Every student participates in school activities with a goal of being prepared to function at some level of independence as a result of his/her school experience. Although this is no different for students with disabilities, differences do exist as far as what needs to occur before and after graduation if students are to move successfully from high school to post-school activities such as training, employment and independent living.
For many students with disabilities the success of this transition from school to adult life depends on teamwork and collaboration between the schools and community resources. As one such resource, the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation works closely with the Kentucky Department of Education to assist eligible students with disabilities to identify, plan for, and achieve their vocational goals.
Who should be referred for Transition services?
Referrals should be made on any student with a disability that might prevent them from training for, getting or keeping a job. Once the referral is made, a qualified rehabilitation counselor will determine if the student is eligible for services.
When should the referral be made?
Typically a referral is not made until the student is within two years of exiting high school. However, a student can be referred earlier if appropriate.
What services can a student expect to receive?
Prior to graduation, the eligible student can expect to receive a comprehensive assessment to determine vocational interests, capacities, and abilities, as well as guidance and counseling in determining an appropriate vocational goal and the services necessary to attain that goal.
All services that are planned for and provided are individualized, determined jointly by the counselor and the student, and directly related to a specific vocational goal.
After graduation, services vary depending upon the student's individual goals and needs, however, the focus remains on acquiring the skills necessary to get a job, job development, job placement, and follow-up.
What is available for students with significant disabilities who will not be going on to post-secondary training or the military?
The Community Based Work Transition Program is a jointly funded program between the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation and a number of school districts in the state.
The student considered appropriate for this program will require the unique services of a job trainer in order to obtain and maintain employment.
The goal of this program is for each student to be job placed in the most integrated setting prior to graduation, with necessary supports in place to maintain that employment.
If you wish to refer a student to the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation or would like more information about transition services available through the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, contact your local office or call 800-372-7172.
A Guide for Professionals Serving Youth with Educational And Career Development Challenges
Ten Things High School Students Need to Know about Vocational Rehabilitation Services (Short Version)
Journey to Adulthood A Transition Travel Guide
Beyond High School
Community Based Work Transition Website
Office of Disability Employment Policy: Youth in Transition
Office of Disability Employment Policy: Entering the World of Work: What Youth with Mental Health Needs Should Know About Accommodations
Students with Disabilities Preparing for Postsecondary Education: Know Your Rights and Responsibilities
Resource for Parents with Children and Youth with Disabilities