Starting the next phase of life.

The Transition to Adulthood is when a student transitions, or moves, from school services to adult services. This is an exciting change, but it can also feel stressful and overwhelming.

Three people welding

This is partly true because it means learning new terms and building a new support network, but it is especially true because it also means families must start making many “big picture” decisions about their student’s future. For example:

  • Where will their student live?
  • How will their student support themselves?
  • What will their student do for work?
  • Will their student need transportation?
  • Will the student take care of their own medical needs?

Northstar Career Center’s goal is to provide factual information and community resources that will help families make these Defining Decisions.

Supported Employment

Supported Employment is one way for individuals with disabilities to get started and succeed in the workplace. It is when a person receives supported employment services or vocational rehabilitation (job training) from a government agency. Those services depend on a person’s needs and may include a job coach, custom job placement, skills training, and employer training. Through these services, participants learn work, daily living, social, communication, and safety skills. The goal is for the amount of support they need to decrease over time, but this looks different for each individual.

Because supported employment is so person-centered, it is important to begin exploring services early. That will help find the best fit. The first step is to contact the Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) and apply for services.

Learn more about Supported Employment and DARS through the fact sheets below.

Resources

Family Ed Night

Join us for a family ed night! We’ll be meeting Wednesday, August 10th at 5PM.

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Independent Living

Independent Living means being able to make choices about things like living arrangements, transportation, leisure activities, employment, and physical care. It does not necessarily mean living on one’s own. It means not being limited in the type of life you live. There are many steps a family can take to support their student’s Independent Living in the future. One of the first is learning what programs are available in the community. Another is learning what financial help is available to support Independent Living.

Learn more about Independent Living programs and funding through the fact sheets below.

Resources

Family Ed Night

Join us for a family ed night! We’ll be meeting Wednesday, August 10th at 5PM.

View EventBrite Link

Legal & Financial Planning

When an individual moves into adulthood, they face countless decisions about healthcare, money management, and employment. Students with disabilities may make many of these decisions on their own or they may need help from someone in their support network. It is important for families to consider the different legal and financial planning options available so their student will have the right supports in place. These options include power of attorney, guardianship, and advance directives.

Resources

Family Ed Night

Join us for a family ed night! We’ll be meeting Wednesday, August 10th at 5PM.

View EventBrite Link

Post-Secondary Education

Transitioning to college or a work readiness program is another possible transition from high school. More and more colleges are offering support services and unique programming to open access to learners of all needs. Even though transitioning students no longer fall under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guarantees equal access to college students with disabilities. Families should visit each college’s Office of Student Accommodations to see if that school’s experience is the best fit.

Resources

Family Ed Night

Join us for a family ed night! We’ll be meeting Wednesday, August 10th at 5PM.

View EventBrite Link

Transportation & Logistics

When planning how your student will travel around town, it is good to have more than one option. For example, your student might be their own driver. Individuals with disabilities can request testing accommodations when taking the Learner’s Permit or Driver’s License test. Another option is to use specialized public transportation or build comfort riding the public bus. Public transportation can be a useful back-up tool if your student is not comfortable driving in all types of weather, traffic conditions, or states of mind.

Resources

Family Ed Night

Join us for a family ed night! We’ll be meeting Wednesday, August 10th at 5PM.

View EventBrite Link

Community Engagement and Resilience

Community Engagement means being actively involved in a group of people who have something in common. Members of a community might share a favorite hobby or simply live in the same place. Being part of a community gives people a sense of belonging and purpose. It also adds to their support network and gives them others to talk to and depend on. Finding ways to engage in the community is one of the best ways to improve mental health and reduce feelings of anxiety or depression.

Resources

Family Ed Night

Join us for a family ed night! We’ll be meeting Wednesday, August 10th at 5PM.

View EventBrite Link