Tuesday, May 24, 2016

15 Helpful LD Transition Resources: From High School to Successful Employment

Part 2 & the last article in this series

In our last article, the first in this series, we presented information and resources for challenged high school students preparing for the transition to college. From study skills and test-prep resources to helpful apps and other links for high school students with LD (learning disabilities), the article entitled 25 Helpful LD Transition Resources: From High School to College provided much in the way of assistance for many teens and others considering secondary transition to college life.

This week's article is intended to help students with LD for whom employment after high school, whether full-time, part-time or a volunteer position, is a more appropriate option. It is important to remember that for a variety of reasons, the college experience is certainly not for everyone. Consider a teen's strengths as well as the challenges she may have. Keep in mind that the potential for her successful job placement will rely upon both of these considerations.

When considering and then looking for employment with your child, you need to think about what kind of job in which your child would be successful as well as the level of support he/she will need to secure and maintain a job.

There are five basic levels of employment support for individuals with learning and/or developmental disabilities:

1. Competitive Employment: A full-time or part-time job paid at market wages with no long-term support. The employer hires the individual based on his/her skillset and the needs of the business.

2. Supported Employment: A job in which the employee receives ongoing support that is funded through state developmental disabilities or vocational rehabilitation agencies. This job can be in an individual or group setting, depending on the support level needed. This type of position also meets the employer’s business needs and can still include “job carving,” where a job is created to meet the unique skillset of the individual.

3. Self-Employment: A job someone does on his own that provides an income.

4. Production Employment: A job in which employees with disabilities work at a site with other employees with disabilities and do defined tasks like collating, assembling, or packaging. This job setting provides a high level of supervision and job training.

5. Volunteer Employment: A job that someone does without pay, usually to benefit the community. Volunteer jobs can lead to paid employment by providing work experience, or they can be an end to themselves, providing the volunteer with community and purpose.

To further aid you or your teen in researching resources for employment after high school, you might consider those in the following list:

LD Transition Resources: BEFORE Successful Job Placement

Disability and Employment Community of Practice
The Disability and Employment Community of Practice is an online learning destination for public workforce system staff and partners, job seekers, community-based organizations, grantees, and the business sector, who provide services and programs to people with disabilities and/or other challenges to employment.
Resource Library link: https://disability.workforcegps.org/resources

Transition: School to Work
This webpage from LDonline provides answers to some frequently asked questions about transitioning from high school to job placement for teens with LD.

Employment Services---from Easter Seals Midwest
Visit this site for information and resources related to teen transition services, career exploration and discovery, pre-vocational training, job-placement services and more in the State of Missouri.

Get Your Child Ready for Work---from LDA (Learning Disabilities of America)
You can help your child become a satisfied and valuable employee by teaching him to develop the values and skills of a good worker, avoid the common pitfalls of youth with learning disabilities, and learn job-related skills at home. To learn more, read this article.

This is the U.S. federal government website for information on disability programs and services nationwide. The site connects people with disabilities, their families and caregivers to helpful resources on topics such as how to apply for disability benefits, find a job, get health care or pay for accessible housing. You can also find organizations in your community to help you get the support you need.

Employment and Other Options---from AutismSpeaks
What will the day look like when high school ends? There are several different options for individuals with autism when it comes to what they will do when they leave the education system. Some individuals may want a structured vocational or day program, others may choose to focus on community experiences or some type of employment. These options may include sheltered employment, supported employment, or competitive employment. Other young adults with autism may want to attend college or another type of post-secondary education institution before they enter the world of employment. The downloadable PDF here will provide assistance and information needed.
Link to FREE 12-page PDF printable: https://www.autismspeaks.org/sites/default/files/documents/transition/employment.pdf

Five Misconceptions about Job Advancement---from LDA
The basics of job advancement are similar for all people, but people with learning disabilities must particularly ensure that they assess their strengths, develop credibility, and take advantage of available leadership opportunities. The five misconceptions about job advancement can impede the process of getting promotions and advancing in careers for many people with learning disabilities. Learn more about these misconceptions in order to be more successful in landing a good job.

LD Transition Resources: AFTER Successful Job Placement

On the Job---from LDA
You’ve met the requirements! Now you have a job. When that happens, the focus of your life will change. You are no longer faced with the problems of finding a job. Now you are faced with the questions 1) how can I advance in my chosen career and 2) how can I prevent or minimize problems in the workplace which might cost me the job I worked so hard to get? These are issues for every person in the workforce and every individual with disabilities, but they are particularly challenging for an individual with attention deficit disorder or a specific learning disability. This article will provide some assistance with these issues.

Job Coaching and Supported Employment---from The Viscardi Center
This website and its organization, a 501(c)(3)non-profit located in Albertson, NY, provide information about a lifespan of programs and services that educate, employ and empower children and adults with disabilities.

