Through a caring and supportive environment, Focus Beyond programming ensures that all students receive rigorous experiences within the 3 transition areas of Post-Secondary, Employment, and Independent Living Skills.
Our curriculum is based upon the National Alliance for Secondary Education and Transition Standards to meet the needs of our young adults with special education transition goals. Our goals include:
Accepting increased social, personal and academic responsibilities.
Exploring a diversity of curricular activities.
Developing an increased awareness of individual differences and respect for others.
Participating responsibly in the school and community.
Developing a fundamental body of knowledge and the critical thinking skills necessary to be contributing members of their communities
The key to the success of this program is a flexible and creative staff that enthusiastically chooses to work with students at this age level and our partnerships with both our families and the community.
Focus Beyond offers an array of related special education services, including:
The speech-language pathology team at Focus Beyond offers the following services:
- Work-based and community-based communication skills training
- Self-advocacy skills training
- Social communication skills training
- American Sign Language support
- Evaluation and implementation of augmentative communication systems
As a related service, indirect Occupational Therapy (OT) provides consultation with the student and their team members regarding sensory processing, activities of daily living (e.g. eating, toileting), and adapted equipment in order for the student to be as independent as possible both at Focus Beyond and in the community.
Physical Therapy (PT) provides a combination of hands on and team approach service to support the student’s ability to move as functionally and independently as possible within the school setting. The PT helps guide the use of adaptive equipment, use of modifications, specific positioning and other therapeutic strategies into school routines which help to maintain the students' skills and overall success in the school, work and community settings. Physical Therapy also monitors mobility and personal positioning equipment used at school to maintain a safe environment for the student.
- Special education team member
- Provides specialized assessment and services for students with hearing differences
- Assesses impact of hearing differences on spoken language and education
- Fits, supports and monitors hearing technology to ensure students have full access to spoken language
- Advocates for students
- Educates students, families and staff about hearing differences
ALL students at Focus Beyond have access to services from social workers who maintain safeguards for the privacy and confidentiality of information. Some students have formal social work as part of their IEP, either direct or indirect service. These services may include crisis intervention, support for social emotional learning, assessing student functioning, consulting with staff and families, providing community resources, consulting and collaborating with community agencies and other mental health professionals to coordinate services, consulting with parents, teachers, and administrators to develop intervention strategies to enhance school success while upholding ethical standards and principles of the Social Work profession.
Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services
Focus Beyond Transition Services provides special education and related services to students with a variety of disabilities, including students who are deaf/hard of hearing. We have a Deaf/Hard of Hearing teacher who is fluent in American Sign Language, as well as certified sign language interpreters. Students also have access to other related service providers who are fluent in sign language, including a social worker, a speech/language therapist, and an audiologist. We are also working to secure funding to provide direct ASL language instruction to our emerging signing students via an ASL specialist.
We have a mandate under IDEA (IDEA Sec. 1414 (d) (3) (B)) to consider opportunities for direct communication and interaction (not through an interpreter) with peers and professionals, meaning DHH students must have access to students and staff who can communicate with them directly and who understand the unique language, learning, culture, and communication factors in the deaf/hard of hearing community.
Art and Music Therapy
Creative Arts Therapies are highly specialized arts-based interventions facilitated by credentialed creative arts therapists. Creative arts therapists help people strengthen and use their relationships with The Arts to promote growth in many areas of their lives.
At Focus Beyond, students in Pathway 1 have the opportunity to attend art and music therapy sessions 2-3 times per week. Our primary focus is to provide students with arts-based experiences that align with their strengths and interests, in which they can engage as independently as possible.
We aspire for our students to be intrinsically motivated by and authentically engaged in arts-based experiences. We believe facilitating strong relationships with art and music will encourage students to continue to engage in The Arts in their communities or homes for social connection, leisure, skill-building, and/or work for their whole lives.
IEP teams at Focus Beyond also work to make appropriate referrals and connections for support and services in the community, especially county case management and Vocational Rehabilitation Services.