Transitions ACR March 2021 Newsletter
Adulting Shorts: An Interview Tale
With spring, comes the opportunity for internship and job interviews. Our Adulting Shorts: An Interview Tale Parts I and II info-comics provide a guide to potential health and mental health related interview questions (which are a no, no) and how to answer them.
For Educational Professionals Helping High School Students with Transition Planning
The goal of the Translating Evidence to Support Transitions (TEST) project is to increase the use and adoption of research-based best practices in transition planning services for high school students with emotional behavioral disturbance receiving special education services. The TEST team has created a series of 3 practice guides for teachers and educational professionals to learn and implement these practices.

  1. Supporting Student-Led Transition Planning for Students with Emotional Behavioral Disturbance
  2. Partnering with Community Agencies in Transition Planning for Students with Emotional Behavioral Disturbance
  3. Incorporating Career and Technical Education in Transition Planning for Students with Emotional Behavioral Disturbance
Three Tip Sheets for High School Youths
Navigating Transitional Planning
Our Translating Evidence to Support Transitions (TEST) Research Team has created 3 Tip Sheets specifically for High School Students with emotional disturbance who receive special education services and are working towards transitional planning. These tip sheets are a guide for young adults to take a leadership role in their IEP meetings and transition planning.

There are benefits linked to taking a leadership role in your IEP meeting. High school students who lead their IEP meetings tend to have higher graduation rates, go to college more often, and make more money in jobs after high school. Here are tips for leading your IEP meeting even when it's virtual.

A community partner is a person from an organization outside of your high school that can help you plan for your life after graduation. It may be helpful to invite community partners to your IEP meetings, even if they are virtual, because partners can help you lay out your goals and the steps to take to meet those goals.

Career and Technical Education (or CTE) classes are a great way to learn skills for a future career. By taking a concentration of CTE courses, high school students can graduate with special certifications that make them eligible to work in certain jobs. These certifications can help high school graduates get a head start in college or career.
Researcher Kathryn Sabella Awarded FIP for BRYT

Kathryn Sabella, PhD, one of our researchers, was awarded $600,000 from NIDILRR for the 3-year Developing Implementation and Fidelity Monitoring Tools for the Bridge for Resilient Youth in Transition (BRYT) Program project.

This project will produce a BRYT intervention logic model and a BRYT implementation package that includes a manual, a training and technical assistance plan and fidelity measures and protocols. This project is a collaboration of the Brookline Center for Community and our Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research.

NIDILRR Field-Initiated Projects (FIPs) are a program of investigator-initiated research intended to supplement NIDILRR's agency-directed research portfolio. These projects cross all of NIDILRR’s domains, and generate new knowledge through research or development on a smaller scale relative to DRRPs and Center grants.
Tips & Tricks for Sustaining a Family Advisory Board Webinar
Looking to increase your collaboration with the family members of your organization? Consider creating a Family Advisory Board (FAB) to strengthen stakeholder engagement.
The Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research hosted a webinar on January 21, 2021 offering tips and tricks to creating a family advisory board (FAB).
In this webinar, participants learned the purpose and the value of utilizing Stakeholder Engagement Groups, such as a Family Advisory Board in their organizations. The presenters shared tools for successful recruitment of council members and strategies to keep your members engaged, even when meetings are 100% virtual. They described successes and challenges with the Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research's Family Advisory Board, providing plenty of examples and specifics, and share materials and resources they've developed.
The slides and other materials are available on the Transition to Adulthood Center for Research’s website
Upcoming Events
  • March 23-25,2021
  • 1-4 PM EST daily
  • Hosted by FREDLA

  • March 24, 2021
  • 3-4:30 PM EST
  • Hosted by MHS

  • April 1, 2021
  • 1:30-3:30 PM EST
  • Presenter, Maryann Davis, iSPARC Director
  • Hosted by Training Institute Live

  • April 12-14, 2021
  • Registration closes April 7th

  • Save the Date for details on our 5th Annual Contest

  • Save the Date: June 2-3, 2021
  • Co-sponsored by Collaborative on Postsecondary Education and Disability at the UConn and Transforming Accessibility Initiative at Virginia Commonwealth University
The Center for Advancing Policy on Employment for Youth is a collaboration between the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, The Council of State Governments, the K. Lisa Yang and Hock E. Tan Institute on Employment and Disability at Cornell University, and the Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. The Center was created in 2019 by the United States Department of Labor. It seeks to improve employment outcomes for youth and young adults with disabilities by helping states build capacity in their youth service delivery and workforce systems. New materials and resources will be added to the site in the upcoming months.

Extends Service to increase mental health resources. Monday - Friday 10 AM to 8 PM EST 800-950-NAMI (6264)

Your Worth is More than Your Weight
Our 3 featured Young Adult Blogs
in Support of NEDA Awareness Week
As a National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) Awareness Week (Feb 22-28) collaborator, Transitions to Adulthood Research Center was proud to help NEDA in their goal to shine the spotlight on eating disorders by educating the public, spreading a message of hope, and putting lifesaving resources into the hands of those in need.
Our 3 featured Young Adult blogs focused on two personal accounts of struggling with eating disorders and mental health challenges and "whose at your table" list of valuable resources to get support for recovery.
If you or someone you know is struggling with body image or eating concerns, NEDA's toll-free and confidential helpline is here to provide support, information, and treatment options. For 24/7 crisis support, text "NEDA" to 741-74 (via @CrisisTextLine).
Researcher Dr. Gina Vincent Upcoming MHS Webinar

UMass iSPARC researcher, Dr. Gina Vincent, will be presenting "Racist Algorithms or Systemic Problems? Risk Assessments and Race" a 90 minute Multi-Health Systems Inc. (MHS) webinar on March 24th.

In this presentation she will be discussing what it means for an instrument to be ‘biased’ and why instruments should not all be painted with the same brush (some will be more susceptible to bias than others). And will conclude with suggestions for research and for minimizing disparities by suggesting that systems use appropriately validated risk assessment instruments to avoid unnecessary incarceration while also allowing for structured discretion.
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Some of the contents of this message were developed under a grant with funding from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research, United States Department of Health and Human Services (NIDILRR grant number 90RTEM0005). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this message do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, and/or HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.
The Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research promotes the full participation in socially valued roles of transition-age youth and young adults (ages 14-30) with serious mental health conditions. The Transitions to Adulthood Center for Research (Transitions ACR) is located within the Implementation Science and Practice Advances Research Center (iSPARC) and houses The Learning & Working During the Transition to Adulthood Rehabilitation Research & Training Center (The Learning & Working RRTC), among other projects.
The Learning & Working RRTC is a national effort that aims to improve the supports of this population to successfully complete their schooling and training and move into rewarding work lives. 
Funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR).

As a Massachusetts Department of Mental Health Research Center of Excellence, iSPARC aims to improve the mental and behavioral health of all citizens of Massachusetts and beyond.