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Texas High school students standing on steps holding apples
  • Students, you are the most important part of the transition process! However, you may be asking yourself, “What is transition?” Transition is the change that occurs when you move from one stage of your life to another stage. For example, there are changes when you move (transition) from elementary school to middle school and from middle school to high school. Another very important change (transition) will be when you graduate from public school and begin adult life. The transition to adult life means you will be moving from public school to a job, college or training program, and into new places in your community. 

    To be prepared for a successful transition when you graduate, you need to begin planning now to achieve your goals. Great goals are those that you have thought about, prepared for, and worked toward. A high school football team never won the district or state championship by accident. The team won because they set a goal to win, and everything they did was designed to help them meet the goal of winning. Transition planning helps you and your family create a vision for your future, set goals, and identify the activities that will help you reach your goals after high school. Transition is about building skills that will help you be successful in your future!

    This site is intended to give you information to help you to understand how to reach your adult goals. Explore the sidebar and tabs below to find information and resources to help you be successful in school and make a smooth transition after graduation.

Self-determination means making things happen in your own life,
instead of others doing things for you.
Michael Wehmeyer

A big part of success in life is knowing what you want and creating a plan to achieve it. This is known as self-determination. Self-determination helps you think about your strengths and needs and create plans based on what you want. As a student, your teachers and family make sure you are getting the help you need to be successful in school. Once you are an adult, things change. Help is available, but it is different from the help you get during school. 

While in school, you are entitled to a free appropriate public education that includes specialized services to help you move from school to adult life. However, once you graduate, this will not be true. As an adult who may need accommodations or other services, you have to be able to prove that you are eligible for those accommodations or services. This is where self-determination really comes in handy. Explore the links below to learn more about self-determination. 

Autistic Self Advocacy Network
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) is an organization created by people with autism for people with autism. The ASAN is a national disability rights organization that works to advance civil rights, empower people with autism, and improve public perceptions of autism. In addition to learning more about autism, you can learn how to get involved in local, state, and national advocacy efforts.

Disability History Museum
The Disability History Museum is an online museum that can be used to learn about how disability has been experienced in the past and present. An understanding of disability history can help you with your advocacy now and in the future.

I'm Determined
I’m Determined, a project of the Virginia Department of Education, provides information and resources on self-determination. On the Quick Links section of the website are training modules you can use to learn about disability history and self-determination, a one-page document to help you learn more about yourself, a goal planning tool to help you set and achieve your goals, and other resources you can use to increase your self-determination skills.

Learning is lifelong!

For many careers, additional education or training after high school is a requirement. Education after high school is called postsecondary education and includes trade schools, community colleges, and universities. Postsecondary education can be a time to learn more about yourself and who you want to become. If your desired career does not require postsecondary education, it is likely you will need additional training beyond high school. Some examples of training include on-the-job training or an apprenticeship.

Regardless if you engage in postsecondary education or training, you can use the Summary of Performance (SOP) to assist you in meeting your goals after high school. The SOP is a document school districts are required to provide you during your final year of high school. The SOP provides a summary of your academic and functional performance as well as recommendations on how to assist you in meeting your goals. You can be involved in the development of your SOP--after all, you know yourself the best! The SOP can be given to a college or university Office of Disability Services or vocational agency (for example, Texas Workforce Commission) to help build a plan to support you at the next level of your education or employment.

What is an Office of Disability Services? The Office of Disability Services is the office at the college, university, or technical school that can provide accommodations, academic adjustments, and auxiliary aids and services to students who have temporary or permanent disabilities. It is important for you to visit the Office of Disability Services during college visits and register with the Office of Disability Services once you are admitted. The name of the Office of Disability Services may vary by school; other names include Student Accessibility Services, Disability Services Office, Student Disability Services, Disability Services, and Student Accessible Services.

Explore the following links to learn more about postsecondary education and training.

The 60x30TX (“60 by 30 Tex”) higher education strategic plan contains four broad goals. Each goal contains a set of targets that will move the state toward reaching one or more goals. Many stakeholders across Texas will need to develop and implement a wide range of strategies to meet each goal: educated population, completion, marketable skills, and student debt. This link leads to postsecondary programs and services in Texas for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

College Autism Network
The College Autism Network (CAN) seeks to improve access to and success in postsecondary education for college students who have autism. As a student with autism who is planning to go to college, CAN’s “Support for College Students on the Autism Spectrum” and “Fast Facts” documents may be of benefit to you. 

Connections for Academic Success and Employment
The Connections for Academic Success and Employment (CASE) program helps students with autism and other developmental disabilities at Texas Tech University and South Plains College in West Texas graduate and find competitive employment after graduation. CASE is for students who can meet the university’s academic entrance requirements, but because of their autism or other developmental disability need assistance in developing skills for independent living, social connections, and employment after graduation.

