UTICA -- Mohawk Valley Community College is holding a conference to help high school students with disabilities transition into adulthood.
The conference will be held Monday, May 21, 2018 at the Jorgensen Center Field House.
Imagine going through life with challenges. Everyday tasks such as tying shoes or getting a job can be seen as difficult. That’s a reality for 16-year-old Andrew Lovenguth.
"There are challenges from the day Andrew was born,” Andrew’s Mother Andrea Lovenguth said. “Andrew is autistic. He has been receiving services since he was 15 months of age. He is now a junior in high school."
G.L.I.T.C.H., which stands for growing, learning, and innovating with technology, is a conference that aims to help students with disabilities plan for life after high school.
Amy Zogby, Director for Syracuse University Parent Assistance Center, says the conference is important so that students with disabilities know about the options they have after graduation.
"We're just trying to do a better job of helping people prepare for life after high school,” Zogby said. “And starting earlier to make sure that kids are leaving high school prepared for life, or college and career.
Andrew says simple tasks can be difficult for him, but he and his mom are taking steps to prepare him for the future.
"Well I do have to learn to drive, so that's a challenge," Andrew Lovenguth said.
"He's getting ready to try to get a summer job,” Andrea Lovenguth said. “He took a week long work-readiness program. So those are the challenges that we're working towards. To get him graduated from high school, to attend college, and eventually hold a job."
Tamara Mariotti, MVCC’s coordinator for the Office of Accessibility Resources, says the G.L.I.T.C.H. conference gives students with disabilities the resources to learn how to transition into adulthood.
"I'm hoping that they will have connections,” Mariotti said. “That is my hope, that they'll have a connection."
If you are interested in attending the conference, click here to sign up. The conference is free of cost. Registration on the day of the event begins at 8:15 a.m.
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