- Last Updated: Friday, 17 March 2017 15:05
In order for youth with disabilities to transition successfully to employment, further education or training, or independence (with or without supports); they must begin planning for the future at a young age, just like their typically developing peers. Youth and their families must take an active role, with the assistance of person directed planning, which will ensure that the supports and services received educationally within the Individualized Education Program (IEP) transition and graduation plan will help them achieve their goals.
F2F did a survey of our families and the results indicated that only:
- 10% of families have investigated or evaluated community resources BEFORE their child graduates from high school; and
- 56% of youth with disabilities are not involved in their own transition planning process (despite it being a requirement at age 15 to participate per the Texas Education Agency).
When youth are not participating in their IEP meetings; they are not involved in their own transition planning and this impacts their future outcomes.
School districts are required by law to begin discussing transition and documenting the “plan” within the IEP by a child’s 15th birthday. For many, it is “a paperwork process” within the IEP; and families and educators do not understand the implications of a poorly developed transition or graduation plan. As families are overwhelmed by the IEP process and tired by the time their children reach middle school (or have low expectations), many wait until after graduation to think about adult services. By then it is too late.
Often times when F2F reviews a student’s IEP paperwork, the transition plan or graduation option indicated do not match what the student’s or families goals are. There is no “coordination of services” between the strengths, interests, and preferences of the student, the related IEP plan, and the services available through the school or outside agencies.
When young adults with disabilities do not successfully transition out of high school, they may face a lifetime of continued reliance on public assistance and poverty, potentially leading to substantial costs to the government and society.
Therefore, we began our Guided Transition Program for Youth (age 14-20) and their families to address this pressing need.
What is required from youth/families who wish to participate in this program?
- Complete an initial baseline assessment (both family and youth)
- Attend and Participate in one (1) Person Centered Training and at least one (1) of the following trainings:
- Graduation Programs and Options
- Transition Plan, Course of Study and Summary of Performance
- Alternatives to Guardianship, Supported Decision Making and Guardianship
- Social Security & work incentives
- Youth, with assistance from families, and guidance of staff, will:
- identify & document their strengths, preferences and interests;
- complete the One Page profile and the What’s Important To/For worksheet
- develop a clear vision for the future by writing down transition goals related to employment and post secondary education
- Meet with a staff person to review the IEP transition and graduation plan to ensure it aligns with your person centered plan, as well as identified strengths, interests, preferences & needs.
- Explore and evaluate various community resources through tours of various entrepreneurial businesses established by adults with disabilities, local college programs, day programs and various living arrangements. (You must complete the baseline survey before particpating in Tours!)
- Complete a final evaluation/follow up assessment.
What is the cost involved to youth & families?
No cost to youth or families EXCEPT possibly for transportation for the Tours.
Please know that many tours will have to take place during the week due to the business operating hours. Plans are for tours to take place between ~ 9 - 3.
If you are interested in participating, Sign Up Here.