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					YTP Quarterly Report 03/31/09 - 1

Technical Assistance Team Quarterly Report Winter 2009

Training, Technical Assistance, and Evaluation
1. Statewide and Regional Trainings. We hosted the fourth annual YTP Statewide Training in Hood River, Oregon, on February 19th, 2009. This event was co-sponsored by Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation Services, University of Oregon and the Oregon Department of Education. The training consisted of a keynote address from Joseph Christensen on the “Teenage Brain” and multiple breakout sessions with topics on direct service provision, resource development and other relevant program and administrative issues. A total of 151 YTP Transition Specialists, VR Counselors, and other school staff attended this training. A summary of feedback from the YTP Statewide Training is included in Attachment A. 2. Technical Assistance Site Visits. From January 1 through March 31st, we conducted 24 technical assistance site visits and meetings, serving 166 transition personnel, school staff, VR staff, and other stakeholders. All site visits were documented and written TA reports were submitted to OVRS. The highest priority issues that the sites identified this quarter were: (a) discussion of the implications of order of selection, (b) progress towards meeting benchmarks, (c) questions about RFGP for 2009-11, (d) brainstorming resources for individual student and program issues, [e] review of current employment programs for students (i.e., IDEA, WIA, School Business). 3. Evaluation Activities. All sites have been trained and are using the new web based evaluation system. This quarter, TA Providers have been offering ongoing telephone and on line support to assist sites in problem solving any remaining questions around entering data and producing reports. TA Providers and evaluation staff from the University of Oregon are using this data to review performance and provide feedback to sites on benchmark status. University of Oregon evaluation staff are also beginning to revise and reprogram the web based evaluation system for the new biennium by updating benchmarks and redesigning the reporting interface.

January 1, 2009 – March 31, 2009

Submitted by: Marcus Poppen and Lauren Lindstrom University of Oregon

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Progress on Key Issues/Priorities
1. Collaboration with VR Administration. The YTP TA team continues to collaborate with VR state and local administrators in the development and management of this project. We are working on understanding and working with the order of selection requirements by collaborating with Clayton Rees, providing materials on the website and designing TA Provider visits specifically around this issue. 2. Coordination with Other Transition Programs/Initiatives. Members of the YTP team coordinated with the CWST training team by attending regional work group meetings. We have also worked with Chris Murray at the University of Oregon to coordinate and understand the connections between YTP and the ACCESS project. 3. Diversity. Our team is committed to recruiting and retaining youth with disabilities from diverse backgrounds, as well as providing high quality and culturally appropriate transition services. During the 2009 YTP statewide training, a number of workshops were offered around working with marginalized youth who have historically experienced poor post school outcomes. These workshops included: (1) Working with Latino Youth and their Families, (2) Strategies to Support Youth Involved in the Juvenile Justice System, (3) Rethinking Problem Behaviors, (4) Transition Aged Youth and Mental Health, (5) Foster Care Services and Benefits, and (6) ADHD and Mental Health. 4. Technology. During this quarter, we continually updated and posted new information on the YTP web site. Developed in consultation with Todd Thomlinson and Brian Gilday from Aha Consulting, the site serves as a home page for all YTP training, technical assistance, and evaluation materials. The initial response to the web site has been very positive. According to Google analytics, since January 1, 2009 to March 31, 2009, there have been: a. 3,287 visits, which averages to 36 visits per day b. People view an average of 3 pages a visit and spend an average of 3 minutes on the site. Many use the site as a portal to the secure data entry site. c. 39% of the visitors view the homepage as the page most frequently visited. d. Looking at statistics on return visitors, 6.5% of visitors have come back between 9-14 times; 8.5% between 15-25 times; 13% between 26-50 times; 6.5% between 51-100; and 6% of visitors have visited the site more than 200 times. e. 48.22% of visitors have gotten to the site directly (i.e. they typed the address into their browser); 47.86% have used search engines to find the site; and 3.92% have been referred by other sites. 5. Coordinated Referral and Planning. We have continued to work with sites to develop strategies for coordinated assessment, eligibility determination and individualized plan development. A major challenge for the TA team is providing support for sites that are now faced with the realities of order of selection. We need to help local sites understand the service delivery implications of being placed on the statewide waiting list.

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ATTACHMENT A YTP/VR Statewide Training Hood River, Oregon February 19, 2009 101 Evaluations Collected
I am a (please circle one): Transition Specialist (51) Administrator (6) VR Counselor (17) VR Branch Manager (2) Teacher (10) School Other: (15)

Note: Numbers in parenthesis indicate the number of people who provided feedback on each item

9:15-10:00am Keynote Speaker
“The Teenage Brain” (Joseph Christensen) (98)

Poor 3% Poor

Fair 23% Fair 8%

Good 49% Good 58% 56% 60%

Excellen t 25% Excellen t 39% 32% 30%

10:15-11:45 Concurrent Sessions
Building Relationships (Chris Murray) (12) Transition Aged Youth and Mental Health (Nancy Allen, Damien Sands, et al.) (25) Understanding Oregon‟s Labor Market: Where Are We and What Lies Ahead? (Brenda Turner) (10) Making the Recession Work For Your YTP Clients (Joe Miller) (36) Administrator Session (Clayton Rees) (14)


8% 10%


50% 29%

42% 71% Excellent 35% Excellen t 66% 46% 62% 44% 33% Excellen t 21%

11:45-12:45 Lunch
New Staff Mentoring (23)


Fair 13% Fair

Good 52% Good 34% 54%

1:00-2:30 Concurrent Sessions
A Collaborative Assessment Model (Clayton Rees, Mike Johnson) (44) Working with Latino Youth (Tiana PovenmireKirk) (13) Transition Service (Jackie Burr) (22) Foster Care Services and Benefits (Chad Dahl and student panel) (12) WIN (Work Incentive Network) Jay Dye (6)


