Transition planning for young people with disabilities should begin around age 14 and become more specific and focused as the young person moves towards leaving school.
Transition planning works best where a team of supporters gets involved. The team can include the young person, their family, friends, school staff, adult service providers and any other community support staff.
The team should work together to develop a transition plan that meets the student’s needs and wishes, in a range of areas that may include:
- further education options
- employment options
- income and financial arrangements
- living arrangements
- cultural and religious supports
- recreation and leisure options
- friendships, sexuality and relationships
- transport and community access
- disability support services
Transition services funded by MSD are available for all ORS funded students who are in their last year of school. Funding is for up to 12 months. The transition service, Needs Assessment and Service Coordination (NASC) organisation and the service provider should work together to ensure all the necessary supports are available.
ORS funding ends when a young person leaves school. For some young people with very high needs, additional support may be required to enable them to attend an MSD-funded service during the week. Contact the National Contracts team at MSD on 04 916 330 to find out what is available in your area. See more information on the MSD website.
Supporting your young person
Young people with disabilities preparing to leave school should have access to all the programmes and supports available to all secondary students:
- Work with them to make a plan that sets clear goals for where they would like to be
- Plan for any support and ongoing education if needed with literacy and numeracy
- Plan for getting around the community and learning any new skills required
- Identify key people in areas where support may be needed
- Identify skills needed to become as independent as possible
- If they have equipment provided by MoE that they will need to use after leaving school, discuss with their lead worker
- Get an IRD number, Work and Income number and an 18+ or RealMe card
- Discuss the transition plan with the NASC
Social and recreational activities
- Contact the local city council, community centre, Disability Information Centre or NASC for information about suitable social, recreational and community groups.
- Enabling Good Lives is a project that aims to develop new ways of supporting people with disabilities and their families. Check availability in your region with the NASC.
- Local self-advocacy groups such as People First may have useful information.
- If suitable, find out what Special Olympics sports are available in your area.