Youth Transition to Adulthood
One of our focus areas within special education is helping students aged 14-22 understand and advocate for transition planning and services through our TRAILBlazer Program – Transition Readiness for Adult and Independent Living. Transition planning and services are provided by the school and other state agencies like the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVRS) to help students prepare for adult life after high school. It can include things like vocational training, structured learning experiences, and life skills.
How we help:
For Students – We are in the process of creating a “transition tool” for students to use. The Transition Tool is a questionnaire that asks students about their likes, dislikes, interests, needs, strengths, and preferences. Their answers will generate a document they can bring to their school so they can be prepared to advocate for themselves with their schools or other agencies to get the plan and services they want. While the tool remains under development, we assist students by explaining their rights, walking them through the beta-version of the tool we have now, and providing additional advice and counsel on other education issues.
For Graduated Youth under 22 – Disability Rights NJ assists youth who have graduated from high school work with the Vocational Rehabilitation Offices as they join the workforce or pursue further education or training. This includes helping clients with advice, counsel, and representation connecting with the VR agencies, as well as assisting through the development and implementation of the Individualized Plan for Employment.
For youth 14-22 years old interested in Comprehensive Transition Programs (CTP) – Disability Rights NJ has been advocating with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation regarding sponsorship for the Comprehensive Transition Programs at universities in New Jersey. These programs are designed for students with Intellectual and developmental disabilities who need additional transitional support after high school before transitioning to the workforce or college. Youth who are considering these programs are encouraged to contact Disability Rights NJ to discuss their rights, how to connect with the Vocational Rehabilitation Offices, and how we can support you on your journey.