The Watson Institute is committed to helping children with special needs achieve their fullest potential and preparing them for a successful special education transition into adulthood.
Watson incorporates transition activities into students’ special education programs starting at age 14. Transition activities include In-House Vocational Experiences (IHVE), Community-Based Instruction (CBI), and Community Based Vocational Experiences (CBVE).
Through an assessment and person-centered planning process, services are individualized to support the student.
Transition service programs are integrated into students’ daily classroom schedules so they are learning relevant skills for independence both in the classroom setting and in community settings.
Hands-on learning opportunities through these programs help students with special needs establish a strong foundation for future success after graduation, sustaining employment as appropriate.
The Watson Institute also offers special education transition consultation services to local school districts. Consultation services will be tailored to meet the specific transition needs of each district.
Special Education Transition Offerings
What are In-House Vocational Experiences (IHVE)?
In-House Vocational Experiences (IHVE) give students, typically those in grades 8 to 10, jobs and responsibilities within their Watson Institute school setting rather than in the community. Performing tasks in a familiar location allows students to build confidence in their skills and work towards greater independence.
Students in the IHVE program are supported by Watson staff members in the school who offer guidance as questions arise and oversee the jobs each student is assigned to perform.
Students receive valuable feedback from trusted staff members, building the vocational, interpersonal, and communication skills that will benefit them in a workplace setting.
What is Community-Based Instruction (CBI)?
At the Watson Institute, Community Based Instruction (CBI) is a special education transition program offered to students with special needs starting at age 14. Watson partners with local businesses and community organizations to provide students with meaningful, age-appropriate community opportunities for learning.
The focus of Community-Based Instruction is to help students transfer the skills they’ve learned in the classroom into “real-life” community settings. Activities conducted in the community aim to enhance a student’s ability to work and function independently.
The skill sets students learn through CBI may include:
- Pedestrian and general personal safety
- Supervised mobility and using public transportation
- Community resource awareness
- Communication skills
- Career and vocational exploration
What are Community Based Vocational Experiences (CBVE)?
Community Based Vocational Experiences (CBVE) offer transition programming in which Watson partners with community businesses and local organizations to provide non-paid vocational experiences for students of transition age.
Through the CBVE program, students are encouraged to explore and assess their vocational interests, identify their strengths, and evaluate their needs for support.
Watson staff work either one-on-one or in small group pairings with students in the CBVE program on-site to provide instruction and support as students carry out various vocational tasks at partner businesses.
The specific services provided by the students as well as the frequency and duration of the vocational experiences are customized to meet the needs of the students in the program with input from their school district and the partner business.
For more information or to become a Transition Services partner business of the Watson Institute, please contact Marcia Laus, Chief Operating Officer, at 412-749-2860 or via email at [email protected].