Transition from School to Adult Life: The Duty of Implementing Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS)

Monday, July 23
11:15 AM - 12:30 PM
Location: Grand Ballroom BC

The Arc believes that all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are defined by their own strengths, abilities and inherent value, not by their disability. Employment is a fundamental part of adult life and a way to use their strengths and abilities in the community. As service providers we are passionate about helping our youth to develop the skills needed to be good employees and citizens. It’s our duty to focus on implementing new initiatives and best practices. Teaching the skills our youth need for the future is critical to fully participating in their communities.

As leaders of The Arc, we embrace the changes in the Federal Work Force Innovation and Opportunity Act. We are seeing more states implementing Pre Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) for students. Pre-ETS is playing a key role in transition services. More states, counties, service providers and schools are participating. This session is intended to provide information to attendees on Pre-ETS. It’s important to understand the role Pre-ETS plays in transition. We will also touch on the importance of Pre-ETS in an Order of Selection State. Having a better understanding of this role will assist in ensuring best practices are being implemented.

We will discuss the five categories in which services can be provided 1) Work Experiences Provided in Primarily Integrated Settings, 2)Counseling on Post-Secondary Education, 3) Workplace Readiness Training,4) Instruction in Self Advocacy, and 5) Career Counseling and Job Exploration. There will be an overview of goals in Pre-ETS; looking at how to create meaningful and measurable ones. Ideas on ways to track measurable goals will be shared. Providers will leave inspired with creative ways to implement Pre-ETS both inside and outside of the classroom. Examples of unique job shadows, informational interviews, and work experiences will be provided. The audience will be set up to network curriculum ideas. We will discuss the challenges of utilizing hours in Pre-ETS and maximizing billing. Ideas will be shared to assist in maintaining productivity levels. By reviewing all of these issues, the session is intended to teach and instill passion to provide Pre-ETS efficiently and effectively.

The session will be interactive by allowing all attendees to share their curriculum ideas during and after the session concludes. This will happen through group discussion, email sharing, and other means. Several handouts will be provided with hands-on teaching in the areas of implementing goals and tracking. Movie clips highlighting successful work experiences will be used to inspire attendees.

Attendees will leave with an understanding of Pre-ETS role in transition services. This knowledge will act as a back bone to provide services using best practices. Attendees will leave inspired with creative ideas, curriculum, and networking possibilities. After the session, attendees will be passionate about the concept of implementing Pre-ETS effectively and efficiently and will have the tools to do so.

Bitta DeWees

Director of Service Development
Stone Belt Arc. Inc.

Bitta DeWees has worked for Stone Belt serving people with disabilities for 27 years. Managing an Employment program with innovative services, she truly believes everyone is capable of working and it is our job to help figure out the right job match between employer and applicant. Stone Belt's employment services include traditional employment services including extensive discovery and supported employment, a Project Search program for young adults, and multiple school based transition programs. She recently initiated pre Employment transition services for students ages 14 to 21. This focuses on developing skills needed after High School. Bitta has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Indiana University.


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MaryEllen E. Jones

Employment Coordinator
Stone Belt Arc

MaryEllen Jones is a mother of 11 and has raised children with disabilities. Her passion lies in the transition and employment field. She started this path working for a transition program in the schools. She currently works in Employment Services at Stone Belt. She over see’s Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) in 5 schools, Project Search, and manages employees executing VR Services. MaryEllen sits on the Community Transition Council and a conference committee for INAPSE.


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Transition from School to Adult Life: The Duty of Implementing Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS)

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