The NJ Youth Transition Conference was inspired by my friend Khalia, a now 25-year old young adult residing in NJ who experiences an intellectual disability. Khalia was uninformed of services available to her in the youth and adult worlds, was not aware that she was entitled to an education until age 21 and had been without any service or supports for five years before receiving help to navigate the transition process.
Khalia now is eligible for DDD services, has a budget established by the NJCAT, and a Support Coordinator is working with Khalia to support her in the process of establishing her own career and independent housing.
This conference is for Khalia, for all of our NJ youth in transition and their families, as well as the professionals who serve them.
In service & support,
Amy N. Jedele
The NJ YTC Story
In January 2021, it was evident that the global pandemic was preventing people with disabilities, their caregivers and the professionals who serve them from accessing traditional transition resource fairs and in-person educational workshops. These valuable events were the key to assisting people in the transition process.
In response to the changing world, Amy N. Jedele, (now former) Resource & Development Director with Values Into Action, NJ approached Marian Frattarola-Saulino, Executive Director of Values Into Action and global thought leader on self-directed services for people with disabilities, with the concept of a state-wide virtual conference that would bring together NJ state providers of the disability sector and the people who need and use their supports and services.
Amy proceeded to invite the Care Management Organizations of Partnership for Children of Essex, Camden Partnership for Children, Monmouth Cares and Ocean Partnership for Children to collaborate in the execution of the YTC.
By spring 2021, the 1st Annual NJ YTC was born with 25 scheduled workshops representing 17 state service providers. The Conference was executed on October 1st and 2nd, 2021 with 800 youth, caregivers and professionals from across the state in attendance.
It is the intention of Values Into Action to host the now annual NJ Youth Transition Conference each year in collaboration with various state system stakeholders who support the transition process for people with disabilities.