Transitioning Your Child into the Working World
For many parents with children with disabilities, a major concern is how their child will be able to function successfully and independently after high school. As a parent, you may need to enlist the services of professionals to assist in accessing community agencies for training and skill building. The conversation about transition supports should start early and at least by age 14.
To access supports for transition age youth (14-21) interested in developing job skills, you can contact the Allen County Board of Developmental Disabilities for a referral to a Service and Support Associate (SSA) who can help you access VR Contract services or Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD). Anyone can refer a student with a disability to apply for services. These agencies provide funding for the employment related services such as: skills assessments, career guidance, summer youth work experiences, career exploration camp, and job coaching and development.
Training programs offer career readiness skills focusing on “soft skills” such as communication, constructive feedback, time management, hygiene, teamwork, problem solving, and professionalism. Students may participate in a summer work experience that allows them to learn job skills with a mentor and a job coach at local job sites, earning minimum wage.
Each student’s plan for employment is unique to their job goals, skills, and readiness for employment. The biggest indicator of success on the job is a desire to work. VR and OOD assist youth in preparing transition to employment through a plan of assessments, opportunities, and supports.