Self-Advocacy in the Workplace: Requesting Job Accommodations---from LDA
Self-advocacy is knowing what you want, what you do well, and what you have difficulty doing. It includes knowing your legal rights, your needs, and telling that information to the appropriate person. Effective self-advocacy empowers people and gives them access to reasonable accommodations and strategies. In this article, learn some helpful tips for becoming an effective self-advocate in the workplace.

Other Related Resources

Find a Service for Autism (and other LD)---from AutismSpeaks
Select your state and all the listings for autism services (or other LD challenges)in that state will appear. Once you click on a category, you will be asked to enter a zip code in the state you picked. After you enter your zip code and hit the enter key, a map of all the listings of that category in the state will appear. Search for transition services, job coaching and more.

The Journey to Life After High School---from AbilityPath.org
A Road Map for Parents of Children with Special Needs---A FREE printable PDF document (81 pages) with helpful information and resources for both college AND employment after high school for students with special needs.

Top 10 Skills Autistic Teens Need For Independent Living
As parents of children with autism and other special needs, we tend to be overwhelmed by all that we need to teach them. This article will help focus on the most important skills to address.

When College Isn’t in the Cards---from The New York Times
This is an excellent article that provides a helpful explanation of reasons why college may not be the best path for many high school students (typical or LD).

Inexpensive Low-tech & Digital Reading Tools to Help Persons with LD on the Job
Research-based and sensory-appealing tools for MORE focus and BETTER reading comprehension/retention. The physical and digital tools provided via this site are customizable and teacher-designed yet inexpensive.

Please READ our companion article to this post entitled 25 Helpful LD Transition Resources: From High School to College.

For information on customizable tools to improve focus and attention at work, school or at home, please visit:
www.FocusandRead.com Tools for struggling readers of all ages!
www.BrennanInnovators.com Info & support for struggling readers

Image courtesy of:
Brennan Innovators, LLC at www.focusandread.com

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

25 Helpful LD Transition Resources: From High School to College

Part 1 of a two-part series

Many of our readers may be aware that it can be more than a little challenging to access the resources needed and the support required to significantly help students with LD (learning disabilities). As a student with special needs progresses through the educational system, more than a few parents discover that they must wear many hats. At times, these parents are compelled to both research and navigate various channels to locate much-needed LD resources and then advocate for their children so that they can actually access those resources. Sometimes after wearing the hats of researchers and legal professionals among others, these parents must also become persistent "warriors" who battle with school districts and their officials to provide their children with the resources deserved.

Later, when these same students with LD approach the ages of 17 or 18 and prepare to "make the leap" from high school to college or even a vocational school, the challenges become even more daunting for them and their parents. The resources available for assisting challenged students with this transitioning (as it is often called) at this level are too often limited. In addition with the current decreases in funding for these needs, those programs or resources that do exist are falling in number and/or experiencing a lower level of funding. This is particularly noteworthy when approximately 11.1% of all U.S. college undergraduates enrolled, had a disability in the 2011-2012 school year.

At a time when the number of individuals with diagnoses of ADHD, dyslexia and autism is markedly on the rise, it is a real concern for parents (as well as society) that needed resources are increasingly more difficult to locate and access for these students with additional needs. For this reason, we wanted to provide a list of LD Transition Resources for our readers, a list intended particularly for students making the transition from high school to college or a vocational school. This list is a general one that includes special needs study resources, names if colleges that accommodate students with additional needs, helpful apps for LD students at this educational level and more. We hope you will discover at least a few resources here to help a teen with learning challenges more easily make the leap from high school to to college.

Study Skills & Test-Prep Resources for Older Students w/ LD

1. Study Skills for Students
Proven tips and techniques for studying smarter... not harder. This article also includes an extensive list of links to General Study Skills Guides, Text-Taking Guides, Study Skills Resources by Subject and more!

2. Organization and Study Tips and Ideas to Prepare for College
This web page provides ideas and information pertaining to organizational ideas and study tips that can be used in a college environment. Each individual students learns, processes, and retains information differently. As a result, it is recommended that students adapt the organizational and study ideas on this page to fit their own needs and strengths.

3. Helpful Focusing Tools for Books, Technology & More!
To study effectively---whether offline or online, it does matter which tools and strategies you use consistently.

4. 10 Helpful Steps for Test-Taking Success
Whether it's a unit test, mid-term or final exam that's looming, you'll experience much more success if you plan for it. Here are ten of the most helpful steps to improve your test-taking success (presented in a bulleted format for your convenience and ease of use).

5. Test-Taking Tips for Students with Dyslexia & Other Reading Challenges
Now is the time to prepare WELL for tests. Here are a few tips to share that could make your next testing session much more successful (AND even less stressful!), especially if you are a student with dyslexia or other reading challenge. We hope you will read and review these tips, making plans to follow through on their use.

