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Fourth D. 202 “Next Steps” training about student independence Jan. 16 in Plainfield

PLAINFIELD – J. Michael Parvis, a transition advisor with the Illinois Department of Human Services will present a program titled, “Moving on: Life in the Community” at the fourth of District 202’s “Next Steps Transition Program” meetings for this school year, on Jan. 16.

The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the District 202 Administrative Center, 15732 Howard St. in Plainfield. The “Next Steps” program helps parents and caregivers plan, transition and advocate for their children with disabilities.

Parvis has worked for the IDHS for 31 years. He has also served as a rehabilitation counselor, deaf-blind specialist and rehabilitation advisor. He has helped many individuals develop plans to help them achieve their goal of employment. He is also a licensed sign language interpreter.

This is the fourth year that District 202 is offering the Next Steps Transition training for community members interested in helping parents and caregivers plan, transition and advocate for their children with disabilities.

The Next Steps team comprises District 202 Vocational Education staff focused on improving delivery of services to families of students with disabilities; increasing family awareness of disability options and resources; and linking families in need to agencies that can support them with issues related to transition, said Dee Graves, District 202’s assistant director of private placement and transition.

“Next Steps” team members include Kathy Thomason, who coordinates the Work Training Program at Joliet Junior College; Plainfield Academy Vocational Coordinator Colleen Goldenberg; Project SEARCH teacher Colleen Kelly; and Work Training Program and Plainfield Academy teacher Sarah Bell.

Additional Next Steps trainings will be held regularly throughout this school year. All trainings will start at 6:30 p.m. Community members can attend as many of the trainings as they want.

“Next Steps” trainings are scheduled for:

• Feb. 20 – Ron Mulvaney, CWIC/WIPA program director, about assistive technology

• March 20 – Mary Anne Ehlert, Protected Tomorrows, about post-secondary transitions

• April 17 – Jireh Garnett, Services Inc., about life services coordination

For more information, contact Dee Graves at (815) 577-4023 or

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