Summit DD connects people of all ages to the supports and resources they need to be their best. So what does that look like for school-age kids with disabilities?
“Our goal is to connect children and families during those transition years,” explained school-age Service and Supports Administration Manager Jill Boxler. “We also want to provide consistency for families.”
Summit County Developmental Disabilities Board, or Summit DD, school-age Service and Supports Administrators, or SSAs, are a great resource for families. These SSAs focus solely on children during their school-age years, or about age six through graduation, whereas SSAs for adults focus on connecting individuals who are no longer in school to community resources and services such as employment, transportation or day program opportunities. School-age SSAs are available to help families navigate school issues, such as IEPs, coordinate and monitor IFSP plans, as well as trouble shoot challenges that families may come across like funding issues, equipment needs or respite services.
Recently, the school-age SSAs redesigned how they work with families. The school-age SSAs are now assigned to families by school region throughout a child’s school experience. This gives families the opportunity to keep the same SSA from elementary years through graduation to create more consistency and allow for more relationships to be formed between teachers, parents, children and Summit DD SSAs in each district. “Families have had very positive feedback about it,” commented Boxler when asked about the switch to regionally assigned school-age SSAs.
SSAs work with families based on their preference of contact method and frequency. “We let families tells us their preferred method of contact and how often they want to be contacted,” Boxler said. “In some cases that may mean a call monthly to see if we can be of assistance, and in other cases it may mean a yearly email to check in.”
Summit DD SSAs are also there the help older kids and teens as they prepare for their future. These SSAs act as a guide to help identify interests and can assist young adults as they begin to map out their future.
“We don’t want anyone to fall through the cracks,” Boxler assured. “Our school-age SSAs will be there for a child through graduation,” Boxler further explained. “Our school-age SSAs help provide a smooth transition for a young adult and will even, if needed, overlap a new grad’s SSA who will coordinate their adult service needs.”
Learn about our SSA services for children and adults.