Trident Tech Transition Fair identifies post-high school opportunities for special needs students

Trident Tech Transition Fair identifies post-high school opportunities for special needs students
February 18 08:46 2018 Print This Article

The third annual Transition Fair for students with disabilities was held at Trident Technical College Saturday. The fair was organized by Charleston Collaborative Action Network (CAN) to help students with disabilities learn about opportunities after high school. This is a difficult issue for all high school students and can be particularly daunting for those with disabilities.

Charleston CAN was founded by businessman Nicholas Gavalas. The Gavalas Kolanko Foundation has provided 165 college scholarships to students with physical disabilities since 1999. Gavalas found through the years that service providers for those with disabilities do not collaborate with each other, and this lack of collaboration makes accessing services difficult for the disabled. In 2014 he sponsored a luncheon for 25 service providers to begin the coordination of services, and Charleston CAN was born. Charleston CAN formed teams of service providers for the areas of access, education, housing, employment, and recreation. “We are a network of self-advocates, service providers, families, caregivers, and professionals who work collaboratively to take actions that will make our community a better…”

The Transition Fair was organized by Charleston CAN and sponsored by Charleston County School District (CCSD), Berkeley County School District, Dorchester School District Two, Dorchester School District Four, and the City of Charleston. There were about 20 vendors participating that included (but were not limited to) the following:

– Family Resource Center for Disabilities and Special Needs
– Family Connection of South Carolina
– Healing Farms
– Palmetto Youth Connections
– SC Department of Disabilities and Special Needs
– Trident Technical College
– AccessAbility
– SC Assistive Technology
– Vocational Rehabilitation
– Employer Panel
– Palmetto One Stop
– Beyond Basics
– Synergy

These service providers can help students and their parents answer what’s next in terms of higher education, independent living, meaningful employment, housing, and benefits. It is going to require every special education teacher, administrator, and parent to join hands to access the best opportunities for each student.