Inviting a representative from community programs to speak to students receiving Pre-ETS is a great way to develop strong partnerships. Students learn about supports available to them after high school, and providers can build relationships with important organizations and agencies. Involving students in the process makes the visit more meaningful for them.
Here are some things to consider to make the most of a visit by a guest speaker:
- Involve students in choosing the guest speaker. Provide options and ask them to vote for their favorite choice.
- Ask the guest speaker to build choice into their presentation. For example, they could ask students what they would like to hear more about throughout the talk.
- Share information about an upcoming speaker’s career, the organization he/she works at, and how their work is relevant for the student’s life. Consider having students research the speaker or organization ahead of time. They could share their research with the class, through a presentation or poster.
- Ask the students to prepare questions to ask the speaker.
- Have a student introduce the guest speaker.
- Prepare your speaker before the visit. Tell them a little about your students before the presentation so they know what to expect, in case they have not interacted much with students with disabilities.
- Let your speaker know ahead of time the best way to communicate the information based on student needs.
- Ask the speaker to ensure their materials and presentation are accessible. Examples might include larger print or font, providing Braille copies if possible, or using more visuals instead of words. Offer to help if needed.
- Make a thank you card together as a class after the visit.