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Final 2018-19 “Next Steps” program focuses on life planning

Mary Anne Ehlert, president and founder of Protected Tomorrows will discuss accessing life planning services for people with special needs at the seventh District 202 “Next Steps Transition Program” meeting for this school year, on Tuesday, April 16, 2019.

The program, titled “Charting Your Journey” will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the District 202 Administrative Center, 15732 Howard Street, Plainfield. This is the final “Next Steps” program for this school year.

The “Next Steps” program helps parents and caregivers plan, transition and advocate for their children with disabilities. 

This is the fifth year that District 202 is offering the Next Steps Transition training for community members interested in helping parents and caregivers plan, transition and advocate for their children with disabilities.

According to its web site, Protected Tomorrows, out of Lincolnshire, Illinois “helps those with special needs attain greater independence and security” through advocacy, legal assistance, education and financial planning among other resources. 

Ehlert is a financial professional, mother, sister and a daughter to her loved ones with disabilities. She is a highly regarded specialist who works with families of individuals with disabilities and serves on the boards of several organizations focusing on individuals with special needs. She also speaks at local and national conferences on planning for families with special needs.

The Next Steps team comprises District 202 Vocational Education staff focused on improving delivery of services to families of students with disabilities; increasing family awareness of disability options and resources; and linking families in need to agencies that can support them with issues related to transition, said Dee Graves, District 202’s assistant director of private placement and transition.

“Next Steps” team members include Kathy Thomason, who coordinates the Work Training Program at Joliet Junior College; Plainfield Academy Vocational Coordinator Colleen Goldenberg; Project SEARCH teacher Colleen Kelly; and Work Training Program and Plainfield Academy teacher Sarah Bell.

For more information please contact Dee Graves at (815) 577-4023 or


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