Transition to Independence

This time of year, we gather together to watch our young people prepare for life after high school. It’s a time for celebration and joy, as well as a time for apprehension and sadness.

The transition to adulthood can be overwhelming for any family but can be especially difficult for families of children with disabilities. For many, the difficulty stems from the lack of available and meaningful options for employment, education and independent living.

Not every student will choose the same path, but everyone should have the opportunity to make a choice and fully participate in that chosen lifestyle. Young adults with disabilities want the same things as their peers without disabilities: to learn, to have friends, to be successful, to accomplish goals, to work, to be self-directing.

Advocacy for policy, programs and legislation that support inclusion and opportunity is so important for this generation of young adults. Some opportunities already exist. They include IDEA funds, Plans for Achieving Self-Support (PASS Plans), vocational rehabilitation, family funds, other rehabilitation programs to help students with developmental disabilities access post-secondary education, and integrated employment services. 

The transition programs and the policies and legislation that support these programs ensure students have the options and opportunities that will shape the rest of their lives. AIM Independent Living Center can assist families during this transition period. For more information about available programs and options, visit