National Center for College Students with Disabilities
The National Center for College Students with Disabilities (NCCSD) provides information about disability and postsecondary education. On the NCCSD website, you can find information about student organizations on disability, a searchable clearinghouse and resource library, and a listing of scholarships for students with disabilities, among other resources and information.

Texas Workforce Commission-Vocational Rehabilitation Services
Texas Workforce Commission-Vocational Rehabilitation Services prepares youth with disabilities for postsecondary education and employment opportunities. Their services are based on specific eligibility criteria and individual need.   

Think College
Think College is a national organization dedicated to developing, expanding, and improving inclusive higher education options for people with an intellectual disability. One of the best features of this website is its listing of all postsecondary programs for students with an intellectual disability in the United States.

Not only is a job a source of income, but it can also be a way to learn new skills and meet new people. For many people, employment is a big part of their life. It is important to learn about yourself so you can prepare for a career that will be fulfilling for you.

Explore the following links to learn more about preparing for and finding employment.

Job Accommodation Network
The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is a source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues.

Job Finders
Job Finders is an employment consulting company with a focus on connecting people with disabilities to employers.

My Next Move
My Next Move is an interactive tool for students and job seekers to learn more about their career options. You can learn about careers that match your interests, what education or training you need for specific careers, how much you can earn in a specific career, and how likely there will be openings in a specific career.

Texas Workforce Commission
Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) is the state agency responsible for overseeing and providing workforce development services to employers and job seekers of Texas. One of the major functions of this agency is to provide services for people with disabilities to obtain training and employment.

Texas Workforce Commission-Vocational Rehabilitation Services
Texas Workforce Commission-Vocational Rehabilitation Services serves youth and students with disabilities to help prepare them for postsecondary education and employment opportunities. Services are based on specific eligibility criteria and student need.  

What can YOU do?
The Campaign for Disability Employment (CDE) is a collaborative effort among several disability and business organizations to change attitudes about disability and employment. Under the “Where to Learn More” tab of this website are resources for job seekers and employees with disabilities.

Independent living services help people with disabilities achieve greater independence in the home and community. Many programs for people with disabilities require documentation of disability and services may be limited, so it is important for you to understand these community supports and how to work with them to receive needed services. The sites below will help you know what services are available to help you become an active part of your community.

PACER Center
The PACER Center works to enhance the quality of life of individuals with disabilities by providing information to students and their families. On this website, you can find information about transitioning to life after high school.

Texas Health and Human Services: Disability 
The disability section of the Texas Health and Humans Services website has a lot of information pertaining to people who have disabilities, including information about federal programs such as Medicaid, Social Security, and Supplemental Security Income. There is also information about programs and services for specific disabilities such as brain injury, autism, visual impairments, hearing impairments, intellectual disability, and medical or physical disabilities.

Texas Health and Human Services: Independent Living Services
Independent living services are provided by centers for independent living (CILs), which are located throughout the state. CILs are not residential living centers. CILs help people with disabilities achieve greater independence in their homes and communities by providing information and referrals, skills training, goals counseling, advocacy training, and transition services. This website has links to all the CILs in Texas and describes who is eligible for independent living services and the type of services available.

Texas Health and Human Services: Local Intellectual and Developmental Disability Authority
The Local Intellectual and Developmental Disability Authority (LIDDA) provides services and supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and enrolls eligible individuals into Medicaid programs. On this website, you can find detailed information about the services provided by LIDDAs.

Texas Health and Human Services: Local Mental Health Authorities/Local Behavioral Health Authorities
Community mental health services are provided through Local Mental Health Authorities/Local Behavioral Health Authorities (LMHA/LBHA), also referred to as community mental health centers. The LMHAs/LBHAs provide services to a specific geographic area of the state, called the local service area. You can find contact information for all the community mental health centers in Texas on this website.

Texas Reality Check
Texas Reality Check will show you how much your living expenses will cost and the amount of money you will need to earn to pay for them. A Lifestyle Calculator will walk you through the expenses you will have each month, help you decide how much to spend on your lifestyle, determine the minimum amount of money you need to earn to have the lifestyle you want, and explore careers that may provide the salary you will need.

The Arc of Texas
The Arc of Texas promotes, protects, and advocates for the human rights and self-determination of Texans with intellectual and developmental disabilities. On this website you will find information and resources to help you understand alternatives to guardianship and supported decision-making and how you can work with a disability.

Your Texas Benefits
This website has information about state benefit programs that help people with and without disabilities who have little or no money get access to basic needs such as food, health care, and support services.

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