Milestones Autism Resources
4853 Galaxy Parkway, Suite A
Warrensville Heights, OH 44128
Phone: (216) 464-7600
If you are on an IEP, make sure college is included in future goals and transition planning is documented early on.
During the senior year of high school get an updated Evaluation Team Report or ETR and IEP with accommodations that might be used in post-secondary education. (ETR is done every three years.) List what those are (i.e. extended time, alternate test locations). Identify the types of supports you might need. While colleges do not use IEPs, they will look at these documents to help determine the accommodations they will provide.
It is important to understand the difference between an accommodation and a modification. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) only allows for accommodations in college. If the individual had a modified curriculum, that would not carry over into a college accommodation. Here is a useful chart and highlights of the differences between accommodations and modifications: https://www.understood.org/en/learning-thinking-differences/treatments-approaches/educational-strategies/the-difference-between-accommodations-and-modifications
Use school-based opportunities to explore interests, careers and vocational classes. You can ask your high school to provide a career and interest inventory and assessment, as well as meet with a vocational advisor/coordinator or guidance counselor. A transition assessment can be very helpful as well as it includes functions like independent living skills.
Seek shadowing, internship or work opportunities while in high school during the summers. In senior year, many high schools offer a senior search, internship or project option to do for a few weeks.
Involve the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation (BVR) and Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) to help you with getting internships, summer work programs, and providing tools and supports both in high school and in college. Outside of Ohio, check your local state agencies for vocational rehabilitation. Ask about the new Ohio Transition Support Partnership, a partnership between OOD and the Ohio Department of Education, that connects students with vocational rehabilitation counselors who provide individualized transition services. OOD also offers Ohio College2Careers at 15 public colleges and universities in Ohio to ensure students with disabilities have the support they need. OOD and BVR have an application process to determine eligibility for services.
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