External Transition Resources

The following activities are implemented by Vocational Rehabilitation Program (Blind) mutual involvement of SBVI and educational agencies as part of students IEPs and IPEs.

Project Skills:
Project Skills is a paid work-based learning experience program for high school students with disabilities in South Dakota. The program is a cooperative arrangement between the state vocational rehabilitation agencies and local school districts which provides students the opportunity to learn different skills in a variety of job placements, with the assistance of a job coach. Project Skills helps to build the student’s work history, references and assists them with experiencing different career fields as they mature and take on new challenges.
Project SEARCH:
Project Search is a business led program. This means that students learn relevant, marketable skills while immersed in the business and those businesses are active partners, participating without subsidies. Project SEARCH is a national model partnering with a large employer, local school district and the State Vocational Rehabilitation Programs. South Dakota currently has five Project Search sites.
Youth Leadership Forum (YLF):
YLF is a unique career and leadership training program for high school juniors and seniors to learn more about self-advocacy skills and disability awareness. Students with disabilities cultivate leadership, citizenship, and social skills as a result of participating in this annual five-day event that takes place on a college campus.
Catch the Wave:
A one day conference designed specifically for high school students who have a disability and are considering postsecondary education (either college or technical institutes). Students learn about preparing for college life, securing appropriate accommodations, and developing self-advocacy and communication skills.
Regional Transition Forums:
These forums are informal, interactive meetings for providers of services, transition age students with disabilities, as well as educators and family members.
Postsecondary Disability Coordinators Forum:
This forum is held annually in Chamberlain (central South Dakota) with all the Disability Coordinators from South Dakota Postsecondary programs invited to attend. The forum has been a very successful initiative for promoting transition services for students with disabilities.
Summer Institute:
The Summer Institute is a statewide training opportunity for Special Education teachers who are assisting students in the transition process. It is held for one week in the summer and offers training that addresses IDEA, Vocational Rehabilitation and introduces self-determination curriculum and other assessment materials, along with IEP planning for transition service provision. Teachers receive graduate credit for the class and gain knowledge from Disability Services Coordinators from postsecondary schools, vocational rehabilitation staff, Transition Liaisons, community mental health agencies and independent living services staff.
SD Rehabilitation Center for the Blind (SDRC) Transition Week:
SDRC hosts Transition Week each summer for high school juniors and seniors who are blind or visually impaired from around the state. Students participate in skills training in the traditional SDRC training areas: Computer training with assistive technology (including speech and Braille output); Travel with the use of a white cane; Communication methods including Braille; Home Management which addresses essential tasks of independent living that include cooking, cleaning, washing clothes, etc.,; Manual Arts including use of hand and power tools to build confidence in using the skills of blindness; and Low Vision Services, using adaptive devices, worksite assessments and low vision evaluations.

Students are also offered the opportunity to job shadow at a variety of job sites, based on their individual interests. A person-centered approach assists them to experience self-exploration and self-advocacy skills. They also experience dorm life while staying at a university dormitory. Tours and presentations from university staff help give them a better understanding of what to expect from postsecondary education after high school.