University of Rochester

EVENT: Summer Institute Will Focus on Preparing Students with Disabilities for Life Beyond High School

July 6, 2011

One of the most challenging times for students with disabilities and their families is when they must transition from high school to the real world. Families and professionals striving to make a smooth connection to successful college and career paths for young adults with disabilities can register for the Institute for Innovative Transition 2011 Summer Institute, "In Pursuit of Competitive Employment," to be held 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, July 21, at the RIT Inn and Conference Center, 5257 W. Henrietta Road, Henrietta.

A group of experts on general transition issues, postsecondary education and employment options, and innovations leading to competitive employment for students graduating from high school will offer insight on topics such as:

  • Think College NY! and Project SEARCH
  • Postsecondary education experiences integrating employment opportunities
  • Universal design for learning on a college campus
  • Role of classroom instruction in preparing students for the workforce
  • Support for students with significant disabilities in a transition-to-work program

The first of the two keynote speakers, Susie Rutkowski, co-founder and co-director for Project SEARCH, will open the Institute with her keynote address, "Project SEARCH: A Partnership Between Business and Education to Prepare Youth with Disabilities." Rutkowski is a renowned leader in providing technical assistance to public and private schools across the country with implementing transition and career readiness services associated with Project SEARCH's model.

Meg Grigal, PhD, from Think College, Institute for Community Inclusion located at University of Massachusetts Boston, will present the second keynote address, "The Nexus of Employment, Learning, and Life." Grigal has provided technical assistance and training across the country, conducted research studies on the provision of postsecondary education services for students with intellectual disabilities, and co-authored books and numerous journal articles.

The 2011 Summer Institute, which is part of the new Think College NY! Initiative, is sponsored by the Institute for Innovative Transition, a partnership of the Golisano Foundation and the University of Rochester's Warner School of Education and Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities.

The Institute for Innovative Transition, housed at Golisano Children's Hospital's Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities, was created three years ago with funding from the Golisano Foundation to help improve the quality of life for young adults with developmental disabilities and their families as they transition from school age to adulthood.

The Summer Institute is open to college administrators, school and adult agency staff, parents, and young adults. Summer Institute fees include lunch, and are $55 for professionals, $35 for family members, and $20 for students. Those interested must register by July 11 by contacting Anitra Medlock at (585) 276-5915 or A registration form is also available online at

To learn more about the Institute for Innovative Transition, visit For more information about the Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities, visit

About the Golisano Foundation
The Golisano Foundation was founded in 1985 by B. Thomas Golisano, the founder and Chairman of Paychex. The Foundation is devoted exclusively to supporting programs for people with developmental disabilities so that they may achieve their maximum potentials by integrating independence, self-determination, and productivity into all facets of their lives. It is also dedicated to serving as a proactive partner with providers, organizations, and the community to enable those with disabilities to more fully participate in the life of the community and create an environment of dignity and care for disabled individuals and their families. For more information, visit