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SEPTA College Fair Aims for Smooth Transitions

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. – The Pleasantville SEPTA put on a college fair program Wednesday night at the high school that will make the difficult transition of high school to college a little bit easier for those students with special needs.

"We know that all students need different accommodations and we want parents and students to access key resources in order for them to be successful," said Tara Klein, event chair for the Pleasantville SEPTA.

The fair was the fifth annual that the Pleasantville SEPTA has held and it was highlighted by the presence of 30 different colleges and universities and the keynote speaker, Dr. Manju Banerjee. Parents and educators from districts all over Westchester County were able to visit tables set up in the school's cafeteria where representatives from each school were present and able to provide information and answer questions. Some of the schools in attendance included Pace University, Manhattanville College, and SUNY Cobbleskill.

Klein said that she hoped parents not only took advantage of learning about the different colleges and universities, but also had a chance to listen to Banerjee's lecture on students with disabilities making the transition to college and becoming prepared for instructional technologies.

Benerjee said that she wanted to stress to parents and educators the importance of technology for students at the college level in this day in age.

"College students today are so infused with technologies, and for students with special needs it's important to focus on more than just assistive technologies," Banerjee said.

Banerjee, the Associate Director of the Center for Students with Disabilities at the University of Connecticut, supported her claims with research from UConn that showed students with disabilities are far less comfortable with standard technology than a student without disabilities. Banerjee said this was an important aspect of education for teachers and parents to work on in special education departments, as the majority of college coursework in today's society relies upon technology.

"A partnership needs to happen with parents, educators and students in order for these students to make a seamless transition from high school to college," Banerjee said.

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