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Watch: Your Child, Their Future – Using Parental Expertise to Prepare Children for Life After High School

November 30, 2023 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am


Watch the “Your Child, Their Future: Using Parental Expertise to Prepare Children for Life After High School” workshop here.

If your high school aged child is on an Individualized Education Program (IEP), they must have a transition plan when they turn 16. This plan should address transition needs such as training, education, employment, and independent living skills as your child looks towards life after high school. As a parent, you are a significant partner in this crucial process and remain an integral part of your child’s IEP team. Join us in this workshop as we discuss how to best leverage your own expertise to support your child as they plan for their best possible future!


  • John Spinney has been working for the Vermont Agency of Education for 18 years as a member of the special education team. He grew up in a large family and his 2 youngest brothers both have Down Syndrome and were adopted as infants. Both of his parents were educators and education leaders. True inclusion and equity for all people was something that was instilled in him from a very young age and still to this day drives his work in education. John’s work at VT AOE focuses on improving the IEP transition services offered by Vermont’s high schools.  John provides ongoing training and resources to high school special education teams across all 8 elements of transition planning in special education (Indicator 13). John is an active member of the Vermont Governor’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities and is also a member of the Vermont Developmental Disabilities Council.


  • Emma Rose McCadden is the Coordinator for Accommodation and Accessibility in Assessment at the Vermont Agency of Education. As a doctoral student at UVM finishing her PhD in Interprofessional Health Sciences, Emma Rose studies the autistic lived experience. In particular, Emma Rose seeks to learn about the barriers and facilitators to accessing equitable support and medical care for autistic adults through their own stories.  As a neurodiverse adult, herself, Emma Rose seeks to amplify autistic voices and engage in meaningful partnership in her research while shining a critical light on intervention practices in her publications and educating rising professionals in the course she teaches alongside her advisor (Dr. Prelock) entitled, “Autism Assessment and Intervention.” Emma Rose recently completed her graduate study in Resiliency-Based Approaches to Family-School-Community Collaboration and is excited to apply her understanding of the impacts of trauma on family and community relationships with educational systems.


  • Dr. Jacqui Kelleher (she/her) is the Executive Director of Vermont Family Network (VFN) whose mission is to empower and support all Vermont children, youth, and families, especially those with disabilities, and special health needs. VFN is also the federally designated Parent Training Information Center, a requirement of the IDEA Part D. Prior to VFN, Dr. Kelleher worked as the State Director of Special Education with the Vermont Agency of Education where she oversaw the implementation of special education policies, practices, and procedures with federal and state laws for districts in the state. Over her 25-year career, Jacqui also served as a teacher, administrator, professor, trainer, consultant, and evaluator. She is the parent of four adult children with disabilities, including autism, ADHD, and generalized anxiety disorder.



November 30, 2023
10:00 am - 11:00 am
Event Category:


Vermont Family Network
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