(Source: Kirkland Patch)
But thanks in part to Lake Washington School District’s Transition Academy, Carrigan, now 26, has a job, money and independence.
Since 2004, the Academy has helped young adults with developmental disabilities transition from school into the community. After seven years in a facility on Cleveland Street in Redmond, the program recently moved to the Together Center—a collection of social service agencies near the Bella Bottega shopping center.
Richard Haines, one of the program’s founders, has taught students with special needs for 31 years. When he started his career, the kids were taught in segregated schools, where he says they had “no opportunity to be with their non-disabled peers.” Since then, Haines has helped the district make the transition to integrated education. Now all high schools in the district include kids with disabilities.