A event coming up Saturday will help children with disabilities and their families plan for the future.
The fourth annual Self-Determination Conference is for special-needs students in eighth-grade and older of all functioning levels and their parents, as well as professionals, said Terri Goodridge, a parent mentor for the Bibb County school district's special education program.
The free event, open to families across Middle Georgia, is from 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday at the Bibb County district's Professional Learning Building, at 2007 Riverside Drive in Macon. Breakfast will be provided. The conference is offered by Middle Georgia Learning Resource System, the Middle Georgia Regional Transition Council and Parent Mentor Partnership.
"There needs to be more options for our students with disabilities so they can have a meaningful life after they leave (high school)," Goodridge said. "(The event) is tying all of the resources together in a one-stop shop. They can have a fulfilled, productive life, regardless of their disability. That's really key."
Parents will be able to get information on things like vocational and rehabilitation services, post-secondary school, technical school, and Medicaid waivers to cover day programs and residential programs. The students will participate in "youth tracks" on budgeting, self-independence skills, safe internet use, how to present themselves and dream-building, Goodridge said.
Parents of children with disabilities often don't know all of their options. The conference will help them set realistic goals and look at what's possible for their children after high school. They'll learn the steps needed to help their kids be successful, she said.
The deadline to register for the conference is 10 a.m. Friday. Parents and children must both be signed up. Visit https://tinyurl.com/MGRTC2018 or call 478-779-3708 or 478-765-8716 for registration assistance.