5% 2%

33% 54% 67%

2:45-3:45 Concurrent Sessions
Rethinking Problem Behaviors: Positive Approaches for Transition Specialists (Jen Miesch, Marcus Poppen) (24)

Poor 8%

Fair 16%

Good 55%

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Strategies to Support Youth Involved in the Juvenile Justice System (Tim Canter, Miriam Waintrup) (5) Writing a YTP Request YTP Request for Grant Proposal (RFGP) (Clayton Rees, Mike Johnson) (31) ADHD and Mental Health (Joe Christensen) (19) Teaching Transition Knowledge and Skills (Peter FitzGerald) (12) 3%





5% 8%

42% 25%

53% 67%

Overall Training Evaluation
The training was well-organized (94) The topics were relevant to my work (93) The strategies & ideas presented are useful to me (91)


Fair 2% 11%

Good 40% 30% 37%

Excellen t 58% 59% 47%



This is a summary of the qualitative feedback that was gathered from the evaluations collected at the end of the February 19th, 2009 YTP/VT Statewide Conference: 1) What did you like best about the training? Attendants of the conference enjoyed networking with colleagues, presenters, other school districts, Oregon Department of Education, University of Oregon, OVRS and DHS. Attendants appreciated having the “new staff” table and lunch without a speaker which “was good for brain power”. Attendants of the conference thought the “Keynote speaker was great” and liked “the stunning personalities of presenters”. Attendants reported that there were “good choices of sessions” and that “[they] directly related to our issues today”. The food and the location were great! 2) If you could add or change anything about the training sessions or the training in general, what would that be? Some participant‟s commented that moving the conference around the state or to a more centralized location would “be fair to all”. One person reported, “I didn‟t like the Gorge Room for workshops. It was large and noisy” and another said “the Columbia room was quite chilly”. Many people had input on changing the length or number of sessions in the conference. Some people suggested “shorter sessions”, “longer sessions”, or “1.25 hour sessions”. Attendants shared that it‟s hard to choose just one session and that “I always want to go to more than one of the sessions”, “2 days???”.

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Feedback for the presenters was “more materials for sessions”, “more group participation in solutions”, “less focus on the problem (which we already know)”, and “more training rather than info”. “[A] number of questions went off topic”, There were many ideas for new presentation topics including: (a) Clarification on new grant numbers, (b) Ideas on serving youth in rural areas, (c) information/clarification on Order of Selection, (d) reading IEP, (e) budget analysis, (f) encourage a bit more networking, (g)sessions targeted at working with students who are lower functions, (h) Tribal VR/YTP component, (i) working with kids who have mental health issues, (j) more brain info in the keynote, (k) folks from the labor market,(l) training on active listening, and (m) the 18-21 year old program that some school districts have in place. 3. What other information or topics would you like to see covered in future trainings? What was missing? Suggestions of topics that participants would like to see in future trainings could be categorized into two different types of trainings: (1) Service Coordination; and (2) Service Delivery. Service Coordination  Presentations by current employers on what they‟re looking for in employees and what has worked in their past experiences in partnerships with VRD/YTP kids.  Know what Mental Health Agencies can provide services  Basic information session for new sites and/or young sites  A session or block of time for YTP sites to network and share ideas, suggestions, and frustrations.  Help with the Grant  Standardized way to introduce program to students and standard forms to use.  “Practical” and “hands-on” ways to involve the family and other service agencies.  Using assessment tools (O‟net, OLMISS,)  Extending transition focus earlier  middle school, etc. Service Delivery  “More topics on soft skills (new way to write resumes, doing online applications, etc)”  Techniques for leading group and individual activities in relation to assessments, developing skills and relationships, networking in the community and among peers…  Address more concerns/issues of post high school transition schools (serving needs of youth ages 18-21 years old). (i.e. teaching life skills, ideas of how to motivate young adults in getting hygiene, job interviewing, and keeping a job).  Working with youth of color  “Cultural Considerations, Tribal Youth keys to success, mentoring, micro enterprise establishment”  Supporting rural communities in job assistance and increasing state contacts  Training of helping students with their FAFSA (helping foster kids and what general information is needed)  More technical trainings on different disabilities (ADHD, Aspergers, DD)  Practical ideas on teaching transition skills to clients with Behavior Issues

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Additionally, a participant requested a “list of websites for YTP Conference Participants. Especially the transition service – Jackie Burr. Resources on the ODE website” 4. Any other comments? Participants like any training that provides tools and suggestions for implementing them, “having someone teach it, and walking through it as a group seems to be effective training.” They would like “Working on „soft skills‟ with students” and “a session or two which covers transition age youth group age 18-21 – life skills, hygiene, job motivation, resources, etc.”. In addition, some participants reported there is “too much stating of problems and not enough solutions”. Another said they would like “more audience participants. We are experts – let‟s share ideas”. And another, “I didn‟t get much from the keynote speaker – perhaps it was the topic” Participants also reported they need more clarity and advice from Clayton on funding and order of selection. Also “If you are asking for YTP specialist to do functional limitations assessment to better the plan for IPEs, I would suggest a training to have the knowledge on how to use/assess these assessments” and “I have had very positive experiences with the YTP ILP offices. Not so much with the DHS offices.” There was feedback that “[there were] Insufficient handouts for each session, supply blank note paper for note taking, need candy on the tables during sessions” and “1 ½ hours is too long for one session. 1 hour is a good amount of time”. The question was asked “Why not charge something to attend this seminar? Is there a way to collect funds to help the program?”. Overall, we received a lot of positive feedback on the conference. Positive comments highlighted the specific trainings, the organization of the day, the quality of the information, the talent that is representative of the transition community, the great food, and the excellent location.

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