Derek Flake, STEP, Inc. West Tennessee Regional Coordinator awards West Tennessee Youth with an I-pad at the conclusion of the West Tennessee Multicultural Special Education & Post-Secondary Transition Institute Fair
STEP, Inc. (Support & Training for Exceptional Parents) along with the Tennessee Department of Education was host to the 2014 West Tennessee Multicultural Special Education & Post-Secondary Transition Institute on Saturday, September 6, 2014 from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm in Bartlett, Tennessee, approximately 13 miles from Memphis.
This free public event reached students and young adults with disabilities, their families and service providers, as well as children and families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Attendees learned about preparing students with disabilities to successfully transition from high school into the community to lead productive and independent adult lives. Participants found answers to their questions, made connections, and received tools to use that will help ensure that their children who need access to special education receive services including families who have traditionally faced barriers to accessing education due to cultural and linguistic diversity. Everyone received information to help children and youth be prepared to live, work, and participate fully in their communities.
The event began with the keynote address from Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell followed by six breakout sessions, an information fair with exhibits from local and state disability organizations, luncheon, update from Assistant Commissioner Joey Hassell, Tennessee Department of Education Division of Special Populations followed by a panel discussion with state agencies.
STEP, Executive Director, Karen Harrison, along with STEP staff facilitated the event and remarked, “The STEP team was excited to provide a day of training and networking that is sure to have lasting positive impact, creating a brighter future for children with disabilities in Tennessee.”
STEP, Inc. (Support & Training for Exceptional Parents) is a statewide nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that relies on individual, corporate, and foundation contributions and support. STEP, Inc. is the Parent Training and Information Center for the state of Tennessee. The purpose of STEP is to support families by providing FREE information, advocacy training, and support services to parents of children eligible to receive special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). STEP services are FREE and available to any parent or family member of a special education student or a student who may need special help in school (birth through age 26). STEP, Inc. has been serving families of children with disabilities and providing information to professionals in a variety of fields for 25 years. Headquartered in Greeneville, STEP, Inc. has offices in East (Greeneville), Middle (Nashville) and West (Memphis) Tennessee.