Building bridges to a successful transition from school to work and community participation will take time, effort, and patience on the part of you, your child and others. Some of the essential keys to helping your child have a successful transition include:
- Families, educators, employers and others committing to the goal of community participation for people with disabilities.
- Actively involving young people with disabilities and their families in the transition planning process. This includes a commitment to making sure that young people with disabilities develop the ability and confidence to make decisions for themselves.
- Families encouraging their children to develop skills, relationships with others, and opportunities to participate both inside and outside of school. This encouragement should start as early as possible.
- Planning early for the transition from school to work and adult life. Effective planning means identifying a vision for your child’s future, setting goals and expectations and figuring out how this will be accomplished through activities and experiences both inside and outside of school.
- Making sure that children and young people with disabilities receive their education in regular classrooms alongside students their own age. Participating and learning in regular classrooms is critical for the development of opportunities for participation in community life after school is finished.
- Being exposed to career education at an early age and having productive work experiences during the school years. Work experiences can include summer or part time jobs as well as job experiences that are arranged by the school.
- Having enough help from others who share the commitment of families for an active and productive life for their children. Sources of help should include teachers and other educators, guidance counselors, employers, friends, co- workers, and community and government agencies.
While maintaining the long term vision for your children, it is important to plan and act year by year, month by month, and day by day. Our hope is that over time, every young person with a disability will have a good and productive life as an adult.