MCCC to host Bridging to the Future Conference

By Diane VanDyke
The Bridging to the Future Conference will provide information for parents and guardians to help students with autism and other special needs transition from high school to adult life.

The Bridging to the Future Conference will provide information for parents and guardians to help students with autism and other special needs transition from high school to adult life.

Montgomery County Community College is hosting a Bridging to the Future Conference for parents and guardians of students with autism and other special needs who are transitioning from high school into adult life on Saturday, April 18, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Parkhouse Hall, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell. The cost to attend is $35. 

For more information, contact Denise Garrigus at dgarrigus@mc3.edu or 215-619-7403. Registration is available online.

Sponsored by MCCC’s Bridge to College Program and Disability Services office, the conference will feature Jane Thierfeld Brown, Ed.D, a leading authority on autism in higher education, as the keynote speaker. Brown is an assistant clinical professor at Yale Child Study at Yale Medical School, Director of College Autism Spectrum and was the former director of Student Services at the University of Connecticut, School of Law. She has worked in Disability Services for 39 years and consults with many families, students, school districts and institutions of higher education.

Jane Thierfeld Brown, Ed.DBrown has co-authored “Students with Asperger Syndrome: A Guide for College Personnel” (2009), “The Parent’s Guide to College for Students on the Autism Spectrum” (2012), and “Behavior Management and Self-Regulation” (2012) and has appeared on Good Morning America, CBS News and NPR. Brown is the mother of three children, the youngest being a 26-year-old son with autism.

In addition to the keynote speaker, the conference will include sessions presented by MCCC’s Office of Disabilities, Temple University Institute of Disabilities, Ursinus College Disabilities Services, Gwynedd Mercy University Integrated Studies, PA Advocacy & Resources, 1847 Financial, Families Creating Communities for Adults with Special Needs (Families CCAN), Montgomery County Intermediate Unit, Integrate for Good, Leahy Life Plan, AHEDD, Home Care and Lenape Valley Foundation. 

The sessions will include information on finance, disability services, legal rights, insurance, and college and career planning, how to prepare for the transition, legal aspects, financial planning, rights and waivers, and workforce and post-secondary preparation and more.

Additionally, more than 25 vendors from a variety of support areas will be available throughout the day to offer information on many topics and the services they provide. MCCC will have information available about its Workforce Development Division, Bridge to College Program, and Disability Services.

MCCC’s Bridge to College Program—a supportive, personalized six-week college-readiness program—is designed for college-bound high school students or recent graduates with high-functioning autism or special needs. This program helps students reduce the anxiety often associated with a major life change and develops the social and organizational skills necessary to promote independent functioning in college.

MCCC’s Workforce Development Division and Office of Disability Services are the co-sponsors of the conference and support the equitable participation of qualified individuals with disabilities in all aspects of the College experience.