Empowering families to advocate for themselves so that children with special educational needs can reach their full potential in education and life - through support, training, and education. 
    National Disability Employment Awareness Month is an annual awareness campaign that takes place each October. The purpose of National Disability Employment Awareness Month is to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities. This year's theme is "InclusionWorks."

    The history of National Disability Employment Awareness Month traces back to 1945, when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year "National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week." In 1962, the word "physically" was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

    "By fostering a culture that embraces individual differences, including disabilities, businesses profit by having a wider variety of tools to confront challenges," said Jennifer Sheehy, deputy assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy. "Our nation's most successful companies proudly make inclusion a core value. They know that inclusion works. It works for workers, it works for employers, it works for opportunity, and it works for innovation."

    Reflecting this year's theme, throughout the month, Missouri Parents Act will be engaging in a variety of activities to educate communities and youth and young adults with disabilities throughout the state of Missouri on disability transition, post-secondary, and employment issues and our commitment to an inclusive culture. 
5th Annual Tools for Life Expo

This free event, located in Joplin Missouri, provides a learning experience designed for students and young adults ages 14-26 who have disabilities as well as family members, educators, service providers, and people who offer support and provide services for youth transitioning to adult life.

October 11, 2016
10:00 am - 6:00 pm

The Independent Living Center
2639 E. 34th Street
Joplin, MO 64804
Career Exploration Fair

This free event, located in Warrensburg Missouri, offers opportunities for youth and young adults ages 16-24 to explore hands-on experiences in a variety of career fields.

October 18, 2016
8:30 am - 11:30 am

Warrensburg Community Center
445 East Gay Street
Warrensburg, MO 64093

Be the Driver of Your Own Destiny

This free event, located in Nevada Missouri, is an experience geared toward students and young adults ages 14-26 who have disabilities as well as family members, educators, service providers, and people who offer support and provide services for youth transitioning to adult life.

This event features a Mustang hot-rod show sponsored by Four State Strangers.

October 25, 2016
9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Nevada Community Center
200 North Ash Street
Nevada, MO 64772

Accelerating Towards the Future

The Transition Summit, which will be held in Jefferson City Missouri, is designed for students who have disabilities, special education transition personnel and student teams, family members, case managers, Voc-Rehabilitation counselors, and Centers for Independent Living personnel.

The Summit will help prepare students as they transition from high school to various post-secondary outcomes.

October 27, 2016
10:00 am - 3:00 pm

Harry S Truman State Office Building  
301 West High Street 
4th Floor 
Jefferson City, MO 65101

Transitioning into Adulthood
Debby Loveall-Stewart is the  Program  Coordinator  for MPACT who focuses on youth and adults with disabilities, ages 14 to 26. Debby has been with MPACT for 11 years and offers much guidance and expertise on the crucial topic of transition.

Q: What is "transition?"
A: Transition from high school to adult life is a process that should not be rushed through but rather planned out and include a coordinated set of activities that focuses on life after high school. 

Q: How does MPACT help families and young adults with disabilities throughout the transition process?
A: MPACT provides training, information, resources, and technical assistance to families and youth/young adults (ages 14 through 26) with disabilities. 

Q: Why is being educated and informed about the transition process so critical for success of youth and young adults with disabilities?
A: Planning for your child's transition from youth to adulthood is one of the most important things you can do to pave the way to a successful future. In Missouri, transition planning and services required by the Individualized Education Program (IEP) begin when your child with a disability is 16 or sooner, as identified by the IEP team. By learning as much as possible about the options available for transition planning, a parent can ensure that their young person's rights are protected while they are learning the skills needed to develop independence and have the resources they need for adult life.
Hear more from Debby about transition by registering for the following free National Technical Assistance Center on Transition (NTACT) webinar:

October 13, 2016
2:00 pm

Transition and Post-Secondary Resources and Program Information
Get Involved!

Donations and/or Sponsorships

Missouri Parents Act is requesting donations and sponsors for our various transition events this month. We are in GREAT NEED of items for door prizes and goodies to fill welcome bags (pens, stress balls, water bottles, etc.), snacks, and beverages.

You and/or your organization can help to empower a student with a disability who is seeking to live an independent and rewarding life after high school.

Your donation is tax deductible, as MPACT is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

Please contact MPACT about donation and sponsorship opportunities at 1-800-743-7634.


MPACT Transition Mentors are trained volunteers who specialize in the transition process from school to adult life. Transition Mentors complete activities and duties including:
  • Providing one-to-one parent assistance and or youth/young adult support, resources, and/or referral by phone, email or in person specific to the transition to adult life process
  • Linking parents and youth/young adults to adult service organizations and community resources
  • Facilitation or support for the Region Transition Networks (RTN) within their geographical region
If you are interested in becoming a Transition Mentor or volunteering at one of our Transition events, please  contact MPACT  at 1-800-743-7634.
Free Transition Trainings
Missouri Parents Act offers several transition-related trainings. The following are two trainings occurring in addition to the trainings scheduled at the transition events happening throughout the state:

Solving the Employment Puzzle
October 19 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Special School District
12110 Clayton Road
Town and Country, MO 63131

This training centers on employment for youth with disabilities by presenting two distinct strands: self determination and "do-it-yourself" strategies for parents and concrete information about employment and how to access adult services for teens/young adults. Curriculum is tailored from region to region to local service delivery systems, youth programs and employment resources.

Journey to Adulthood
October 25 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Bootheel Area Independent Living Services
719 Teaco Road
Kennett, MO 63857

This workshop provides basic information and strategies to help parents begin a discussion about this important but often uncomfortable topic with their sons and daughters. Preparation for adulthood begins during childhood. This training will allow parents and those who work with kids with specials needs, to work upon the foundations that they have already built or to establish new foundations to work upon.

MPACT is funded in part or whole by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs Grant No. H328M090020-10. The contents of the website, however, and any documents cited herein do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S Department of Education.
Copyright © 2016 MPACT. All rights reserved.
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