"It is crucial to address the reality that kids and parents face at transition time. There is the reality of low expectations for one thing. Many school professionals still tell parents to wait until their kid is 21 to see what slots are available in the adult system. The state of employment and the necessary supports for independent living for people with disabilities is dismal. It seems preposterous to dream and have a vision given the reality of the lack of supports available to achieve one's potential. As parents of kids with severe disabilities, we are told that there is no entitlement for services after age 22. While services do exist, they are often segregated and the waiting lists are long. The possibility of real life choices often seems like an impossibility. We owe it to committed families and professionals to acknowledge this reality, to let them know about the urgency of this situation, and to inspire them to take action.
I would like to invite the readers of this guide to become partners
in transforming this oftentimes bleak reality into the possibility of a
bright future of real contribution and participation for each student.
It won't be long. Use these tools to work together to create something
new. With mutual respect, good communication, and open minds, professionals,
families, and most importantly, students, can work together to achieve
a future that is vastly different from the one available today."