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Welcome to the YouthACT Transition Truths National Online Dialogue

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An online dialogue is a way for people from all over the country to talk online and share ideas about a particular issue. It’s like a discussion board or a chat room where you can post, comment on and vote for new and exciting ideas.

In this online dialogue, youth and young adults with disabilities are discussing a pretty important topic — what they need in order to become successful adults. We hope you will join the conversation and add your ideas, votes and comments.

You can start by considering this one big question:

Answering this question right away might seem difficult, and that’s okay. To get started, you can read ideas from your peers who have already posted in the online dialogue. You can also share supports and strategies you find useful in your own life that you think might benefit others. When thinking about the ideas you want to share, it may be helpful to think of actions that people around you have taken that helped you achieve success and what things they could further do to support you as you become an adult. Sharing what peers, family members, teachers, employers, advocates, counselors and policymakers can do to help you achieve success is a major part of this dialogue.

Ideas that can support success on your path to adulthood are organized in the following six topics that most impact youth with disabilities:

ePolicyWorks welcomes all ideas, no matter how big or small you may think they are. When you are ready to share your ideas click the Submit New Idea Button on the right to join the conversation!

For further instructions on how to participate in this online dialogue, visit How to Get Started.

To learn more about this dialogue, including why it’s taking place, why you should participate, and who should participate, visit Learn More about This Dialogue.

2. Preparing for the Workforce

Small Business Training for Students with Special Needs

I propose that school districts / colleges / community centers offer opportunities for individuals with disabilities to learn alongside their peers in small business/business development classes. The rate of unemployment amongst young adults with disabilities may decrease, given the appropriate tools and support in developing a small business plan of their own. Too many people with disabilities remain unemployed after ...more »

Submitted by (@eim0324)

Voting

2 votes
2 up votes
0 down votes
Ideate

1. Learning in High School & Beyond

Classroom Aide

Offers hands on help to students and help to monitor their progress. Also helps with classroom management and assisting the youngest children with their work.

Submitted by (@seanaday)

Voting

1 vote
2 up votes
1 down votes
Ideate

6. Taking Care of Daily Life & Supports

Having a Mental Health Disability and Balancing a Career

I graduated with a Master degree in Social Work a year ago now after battling my mental health disability over the past 8 years while earning two degrees. I started my own program before finishing my Master. Now I have a federal job as an Office Automation Assistant. I encourage all who are earning degrees to plan ahead before walking across the stage. Don't just dream of the job be working on that all along the way. ...more »

Submitted by (@kionia27)

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2 votes
2 up votes
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Ideate

3. Health & Healthcare Access

Mental health integration

My neurologists never asked me how I'm emotionally coping with my epilepsy and the challenges it faces in daily life as I'm growing up. My feelings about my seizures effected my willingness to comply with prescriptions. We need doctors more attuned to the emotional impact of disabilities and an integration of mental health services.

Submitted by (@aditij)

Voting

4 votes
4 up votes
0 down votes
Ideate

2. Preparing for the Workforce

Community/representation

To the extent that people with disabilities are portrayed in the media, most people are white and have a developmental disability. I have epilepsy and am a POC, I've never seen a POC with a disability working a professional job on tv. I'm in law school and don't know of any organizations for people with disabilities in the law. It helps to have role models and know what you aspire to is possible.

Submitted by (@aditij)

Voting

5 votes
5 up votes
0 down votes
Ideate

1. Learning in High School & Beyond

Behavioral challenges vs. disability

Most of the people classified as special education don't have disabilities, but rather, behavioral challenges. They are taken out of classrooms rather than being given necessary socioemotional supports to learn how to express emotions and deal with frustrations. This is especially challenging for kids who don't see that modeled at home. There is a study happening in Chicago about mindfulness whose implications should ...more »

Submitted by (@aditij)

Voting

1 vote
1 up votes
0 down votes
Ideate

1. Learning in High School & Beyond

The chance to learn at grade level

Everyone should be able to learn and get a diploma, not just a certificate of completion. My school says I'm not college bound and teaches me 2nd grade level and work skills. I know more and I like science and history. I'm bored. They think I can't because I don't look like them and my hands don't work with my mind but I can.

Submitted by (@senojm)

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6 votes
6 up votes
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Ideate

1. Learning in High School & Beyond

going to college and knowing the right accommodaion to succeed

I am going to college and its been a year. its been a hard year with out using accommodation but still doing my best to pass to the class. I was enlighten when one my good friend show me the center where I could get my accommodation for my learning disability. now I am sure this next semester would be less stressful .

Submitted by (@moderator4)

Voting

5 votes
5 up votes
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Ideate

1. Learning in High School & Beyond

Inclusive Education = having a better life after school

So many schools are preparing kids to be great group home residents or segregated workshop employment. It is a great disservice and there's data to back up (more inclusion = more employment, independence, community involvement). The first step to quality transition to adult life is access to and participation in a quality general education program. CLOSE ALL CENTER PROGRAMS NOW! If this "continuum " is an option, ...more »

Submitted by (@emilime)

Voting

8 votes
8 up votes
0 down votes
Ideate

2. Preparing for the Workforce

Higher Education and Career Paths

I am fairly new to this field, but I've found that many youth and adults with disabilities are either directed to jobs focusing on very menial tasks (cleaning, washing dishes, etc.) or employed in sheltered workshops. While I believe that this is an acceptable option for some individuals, I think that there needs to be more focus early on for students to develop a career path (if deemed appropriate and realistic) and ...more »

Submitted by (@arichert14)

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8 votes
8 up votes
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2. Preparing for the Workforce

Networking and Mentoring for Disable People

There should be more networking events exclusively designed for people with disabilities and disability employers. There also should be a mentorship program where people with disabilities can get advice from a professional.

Submitted by (@jaywu32)

Voting

12 votes
12 up votes
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Ideate

2. Preparing for the Workforce

Inclusive Apprenticeships

Apprenticeship programs are jobs that youth with disabilities could enroll in to earn money while developing their skills in a field of interest to them. Programs typically last a few years, and apprentices who complete them earn an average starting salary of $50,000 a year. Historically, there have been many programs in fields like construction and manufacturing, but recently there has been a lot of growth in industries ...more »

Submitted by (@oltremare)

Voting

9 votes
9 up votes
0 down votes
Ideate