Life after school: transitioning to adulthood

Life after school: transitioning to adulthood

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If you’re a high school student living with an intellectual disability, it’s likely you’ve had some thoughts on what you would like to do when you graduate.

It’s a very exciting time in your life and there are a lot of options to consider, from supported employment to further education, so you might feel that you need some support to take the next step and find out which option is right for you.

Here is a useful guide to help you prepare for adulthood and decide on the path you would like to pursue.

Planning for life after school

It’s good to start planning for your future as soon as possible, but there’s no need to make any big decisions right away.

Instead, you should focus on exploring your options so that you can build some momentum while you’re still in school.

Year 9 is the ideal time to sit down and brainstorm answers to questions such as:

  • What do you like?
  • What are you good at?
  • What will make you happy?

You could do your brainstorm on your own, or you could turn to a friend, family member or teacher to help you come up with ideas.

Once you have identified areas you would like to learn more about, you can reach out to your local NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) area coordinator.

Your coordinator will provide you with guidance on what you need to do while you’re still in high school to help you achieve your goals once you graduate.

If you realise the option you’ve chosen isn’t right for you, that’s OK. You can always change your mind and go in a different direction if needed.

Workplace learning

During your time at school, you can engage in structured workplace learning or secure a work experience placement to help you consider your career options.

You can use these activities to develop your skills and confidence, while learning more about your interests and potential jobs you might like to have in the future.

There are opportunities that involve on-the-job training as well as apprenticeships and traineeships that may interest you.

Career coaching

Sometimes it can be challenging to identify potential career options that fit in with your personal interests and strengths.

For example, you could enjoy helping people and interacting with others, but there are a wide range of jobs across all sorts of industries that could be suitable for you.

If you find yourself in this situation, you can engage in career coaching support services.

Through one-to-one and small group sessions, you’ll get to learn more about yourself and develop new skills, helping you to find the work option that may be right for you.

Community access programs

You could also engage in a community access program to help you figure out the type of career you would like to pursue. There are all sorts of areas you could explore, including sports, arts, technology and even volunteering.

It’s also an opportunity to meet new people and have some fun along the way.

If you contact your NDIS coordinator, you’ll be able to find a community program that is well-suited to your needs, like Activ’s community services.

Training courses  

As soon as you have a clear idea of the type of job you would like to have, you can start to look at ways to develop your skills.

As soon as you reach Year 10, you can participate in a range of TAFE courses while you’re still at school to help you learn more about your chosen field.

After high school, you could attend university or TAFE with the support of a disability coordination officer who can assist you with everything from enrolments to scholarships and grants.

There are also NDIS support service providers that offer nationally accredited training courses for people living with intellectual disabilities, like Activ.

These training courses will enable you to obtain a qualification in a supportive environment once you have finished high school.

Supported employment

No matter whether you decide to go straight into the workforce or do further education, you may need something in between high school and your next career move as a stepping stone, to help make the transition from being a student to an employee.

Through an NDIS support service provider, you can access supported employment placements.

You’ll have the chance to work on a full or part time basis with professionally trained staff available to support you with your responsibilities.

It’s a great way to ease into the workforce and build your confidence so that you take the next step in your independence journey. 

Finding support services

Your NDIS coordinator will connect you with support service providers, like Activ, that can help you participate in career coaching, community programs, training courses, supported employment and more.

Here at Activ, we support more than 1,900 people living with intellectual disabilities across WA. We’re a leading registered NDIS provider, with a full range of support services.

If you would like to learn more about how we can support your transition to life after school, contact us today. 

Download NDIS pre-planning guide for secondary students

You can also download our FREE NDIS pre-planning tool to help you think about what supports you may need.