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What’s Next? Finding Services for Transitional Students

Here are the next steps

Working at the OTC for transitional students

For transitional students out of school, it may feel like standing on the edge of a cliff. They may be thinking, “This is it. What’s next?” Change can be frightening and challenging, especially for individuals with disabilities. That’s why the OTC is here to provide support and options – to make facing that cliff a little easier.

Under the Rehabilitation Act, pre-employment transition services are available in school to facilitate the students’ growth until they turn 21. The last year of school is especially critical. Being involved with planning provides school staff the opportunity to really learn about the students as plans will continue to evolve each year based on their individual strengths and needs. This is the ideal time to explore post-grad options and programs, like the OTC.

The first step in the transition process is referring students to the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (DVRS). This can be done by a parent, guardian, or someone from the student’s school district. At that point, a counselor will begin an intake process that reviews the skills, goals, and job interests of the individual. Doing so will help tackle the challenge of customizing programs. Eligible candidates can also apply for the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD).

At the OTC, we work with agencies like the DVRS, DDD, and different school districts to provide opportunities for growth and employment. In fact, the DVRS may actually refer individuals directly to the OTC.

Individuals with disabilities come from all walks of life and the OTC recognizes that being able to choose from something as a simple as a day program or a vocational training program can really affect someone’s growth. Similar to DVRS, the OTC has an intake process that involves targeting an individual’s goals, capabilities, and passions.

One option for individuals with disabilities at the OTC is a day program. When clients choose to be a part of our day program, they are provided with a supportive environment to learn or improve basic life skills including meal prep, laundry, and everyday household duties. Additionally, they can choose to be involved in their community which helps develop their social skills. Continued pre-vocational training is included to set them up for success in the work life.

Another option is the various vocational training programs. Benchwork assembly, crew labor, janitorial, food services, recycling, and supported employment all give individuals a variety of job options with different levels of support and independence. With the support of OTC staff, adults with disabilities are encouraged to cross barriers by making their own choices and finding meaning through the work that they love.

For more information about the choices available at the OTC, please visit https://www.otcbc.org/services/.