Use the Summer to Think About Post-Secondary Transition
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Summer is a great time for exploring post-secondary education. Increasingly, colleges and universities are offering academic support services to students with disabilities. Students and their families may want to inquire about the availability of these services as they research and visit different campuses. Some states and school districts are also developing concurrent enrollment programs with colleges and universities to give students with significant disabilities age 18 and older a chance to experience higher education and interact with same-age peers while they are still attending their local high school program. IEP Teams may want to consider such opportunities as they plan the student’s academic program for next year.
Summer is also a good time for students to gain work experience and try jobs related to their career interests. Keep in mind that students with disabilities may need certain supports to be successful in their summer job, and in many cases it may be useful to foster an open dialogue with employers about the student’s needs. Parents and school staff can help to coordinate employment opportunities and appropriate supports, but this can also be an excellent opportunity for students to develop their self-advocacy skills.
The following websites provide content, resources and links related to a variety of topics, including Transition Planning, Career Exploration, Post-Secondary Education Supports and Self-Determination for Students with Disabilities.
- PACER Center- Champions for Children with Disabilities
- National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET)
- National Alliance for Secondary Education and Transition (NASET)
- Council for Exceptional Children’s Division on Career Development and Transition (DCDT)
- National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth)
These offices of the U.S. Department of Labor administer grants for organizations to conduct research on Post-Secondary Transition and provide technical assistance, and for states to provide employment support services for individuals with disabilities: