As students with disabilities transition from secondary to post-secondary education, training, and employment, it is important that they are prepared for those next steps.
This section will provide helpful resources for professionals, parents and students.
A Postsecondary Planning Guide
The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), of the U.S. Department of Education, published the guide below to improve educational, and employment outcomes and raise expectations for all individuals with disabilities, their families, their communities, and the nation.
Training and Employment
Competitive Integrated Employment, real work for real pay in a job that aligns the post-school employment goals of the student, is the gold standard of transition outcomes for students with disabilities. This is a desired transition outcome for all youth who choose to work, regardless of disability or needed accommodations or support. Competitive integrated employment is a realistic and desirable expectation for all youth.
As families, schools, Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agencies and other partners plan and engage in transition planning with students, it is important to understand that employment looks different for each student. Competitive integrated employment options should be individualized and align with a students’ interests, preferences, skills, and support needs; and with the labor market needs of businesses. By making the connection between student’s interests skills, and preferences and business needs, good job matches can be brokered so employment is a mutually beneficial outcome for both the student and business.
Some students will enter directly into the workforce based on interest, preference, skills, and support needs while others may attend a training program. Each student’s post-school school goals are difference therefore the routine each student takes may be different.
Accommodations vs. Modifications
What is an Accommodation? What is a Modification? The School-Based Definition
Accommodations help remove barriers and can be used for instruction or testing. They do not change course content or expectations. An accommodation in testing or instruction—which must be previously agreed upon in a case conference committee discussion and is then written into the student’s IEP—might include having a test read aloud, or the option to take the test in a quiet room. Talk with your team about what accommodations should be used in high school and on state standardized tests. Note, however, that allowable accommodations can vary for college entrance and placement tests. Parents, teachers, and students interested in postsecondary education, should talk with their guidance counselor and review the accommodation information available on the ACT and SAT websites.
Modifications are changes to course content, required work, or instructional level. If your student is considering a diploma track, ask your teachers about gradually reducing or eliminating any modifications your middle school student may be using. Modifications include things like requiring a student to complete only half of the work that other students complete, or providing him/her with simpler material or testing the student on different content.
For more information, see Understood.org’s article, “The Differences Between Accommodations and Modifications.”