6. How to Get Your Student Accommodations on College Entry Exams (for High School Students w/ Dyslexia)
by Marianne Sunderland, author of Abundant Life blog
This is one article in a 10-article series entitled Preparing Your Student with Dyslexia for College Success. Includes information about how to get accommodations on ACT and SAT tests for students with this LD.

Colleges & Vocational Schools for Students w/ LD

1. The 18 Best Colleges for Students with Learning Disabilities
by Francesca Fulciniti, PrepScholar

2. Colleges with Structured, Fee-For-Service Learning Disability or ADD Support Programs
A state-by-state list of colleges that provide fee-for-service programs for LD and ADHD. Special note: Remember to check admissions procedures for each college. In most cases, you must get admitted to the college through regular channels before you can apply to the special program.

3. 10 Impressive Special College Programs for Students with Autism

4. 15 College Programs for Kids With Learning and Attention Issues

5. Overview of College Resources for Students with Disabilities
Prospective college students with disabilities will find that many campuses are equipped with offices and services that address accessibility, accommodation, and assistive technology for a diverse range of needs. Student services offices and disability coordinators at many colleges work to make campuses inclusive environments through specialized advocacy, support & academic services.

6. Online and Local Vocational Schools Locator Tool
This online tool can help you locate trade schools and vocational programs. Please contact those considered for special needs or LD accommodations and provisions. An online degree may also be an option for you. Online learning may be great for people who have busy lives. Many online students have children, demanding jobs, or both. If this sounds like you, it's possible that studying at an online trade school or vocational school may be right for you.

Apps & Other Assistive Technologies for Students w/ LD

1. iPad Apps for Students & Adults with Learning Disabilities, ADHD & Autism Spectrum Disorders
This PDF file provides a list of all kinds of iPad apps to help older students and adults with LD. The list includes timer apps, life-skills apps, file-sharing apps, handwriting apps, math apps and more for use both in and outside the classroom (prices and direct links also included).

2. Low-tech & High-tech Reading Tools to Help Students & Adults with LD
Research-based and sensory-appealing tools for MORE focus and BETTER reading comprehension/retention. The physical and digital tools provided via this site are customizable and teacher-designed yet inexpensive.

3. BEST ADHD Apps for Better Focus
List of PC, Mac, iPhone & Android apps (with links) that help promote more focus & attention for students with these challenges.

4. Reading & Spelling Programs for Students with Dyslexia
from DyslexiaHelp at the University of Michigan
The following is a list of some programs that have been developed for struggling readers and writers. Some were created specifically for dyslexia, like Orton-Gillingham.

5. Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access (CATEA)
CATEA is an established interdisciplinary research and design center devoted to applications of technology to alleviate problems of human need, providing service, research and education under the auspices of a world-class academic institution. Multiple Web resources, teleconferencing and new media production allow Center staff to provide technical assistance and information dissemination across the globe.

6. Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA)
RESNA is an interdisciplinary association of people with a common interest in technology and disability. Their purpose is to improve the potential of people with disabilities to achieve their goals through the use of technology. They serve that purpose by promoting research, development, education, advocacy and provision of technology; and by supporting the people engaged in these activities.

7. Abledata
ABLEDATA provides objective information about assistive technology products and rehabilitation equipment available from domestic and international sources. Although ABLEDATA does not sell any products, they can help you locate the companies that do.

Other Secondary Transition Resources for Students w/ LD

1. Advice for the College Student (w/Dyslexia)
This article provides a good overview of "the system" and what students w/ dyslexia and other reading/learning challenges can expect with a secondary transition.
by Judy York, Director,Resource Office on Disabilities, Yale University

2. LD Transitions: High School to College
Pinterest board with a variety of resources for secondary transitioning with LD (ADHD, dyslexia, autism and other challenges)

3. Helpful Links from the LDadvisory.com's Blog
by Elizabeth C. Hamblet, LDT-C, M.S. Ed., M.A.T.
A collection of various links to help LD students successfully navigate the transition from high school to college.

4. Secondary Transition Resources for Students with Learning Disabilities
by Joan Azarva, Ms.ED, Conquer College with LD
Here are 60+ articles with resources to help high school students who transition to college, finding themselves facing a whole new set of challenges. Unfamiliar with the college system, they are prone to making poor judgments. Because college proceeds so rapidly (a typical semester is fifteen weeks), a few poor decisions can produce dire consequences. This significant collection of articles by a well-known college transition counselor and author should help students with LD make better decisions that result in a much more successful college experience.

5. Vocational and Trade Financial Aid Options

6. Online Colleges Scholarships and Financial Aid

Next week's article: LD Transition Resources: From High School to Employment---Part 2

For more information on customizable reading tools to improve focus and attention, please visit:
www.FocusandRead.com Tools for struggling readers of all ages!
www.BrennanInnovators.com Info & support for struggling readers

Image courtesy of:
Brennan Innovators, LLC at www.focusandread.com