Include any agency that will provide services in your child’s transition plan. The law requires a school to manage the transition plan. But, this may not always happen. You should make contacts with people at these agencies. Talk to your child’s counselor or case manager. They may be able to help with the names and phone numbers of agency contacts.
The following agencies can offer support to you child when she leaves home:
School District, Department of Education – They offer skills training. They also offer vocational classes. They provide special education. This agency may also provide career counseling. They can help with work experience. They may also offer school-to-work programs. They have special programs for children with disabilities. The Colorado Department of Education has put together a guide. It is called the Transition Planning Guide (PDF).
Department of Rehabilitation - This may be called Vocational Rehabilitation in some regions. They can offer help to get a job. They help with assistive technology (AD). They may also offer career advice. They provide special programs for people with disabilities.
Community Centered Boards (CCBs) - These are private non-profit groups. They are the single entry point for persons with disabilities. In Colorado, the state contracts with 20 Community Centered Boards. These boards include those dealing with mental retardation. They also deal with cerebral palsy. They offer help for those with epilepsy. The boards cover autism. Some other conditions are also covered. The CCB’s can connect your child to a wide range of services. To do this, the services must be coordinated. This is known as case management. They also offer living skills training. These skills help people live on their own. They include help in getting housing. They help with rides and medical services. They offer help with day-to-day events. They also offer help with supported employment. They offer respite, or a well-deserved break, for caregivers.
Social Security – This agency can help with supplemental security income. They also offer social security disability insurance. They provide Plans for Achieving Self Support (PASS plans). This agency also offers Medicaid.
Community Colleges – These schools can help with the job search. They offer general education. They also offer learning disability programs. These schools offer Certified Vocational Education Programs. Graduates can earn an Associate of Art Degree. The schools can help with Developmental disability programs for special education.
State Universities – These schools can offer accommodations for classes. They have general education curricula. They also offer bachelor and graduate degrees. These schools have special services for students with disabilities.
Department of Labor and Employment – This agency can offer information about job searches. They also offer job search and resume workshops. They will help with job referrals. They have labor market information.
Mental Health Centers - These centers can offer on-going mental health services. Adult programs are different than those for children. Talk to your therapist to learn about the adult programs offered there.
Parents and Family Members - Of course, families aren’t an agency. But, families can offer life-long encouragement. They can also offer guidance and support. Families may be able to provide financial support. They can help to locate community services. They are advocates for their children. They look for chances to explore interests and learning activities.