A pretty black young woman intently reads a textbook.Updated, March 2021

As part of a student’s transition planning for life after high school, the student and the other members of his or her IEP team will probably consider the possibility of more education or training. In keeping with the options specifically mentioned in IDEA, the discussion of education/training after high school may focus on:

  • postsecondary education at a college, university, or community college;
  • vocational education to learn a trade or specific job skill; or
  • continuing and adult education.

This resource page will connect IEP teams with organizations and articles that can help team members tackle the education/training question during transition planning.

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Getting Started

Do a bit of reading first, which will give you a good frame of reference for thinking about and planning ahead for education or training after high school.

Considerations for Youth With Disabilities
Youth.gov is an excellent place to get the basics on postsecondary options for youth, including those with disabilities. You’ll find yourself returning here again and again to explore the many youth-transition topics covered (e.g., employment, education, accommodations, career exploration and skill development).
https://youth.gov/youth-topics/youth-employment/employment-considerations-for-youth-with-disabilities

What to Know about Youth Transition Services
Created by the Federal Partners in Transition workgroup, this article gives you a great snapshot of domains of importance in transition planning, including education, employment, independent living, healthcare, and family and professional support.
https://www.dol.gov/agencies/odep/program-areas/individuals/youth/transition/federal-partners

A Transition Guide to Postsecondary Education and Employment for Students and Youth with Disabilities
 This 60-page guide comes from the U.S. Department of Education. Its 4 chapters explore: (a) transition planning as a key step in preparing students with disabilities for life after high school; (b) transition requirements under the IDEA and the Rehabilitation Act; (c) options and goal-setting in domains such as employment and education; and (d) supporting student-led decision making.
https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/osers/transition/products/postsecondary-transition-guide-may-2017.pdf

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These Experts Can Help

There are many rich resource centers and organizations to visit that can help you and yours explore the possibilities for education and/or training after high school. Try these, for starters, listed in alpha order. We give you their home page addresses, so that you can poke in all the corners according to your interests and needs.

Disability Scholarships | In this subsection of the scholarships.com website, you’ll find a long list of scholarships based on having a specific disability (e.g., blindness, cystic fibrosis, hearing impairment, learning disabilities).
https://www.scholarships.com/financial-aid/college-scholarships/scholarships-by-type/disability-scholarships/

DO-IT | DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) works to increase the participation of individuals with disabilities in challenging academic programs and careers. DO-IT Scholars is especially for college-capable high school students with disabilities.
https://www.washington.edu/doit/

NTACT (National Technical Assistance Center on Transition) | This OSEP-funded center focuses on professional development for staff involved in planning and implementing effective transition programs for youth with disabilities. Lots of self-paced training modules and toolkits on topics such as transition assessment and competitive integrated employment.

National Parent Center on Transition and Employment | PACER is the parent information and training center for Minnesota, so naturally the resources at its Transition Center are family- and youth-focused.
https://www.pacer.org/transition/

RAISE Center | RAISE stands for Resources, Access, Independence, Self-Advocacy, Employment. It offers a wealth of webinars on key topics for youth and young adults with disabilities and their families, a self-advocacy blog, and Raising the Standard (its newsletter).
https://www.parentcenterhub.org/national-ptacs/raisecenter/

Study.com |  All sorts of tools and info here. Find classes and degree programs in the subject area of your choice. Access quick reviews of key subject matter (a good tool for studying). AND you can find out about the college and university system in each state.
https://study.com/academy/course/index.html

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What About College? General Resources

Don’t discount college as an option because the potential student has a disability. There are many very helpful resources that are designed to guide students with disabilities through the process of considering college, applying to college, and succeeding there.

Rethinking College | This 25-minute film produced by Think College explores the growing movement to include students with intellectual disability in higher education. It comes with a viewer’s guide that includes discussion questions and classroom activities. There’s also a 1-page Take Action! resource with several ideas on how to use the film as an advocacy tool.
https://thinkcollege.net/resources/rethinking-college

Opening Doors to College | This 36-minute film shows how students like Curtis, Janet, Fudia, and Missy are leading this inclusion revolution as they immerse themselves in classes, residential life, extracurricular activities, and the entire college experience at Millersville and Temple Universities.
http://openingdoorstocollege.com/

College Planning for Students with Disabilities |
http://www.educationquest.org/11th-12th-grade-students/information-for-students-with-disabilities/

Find the College That’s Right for You! | This interactive map of the United States is actually a directory that includes information on 299 college programs for students with intellectual disability.
https://thinkcollege.net/college-search

U.S. Department of Education | Federal Student Aid
Find a scad of resources about funding for education after high school.
https://studentaid.gov/

The Next Step video | This 19-minute video presents personal stories of five Texans with disabilities who enrolled in colleges, universities or technical schools. Available in English and Spanish.
http://tcdd.texas.gov/resources/publications/the-next-step-video-and-discussion-guide/

Succeeding in College and Work: Students with Disabilities Tell Their Story videos
Listen to several students tell their stories: Santara (a college student with spina bifida, explaining the process of negotiating classroom accommodations); Valeska (who has learning disabilities); Alexander (now an engineer at Mathworks); and Danielle (a pediatric nurse who’s missing her right hand). 
https://www.newenglandada.org/videos?page=1

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Which Transition Page Would You Like to Visit Now?

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