Career Development/College 2 Strand

Transition in the IEP: Taking the Mystery Out of Writing an Effective IEP

This session will explore transition in the IEP- what are the common challenges to meeting the legal mandates and writing effective, student-focused IEPs? We will take the mystery out of developing transition language in the IEP and explore effective strategies and resources to write and implement a quality IEP that meets legal mandates and leads to positive outcomes for students.

California Transition Alliance (CATA) Leadership Team

  • Sue Sawyer
  • Vicki Shadd
  • Val Wiltse

What Do You Do in the Classroom? Strand

Transition Preparation for College and Career Readiness

Students’ college and career ready is the end game for education. In the teacher preparation program at Touro University, CA Graduate School of Education, a transition course specifically designated for College and Career Readiness is part of the credential program. In this session, we will focus on a condensed version of this 16 week course by highlighting elements of Transition Planning in an accessible format to parents, agency representatives, community members and students.

  • Joyce Montgomery, Touro University

Collaboration & Coordination of Services Strand

Transition Partnership Program (TPP) Meeting Department of Rehabilitation (DOR)

TPP partners and DOR field staff to discuss best practices, recent policy and guidance updates, and resources. This meeting is intended for existing TPPs and DOR staff who work with TPP partners. There are two TPP meeting sessions that will cover the same information, so attendance of both sessions is not necessary.

DOR Cooperative Section
Scheduled Meetings Strand


Lunch Keynote

  • Kris Bomgarrs, Born to Sparkle
  • Junnior Hernandez, Student Ambassador, Garden Grove Unified School District
Kris Bomgarrs

Moving Transition Services into Elementary School

Everyone agrees that transition needs to start long before a student with disabilities turns 16. In fact, it needs to start as soon as possible. This presentation provides some examples of how to easily start transition services early.

  • Robynn Gualtiere, San Jacinto Unified School District, Transition Specialist/Orthopedic Impairment Specialist, WorkAbility I Region 5 Co-Manager, WorkAbility I State Advisory Committee Alt. Chair

(Strand: Hot Topics and New to Transition)

Lights! Camera! Access! for Youth with Disabilities

Do you, or someone you know want to explore a career in media - TV? Movies? Theatre? Video Games? Comic Books? Are you interested in acting, writing, directing, animation, editing, blogging, storytelling and other arts? Then check out LCA and meet other youth with disabilities who are exploring media careers.

  • Tari Hartman Squire, EIN SOF Communications

(Strand: Youth Leadership and Student Voice)

Helping Adults with ASD Find Employment in a Career Club

OCAGE Career Club is a holistic program providing training and support for college graduates with ASD achieve short- and long-term career success. 50% of the sixteen participants have already found meaningful employment. During this presentation the three instructors of the Career Club will share the curriculum, lessons learned, and success stories.

  • Judi Uttal, Parent, Orange County Asperger’s Support Group (OCASG)
  • Hilary Kokenda
  • Rebecca Beam
  • From Zavikon

(Strand: Family Engagement 1)

How Does the Regional Center’s Self Determination Program Work

Learn about how this Regional Center program works. Self-Determination is a voluntary Regional Center program providing participants with an individual budget, used to purchase the services and supports they need to implement their person-centered plan (PCP) and Individual Program Plan (IPP). SD is now available to all eligible RC Clients.

  • Cathy Furukawa, Regional Center of Orange County (RCOC)
  • Debra Jorgensen, Guidelight Group
  • Sandi Ames, Parent
  • Shanel Ames, Self-Advocate

(Strand: Family Engagement 2)

Collaborating for Success

GIOC’s Project Search internship uses a cohort model to achieve competitive, integrated employment for adults with disabilities. This partnership includes the community college program, participating hospital, Regional Center, DOR, and more. A committee meets monthly to plan, support, and follow-up on services while program staff collaborate regularly to manage the day-to-day activities.

Project SEARCH; Orange County Goodwill

  • Noelle Hales
  • Stephanie Alire
  • Diana Nevarez

(Strand: Work-Based Learning Experience/Career Development/College 1)

Micro-businesses: Design and Development

Saddleback Valley Unified School District

  • Ray Bueche
  • Michael Seyler
  • Mary Margheim
  • Jake Barkero, Newport Mesa Unified School District

(Strand: Work-Based Learning Experience/Career Development/College 2)

Postsecondary Programs for Adults with Disabilities, North Orange Continuing Education (NOCE)

North Orange County Continuing Education (NOCE) Disability Support Services is committed to developing and providing instruction and services that lead to greater numbers of individuals with disabilities being included in higher education, competitive integrated employment and living independently. The purpose of this panel is to present DOCE DSS programs and Services.

  • Adam S. Gottdank, Director Disability Support Services, NOCE

(Strand: What Do You Do in the Classroom?)

There’s No Special Day Target: Why Inclusion Matters in the Transition to Adult Life

Opportunities to be included can have a huge influence on post-secondary success. In this session, we will review why that is and how Los Angeles Unified School District is working to increase our inclusive efforts.

  • Lela Rondeau
  • Administrative Coordinator, TK-12 Instruction
  • Division of Special Education
  • Los Angeles Unified School District

(Strand: Collaboration & Coordination of Services)

Connecting with Business to Improve Employment for English Learners [This session is a recording]

For Latinos in our community and workplaces, many barriers and stereotypes keep them in a revolving door to outdated jobs with no clear career path. Learn how to get results building relationships that improve employment and advance outcomes for English Learners seeking career services.

  • Celia Garcia, Job Skills Institute

(Strand: Scheduled Meeting)


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