Life After High School for Students with Disabilities

Life After High School This article discusses the options (and lack thereof) for students with disabilities after graduating from high school. I am glad to have found this article because it really opened up my eyes to the difficulties that these students face when entering into this transition period. Federal special education law requires that students with disabilities have a transition plan in place. School officials will work with the parents and/or students on developing this plan, but what do they really know about life after high school for students with disabilities?

And what happens to the students whose parents are not actively involved in their child’s education? These are only a few of the questions I had after reading this article. For students with disabilities, planning for life after high school is regulated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, just like other aspects of special education. Students are to be involved in creating their own IEPs as much as possible, and community organizations should be part of the planning if a student will need continuing help after leaving school.

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The IDEA allows students to remain in school until at least age 21. However, once out of high school, the student must actively pursue the accommodations needed for success at work or higher education. This can be difficult for the teachers and parents who have spent years in this active role. “While the IDEA offered parents of college-bound students a helpful document through the summary of performance, the 2004 re-authorization of the law took away a requirement that schools follow up multiple times with outside community-support agencies. The U. S.

Department of Education, in explaining the change, said dropping that requirement would ease the paperwork burden on schools and allow them to focus on “active strategic partnerships” with agencies that provide support to people with disabilities. The change also saves districts money, the department said. ” This angers me!! Since when is it ok to take away a tool that benefits education just to save money and lift the burden of paperwork? It allows schools to focus on partnerships with supportive agencies (which is great), but it no longer seems to be a requirement that the schools follow up with these agencies numerous times.

As stated before, this article opened up my eyes to a whole new level of special education. I am very eager to learn about what is offered here in Onslow County to help these students succeed after high school. The students, parents, and teachers have worked so hard for so many years just to hit a brick wall after high school. Reference “Charting a Course After High School” by Christina A. Samuels http://www. edweek. org/ew/articles/2009/03/18/25transitions. h28. html

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