The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) Transitions Center focuses on the needs of teens and young adults with neuromuscular disease. Launched in 2011, this site offers support, information, and resources targeting this group while also raising awareness of the challenges this group will experience.
The Resources tab lists resources on a variety of issues affecting teens and young adults with neuromuscular disease. These include resources regarding independence, education, career, mobile accessories and application, webinars, peer to peer tips, and the MDA Wiki project (a collaborative forum). Under each of these areas, a detailed listing of resources, both MDA resources, governmental resources, and organizations outside of the MDA, is given.
MDA Webinars of interest to teens and young adults with neuromuscular disease can be accessed through the Transition Center (under the Resources tab). These webinars in include topics including career, education, living independently, genetic counseling, dating, and travel.
The Transition Center also has a Blogs tab. Visitors can read the blogs of a number of writers with neuromuscular disease. Those who are interested can also become a ‘guest blogger’ and make their voice heard. Visitors can also be heard through taking the MDA Transitions Center survey, designed to help the MDA to better understand the needs of this population.
On the Person of the Week tab, visitors can nominate someone, either another person or his- or herself, to be the Person of the Week. Nominations should include a photograph or video of that person, along with the web form.
Visitors can also view photos and read about Accessible Spaces. Under this tab, visitors can view accessible in spaces such as dorm rooms, a bathroom makeover, and a wheelchair ramp. Visitors can also download their own photos and stories about how spaces were made accessible.
Under the Get Involved tab, visitors are encouraged to “make an impact.” Information regarding ways to stay connected, be heard, and participate in MDA events and leadership, research, and advocacy are listed.
The Transitions Center website is an extension of the MDA’s National Transitions Initiative. Started in September of 2008 as a task force, the National Transitions Initiative aims to assist teens and young adults with neuromuscular disease to transition into independent, productive, and full adult lives. In September of 2011, the MDA held a one-day Transitions Summit to discuss these issues.
According to the MDA, in the U.S. alone, each year almost a half million young people who experience disability and chronic health issues become young adults. Due to improvements in health care, this group has been growing in number and will continue to grow. The Transition Center and the National Transitions Initiative focus on advocacy and support for this group as individuals seek higher education, careers, and life as independent adults.
Davidson, M., (2011). MDA Launches Transitions Resource Center for Young Adults. Quest. http://quest.mda.org/news/mda-launches-transitions-resource-center-young-adults . Retrieved 10/11/12.
Davidson, M., (2011). MDA Transitions Summit: Breaking Down the Barriers. Quest. http://quest.mda.org/news/mda-transitions-summit-breaking-down-barriers . Retrieved 10/11/12.
Kennedy, A., (2011). From a Child to an Adult: MDA’s New Transitions Resource Center. Quest, 18:3. http://quest.mda.org/article/child-adult-mdas-new-transitions-resource-center . Retrieved 10/11/12.
Kennedy, A., (2009). New MDA Program Addresses Young Adults ‘In Transition.’ Quest, 16:2. http://quest.mda.org/article/new-mda-program-addresses-young-adults-transition . Retrieved 10/11/12.
MDA, (2012). MDA Transitions Center website. http://transitions.mda.org/ . Retrieved 10/11/12.