First 2017-18 “Next Steps” training on special needs supports

J.R. Esquivel will discuss the programs available to parents through the Ray Graham Association at the first of District 202’s “Next Steps Transition Program” meetings for this school year, on Tuesday, September 19, 2017.

The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the District 202 Administrative Center, 15732 Howard Street, Plainfield. Pizza will be served to kick off the new year of “Next Steps” trainings.

The “Next Steps” program helps parents and caregivers plan, transition and advocate for their children with disabilities. 

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 Ray Graham Association is a private DuPage County organization serving and supporting adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. Ray Graham provides educational, vocational, community, respite, early intervention, recreational, home-based and residential programs and services, according to its web site.

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:                                              

October 17, 2017 --     Featuring Sam Knight, Disability Resource Center

December 19, 2017 – Featuring Kristina Zappavigna, Trinity Services

January 16, 2018 --     Featuring Joseph Parvis, Department of Rehabilitative Services

February 20, 2018       Topic TBD

March 20, 2018           Topic TBD

April 17, 2018             Topic TBD

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