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PALS May 2018 - Life After High School Graduation, Cyber Bullying


PALS Meeting Minutes

May 23, 2018 9:15 a.m.

Roots of Faith

800 Main Street Pittsburgh, PA 15215

Open Forum

Open Forum is an opportunity for participants to come together and discuss a variety of topics, offer resources, and ask questions related to special education.

Life After High School Graduation

As graduation approaches students find themselves making decisions about attending college and joining the workforce. Prior to graduation, students may already be a part of Pennsylvania's Vocational Rehabilitation Services, also known as OVR. The Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation helps people "with disabilities prepare for, obtain, or maintain employment. OVR provides services to eligible individuals with disabilities, both directly and through a network of approved vendors." "Any high school student with a disability who may need vocational guidance and assistance in preparing for, obtaining, or maintaining competitive employment should be considered for referral to the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR). Students who have an Individualied Educational Program (IEP), a 504 Plan, or who are involved with a school's Student Assistance Program may be appropriate referrals to OVR." Please visit the Disability Determination page on OVR's website for more information.

Upon meeting with a OVR counselor, an "Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) is developed, outlining a vocational objective, services, providers and responsibilities.

Certain services are subject to a Financial Needs Test (FNT) and may require financial participation by the customer. Counseling and guidance, diagnostic services, assessments, information and referral, job development and placement, and personal services such as readers or sign language interpreters are provided at no cost to the individual. Also, by law OVR customers receiving Social Security benefits for their disability (SSI, SSDI) are exempt from OVR’s Financial Needs Test."

"OVR provides a wide range of services to eligible applicants. Some services can help you overcome or lessen your disability; others can directly help you prepare for a career. The services you receive will be arranged to meet your individual needs. Not everyone will need every service. OVR services include: Diagnostic Services, Vocational Evaluation, Counseling, Training, Restoration Services, Placement Assistance, Assistive Technology, and Support Services."

For more information about OVR you can contact your high school's transition specialist or the Pittsburgh OVR office:

Pittsburgh Vocational Rehabilitation Services

531 Penn Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15222

412-392-4950 or 800-442-6371 Voice

412-770-2802 or 888-870-4474 TTY

Pittsburgh Blindness & Visual Services

531 Penn Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15222

412-565-5240 or 866-412-4072 Voice

412-565-3678 or 877-255-5082 TTY

Cyber Bullying

Earlier this year we discussed cyber bullying in area middle and high schools. We specifically discussed cyber bullying happening on district issued devices during school hours and after school. Recently a parent spotted a booklet related to cyber bullying at Dorseyville Middle School, Net Cetera: Chatting with Kids About Being Online. The booklet covers topics, talking to your kids, communication at different ages, socializing online, using mobile devices, making computer security a habit, and protecting your child's privacy. We have a handful of copies if you are looking for one or download the entire booklet by clicking on the image below.

Additionally, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers other online resources specially designed to address internet use by children including, Heads Up: Stop, Think, Connect a guide written and designed for kids ages 8-12 and the video Stand Up To Cyberbullying, among other resources addressing advertising, scams, and identity theft.

Next Meeting: September 26, 2018, 9:15 a.m. Eat'n Park 849 Freeport Road Pittsburgh, PA 15238

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