Conch Connect - Interagency Supports for Secondary Transition Students

  • Conch Connect is an interagency group whose purpose is to provide students with the services and supports needed to make a successful move into adult life. Members include organizations throughout Monroe County and the state of Florida. 

    Monroe County Association for ReMARCable Citizens (MARC)

    MARC provides support for persons with developmental disabilities across Monroe County. Services include housing, training, supported living, adult day training, medical services, community inclusion, and respite care.

    Contact:  Diana Flenard 305-294-9526,

    Parent Education Network/Family Network on Disabilities 

    Family Network on Disabilities (FND) was founded in 1985 by a group of parents of children with disabilities who came together for mutual support and information-sharing. FND is a grassroots organization for persons with disabilities and their families that is family-centered and family-driven. Family Network on Disabilities is a national network of individuals of all ages who may be at-risk, have disabilities, or have special needs and their families, professionals, and concerned citizens. The mission of FND is to strive for the complete integration and equality of persons with disabilities in a society without barriers and to serve families of children with disabilities, ages birth through 26, who have the full range of disabilities described in section 602(3) of IDEA. FND is a parent organization as defined in section 671(a)(2) of IDEA 2004.

    Parent Education Network (PEN), Parents of the Panhandle Information Network (POPIN), and Parents Educating Parents in the Community (PEP) are all programs designed to ensure that parents of children with the full range of disabilities have the training and information they need to prepare their children for not only school, but to be able to lead productive, independent lives to the fullest extent possible. These programs offer free help and information to families of students with disabilities and the professionals that serve them. POPIN provides these services to families living in the Panhandle of Florida from Escambia to Alachua County. PEN provides these services to the nine most southern counties in the state (Collier, Hendry, Glades, Martin, Broward, Miami-Dade, Lee, Palm Beach, and Monroe), and PEP provides these services to families in isolated, rural areas of Florida.

    Contact:  Ally Walford 

    Vocational Rehabilitation (VR)

    VR is a federal-state program that works with people who have physical or mental disabilities to prepare for, gain, or retain employment. VR is committed to helping people with disabilities find meaningful careers. Some of the services they provide include:

    • Vocational evaluation and Planning
    • Career Counseling and Guidance
    • Transition and Education after High School
    • Job-Site Assessment and Accommodations
    • Job Placement
    • Job Coaching
    • On-the-job Training
    • Supported Employment
    • Assistive Technology and Devices

    Contact:    Middle and Lower Keys: 305-289-6174 
                      Upper Keys: 305-453-1271

    Project 10 Transition Education Network

    The mission of Project 10 is to assist Florida school districts and relevant stakeholders in building capacity to provide secondary transition services to students with disabilities in order to improve their academic success and post-school outcomes. Project 10 serves as the primary conduit between the Florida Department of Education, specifically the Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services (BEESS), and relevant school district personnel in addressing law and policy, effective practices, and research-based interventions in the area of transition services for youth with disabilities.

    Project 10 is currently focusing on four major initiatives outlined below: Capacity Building, Interagency Collaboration, Transition Legislation and Policy, and Student Development and Outcomes. The project also supports transition initiatives developed through the BEESS Strategic Plan 2013-18.

    Contact:  Lisa Friedman-Chavez,

    CareerSource South Florida

    CareerSource offers programs for young people ages 14+ in order to advance their skills and pursue the best jobs possible.

    Services offered include:

    • GED Tutoring and Preparation
    • Internship Possibilities
    • Life Skills Training
    • Creating Resumes
    • Employer Connections
    • Job Search Assistance
    • Assessment and Career Counseling
    • Leadership Development

    Contact:   Jessica Gomez (305) 292-6762,

    Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD)

    APD works in partnership with local communities to support people with developmental disabilities in living, learning, and working in their community. The agency serves people with Spina Bifida, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Prader-Willi Syndrome, Down Syndrome, and Intellectual Disabilities. The services are provided through waiver programs. You must apply through APD for these services, and there is a wait list so you should apply early.