Further education and training are often an important part of the transition to adulthood.  

There are a lot of options and support available for education and training for people with disabilities! Read on or click a topic below and jump to that information.

Post-secondary transition program
Additional College Support Programs
2-year/4-year College Degree and Supports 
Trade Schools
Self-Advocacy and Education
Department of Rehabilitation

Post-secondary transition program

Those students leaving high school with a Certificate of Completion have the option of attending their school district’s post-secondary transition program. These programs usually emphasize:

  • Pre-employment and employment training
  • Independent living skills
  • Community integration
  • Social skills

The students have a chance to work toward their ITP goals to achieve success as they transition to adulthood. Check with your school district for available public post-secondary programs in your area. Some areas offer private post-secondary programs. Attendance at these may be discussed at the student’s transition IEP meeting.

Additional College Support Programs
2- year/4-year College Degree 

Many students start additional education and training by attending a community college to get their Associate’s Degree, a general two-year program:

  • Earn an Associate of Arts degree (AA) or Associate of Science degree (AS) 
  • May apply to transfer to another college as a Junior to work on a four-year college degree

Some students may apply to a 4-year college out of high school to earn a college degree. The student’s desires for continuing education and/or training should be documented in their Individual Transition Plan if they have an IEP.  All colleges receiving federal funding have an office for students with disabilities, sometimes called Disabled Students Programs and Services (DSPS).  This office helps students receive:

  • Appropriate accommodations that are needed to complete their degrees successfully
  • Extra time on tests, assistive technology, note-taking services, and peer mentoring/tutoring if necessary  
  • Assistive Technology – needs can be different in college than in high school. There are a lot of tools available! ( This video gives an overview of the most common tools you may need.) 

College Choice and Understood.org 15 College Programs for Kids Who Learn and Think Differently are just 2 resources listing colleges that support students with learning differences.

All colleges that receive federal funding have an office for students with disabilities, sometimes known as Disabled Students Programs and Services (DSPS).  This office helps students receive appropriate accommodations needed to complete their degrees successfully. For example:

  • Extra time on tests
  • Note-taking services
  • Peer mentoring/tutoring if necessary
  • Assistive Technology – needs can be different in college than in high school. There are a lot of tools available!
Trade Schools

Some students want to go to a trade school, to learn a specific trade. There are some trade schools located in community college programs, and there are private trade schools as well. If the trade school is at a federally funded college, they are required to provide appropriate accommodations for students who are continuing their education and training.  

Self-Advocacy and Education

It is important for the student to know what their support needs are, and how to ask for them.  If the student chooses to, it’s up to the student to tell the office for students with disabilities that they have a disability and let them know what they need to be successful.  Some offices for students with disabilities will be able to help the students who aren’t sure what they need to be successful, but some offices are not. able to do that.  There are no IEPs in college or trade school! It is up to the student, not the parent, to ask for what they need. 

Department of Rehabilitation

If a student with a disability is continuing their education and training, with a goal of independent employment, the Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) can help.  For eligible students, DOR can help pay for tuition as well as books, tutoring, and specialized assistive technology tools that the student may need.  They will create an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) with that individual that includes all that is necessary. They will continue to support the person even after they have received a degree if needed to help them learn any additional skills for independent employment.