Between pool parties and trips to the beach, you may have noticed that back-to-school commercials have started popping up on TV and online. In a few short weeks, students will be heading back to school and families are getting ready! Students who are starting their junior or senior year have a lot of planning ahead of them, including students with disabilities. Time to start thinking about college, work, and mapping out the future!
For students with disabilities, transition services may be a part of the individualized education program (IEP) and can start before the age of 16. Students, parents, and the education team will develop a transition plan which can include college, vocational training and employment, and supports for independent living and community participation. If you’re just starting the IEP and transition planning journey, check out this excellent article on the Transition to Adulthood at the Center for Parent Information and Resources (originally from NICHCY) and Disability.gov’s Guide to Student Transition Planning.
The NIDILRR community has developed excellent resources for students and their families to tap into as they chart their path to success:
- The Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Learning and Working During the Transition to Adulthood (Transitions RTC) focuses on improving supports for youth 14-30 with serious mental health concerns as they complete their schooling and move into the workplace.
- Check out their extensive collection of tip sheets and briefs. Topics include when and whether to disclose your disability, applying for and keeping a job, peer mentoring, and much more.
- The RTC on Pathways to Positive Futures also focuses on transition-age youth with mental health concerns. Start with What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up? (PDF)
- Sign up for their upcoming webinar on Family Support for Transition Age Youth (9/29).
- The National Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision created a Transition Activity Calendar for Students Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired.
- Think College: College Options for People with Intellectual Disabilities offers a database of colleges that support students with intellectual disabilities, stories from students, and resources by state.
- Headed off to college? The Research and Training Center on Community Inclusion of Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities (TU Collaborative) has Your College Community: How People with Psychiatric Disabilities Can Make the Most of Their College Experience (PDF), a resource manual detailing opportunities for support, social engagement, personal growth, wellness, and entertainment for students on campus.
These are just a few examples of the resources available from the NIDILRR community. Want more?
- There are more than 20 NIDILRR-funded projects currently focusing on transition issues for youth and young adults with disabilities.
- Our collection includes more than 500 articles, books, and reports from the NIDILRR community on issues related to transition.
- More than 260 publications are available to download free in full text.
- Dive deeper into REHABDATA for more on the topic from the NIDILRR community and elsewhere:
Are you or your child heading into junior or senior year? Are you an educator or administrator who works with students with disabilities? Please let us know how we can help you and your student plan for the future!