Transition from Child Find to Post-Graduation
The Bordentown Regional School District initiates transition with the very young child through Child Find. From that point on, the district continually develops programming that will meet the student’s social/emotional, educational, and often times physical needs in accordance with N.J.A.C. 6A Chapter 14. But, what happens years later when the child continues to be eligible for special education services and requires programming to support their development into becoming a more independent individual?
When the student matures to another level of transition (16-21) no earlier than 14 years of age, the services become more defined in the transition IEP with recommendations presented by the Child Study Team. All stakeholders at the meeting taking into consideration the student’s interests and skills and the parent’s/guardian’s visions/concerns in order to recommend a program leading to accomplishment post-graduation for the student.
The recommendations are designed to be within the margins of the student’s abilities to promote an academic, functional, and independent lifestyle post-graduation. As an enrolled student in the school system one may be exposed to various opportunities developed, documented, and underway as written in the student’s IEP supporting the student until graduation.
Prior to the age of 18 years old, the student may be considered for various state services support. The primary ones being Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Division of Developmental Disabilities, Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired and the Department of Human Services.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
If eligible, a student with a disability may qualify for state benefits, one of them being supplemental security income (SSI). SSI may be reduced or eliminated, depending upon the earnings a graduate with a disability makes post-graduation from school.
Information on Medicaid eligibility as it relates to DDD is important. Medicaid provides services, including but not limited to, supports for students with disabilities during their educational entitlement to post-graduation. Some services and supports, just to list a few, by Medicaid are medical and dental services, prescription drugs, and counseling groups. Individuals must meet both financial and categorical criteria to qualify and be either a U.S. citizen or have five years of legal residency.
Another consideration for students reaching the age of 18 years, is the information regarding guardianship. In New Jersey, 18 years is the age of emancipation when an individual is considered capable and responsible for legal actions, making decisions about finances, marriage, medical services, educational, voting rights, and other facets of adulthood. There is limited guardianship and general guardianship, as well as, conservatorship. All the components of guardianship deserves careful consideration when bearing in mind the student with disabilities by their 18th birthday.
Transportation remains a barrier for most students post-graduation regardless if a graduate is 18 or a graduate who is 21 years of age. There are details to consider when entertaining transportation for your student with a disability. New Jersey Transit, has limited options of transportation, and it is mindful to be prepared to provide transportation for your soon to be graduate for post-graduation community opportunities.
If you have a child who is between the ages of 14-21
If you have a child who is between the ages of 14-21 who is transitioning and you have questions or concerns, please contact our District Transition Coordinator, Mrs. Suzann Mohacsi at 1-609-298-0025 x4159, or drop her an email at SMohacsi@bordentown.k12.nj.us, she would be happy to assist!
Links to Review Below:
Office of Special Education Programs
Division of Disabilities Services
DDD Community Services Office
Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services
Special Child, Adult, and Early Intervention Services
NJ Family Care
New Jersey Transit