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

l.  "Because ILCs are experts in providing independent living skills training, including how to write a resume, have a successful job interview and balance a checkbook, ILCs can be instrumental for young people with disabilities leaving high school as they sort through the challenges ahead."

CRIL's Executive Director Sheri Burns believes a big opportunity exists to assist TAY and college-age students with disabilities in their transitions by teaching them to become better advocates.  One of the best ways to do this is for students to participate in the Disability Action Network for Youth (DANY).  DANY is a member-led group of 16- to 24-year-old students who participate in a group structure and process to share ideas while prioritizing and focusing on different skills needed to reach their goals.

"With DANY, students can use their unique skills and see the outcome of those skills in play. For example, they might attend public hearings or present on an issue they oppose or support," said Burns.  "Instead of relying on 504 plans that prohibit discrimination based on disability, as specified by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, or Individualized Education Programs, DANY teaches self-advocacy to empower students to use their skills in making positive changes as well as understand when it's appropriate to share that they have special needs."

CRIL and DANY view the Hayward Unified School District (HUSD) and the Mocha Cafe as key partners in working with TAY. Students with disabilities gain valuable vocational training by operating the Mocha Cafe on the adult school campus. They learn diverse and transferable skills, such as handling cash transactions, managing inventory, merchandising, customer service and more. Through the Cafe, students have additional opportunities to work with local employers at no cost to the employers and continue strengthening and devel
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SOURCE California State Independent Living Council (SILC)
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