View the movie below and then proceed to the Initial Thoughts section (time: 2:30).
In this module, you will meet three high school students with disabilities who are beginning to make decisions about their futures. Each student has different strengths, needs, and interests.
Marie: Hi, I’m Marie. I can’t wait ‘til I get to college!
Narrator: Marie has an intellectual disability. She attended a summer program for students with intellectual disabilities at a nearby college through a partnership between the college and local school districts. She liked it so much, she wants to go to that college when she finishes high school in a few years.
Cooper: “Hi, I’m Cooper and I am heading out to work. I can’t wait to get out of school because I like cooking better than studying.”
Narrator: Cooper is a senior in high school and has a learning disability. Through a school-community partnership, he has a part-time job prepping food and bussing tables at a local eatery.
Kayla: (on a tablet) “Hi, I’m Kayla. I do not know what I want to do after school, maybe work and maybe get my own apartment or share one with a roommate. I might take a few classes at the community college.”
Narrator: Kayla is a high school junior. Although her cognitive skills are strong, she has a physical disability that affects her speech and limits her ability to perform activities such as dressing, carrying her lunch tray, or taking notes in class. Whatever path she takes, Kayla will require some type of support to help her be successful.
As you can see, these students have different interests and goals for their lives once they leave high-school. Marie wants to go to college, Cooper wants to get a full-time job as a cook or a chef, and Kayla wants to explore her options. For each of these students a range of supports can help meet their needs. In many cases these services are provided by agencies other than the school and are therefore unfamiliar to the students and their families.
Here is your challenge.
Who is responsible for helping students with disabilities connect to the supports they need after high school?
How can school and agency personnel work together to support smooth transitions for these students?