Introduction and Module Overview

All parents wonder what their child’s life will look like after school is finished. We all ask: What will my child do? Where will he or she live? What kind of friends will be a part of his or her life? What kind of person will he or she be?

For at least 13 years, parents are re-assured by the regularity and structure of a school that fills a child’s day with classes and activities. Making that transition from school to either the work place or further study is both exciting and challenging.

We all share the same goals for our children – with or without disabilities. We want them to have a job, a good home and friends and opportunities to be involved in their community.

This module is about helping you understand the role you can play in helping your child achieve these goals by making a successful transition from being a student to being an adult. It has been developed primarily for families who have sons and daughters with disabilities. It is provided with the hope that families and young people with disabilities will have the information they require and confidence to be actively involved in planning for life beyond the classroom.

While the module is developed specifically for families, and primarily parents, it will also be useful for teachers, guidance counselors and others who will have a role to play in assisting people with disabilities make successful transitions.

This training module is based on the resource entitled Building Bridges: A Parent Guide on Transition from School to Work, Adult Life and Community Participation for Youth with Disabilities (second edition) published by the New Brunswick Association for Community Living in 2002. This guide contains detailed information on many of the topics that will be discussed in this module. As such, many parts of this module will provide links to the relevant sections or chapters from Building Bridges to allow you to explore the issues and topics in further detail. In addition, a list of suggested resources with links to websites is also provided to enhance your knowledge and understanding of this important topic.

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