Resources for the transition from child to adult

As a child enters their teen years, not only is their body changing, but also their need to become more in charge of their services. It is important for families, teachers and professionals to help the youth acquire self-advocacy skills and also plan for post-high school. The goals and the overall plan should be identified in the youth’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) by at latest age 16 (sooner can be better) and should focus on the wants, desires and abilities of the youth. The youth should be involved in this process, even leading it if possible. Additionally, there are other agencies that should be involved. These include vocational rehabilitation specialists and services coordinators with the Nebraska Division of Developmental Disabilities, as examples. Every youth with a disability has unique needs and both the IEP and the employment plan needs to be individualized. In Nebraska, the young adult will become eligible for Medicaid at age 19 if he or she wasn’t before. Families also should consider whether guardianship in its various forms is necessary and consider all of the options besides full guardianship. For more information, see the guide for adolescents and young adults: Along the Way. In addition, below are resources that should be considered to help youth transition to adulthood.

Nebraska Department of Education Overview of Transition

Having a plan for the transition into adult services should start long before high school. It’s important to start having conversations with the youth early about his or her wants, dreams and desires. This provides an overview of youth transition.

Nebraska Vocational Rehabilitation

This federal and state-financed agency helps people with disabilities obtain employment and skills for employment. It has a specific focus on helping youth with disabilities transition from high school.

Transition summer programs

American Job Center: Heartland Workforce Solutions

Offers job training and support to individuals seeking employment. 

Centers for Independent Living

Centers for Independent Living (CILS) are federally funded to help people with disabilities access services to achieve independent living. One of their core services is helping youth with disabilities transition from high school. There are three centers in Nebraska:

Driver Evaluation and Training

There are organizations that can assess if a young adult has the skills necessary to drive and also to help make modifications so the youth can drive. Here are some:


Guardianship might be considered when an individual is unable to make responsible decisions about their finances, property, living situations or care. In these situations, the individual may have a guardian or conservator appointed by the courts. Court-appointed guardians/conservators manage the personal and/or financial affairs of vulnerable persons who need assistance in making legal decisions and staying safe.

Leadership Opportunities

Counseling Options

Sometimes people with disabilities are concerned that as they gain employment or increase either  their wages or hours, they might lose eligibility for programs such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).  In Nebraska, there are programs and counselors who can assist individuals and families.  These include: