Transition Fair coming Tuesday to East Chapel Hill High

Mar. 21, 2013 @ 08:53 PM

For Susan Lombardo, it’s about quality of life.

Lombardo, the transition facilitator at East Chapel Hill High School, wants to make sure that families with middle school and high school students who have disabilities or special accommodation needs get what they need from the community.

So, on Tuesday, the high school at 500 Weaver Dairy Rd. will host the 2013 Transition Fair from 5:30 to 8 p.m. The fair is expected to put families in touch with more than 50 community services under one roof, including colleges, vocational skill-training programs, recreational and social organizations, housing resources and advocacy groups.

“My concern is that many families are isolated and children with disabilities are isolated and, the fact is, community is where it’s at for us,” Lombardo said. “School’s the last entitlement. When our kids leave high school, they’re on their own and no one has an obligation to serve them.”

The free-of-charge fair, a partnership between Orange County Schools and Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, is intended to help connect kids with special needs to their community, from places to live to potential jobs. “All those aspects of becoming adults,” she said.

Providing this meet-and-great opportunity in the café commons, as well as some information sessions, should help families and students advocate for their needs and ensure they have access to the services that they require.

“All of my students deserve a life of distinction,” Lombardo said. “This is an opportunity to discover what’s out there for them.”

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