Empowering Young Adults with Disabilities for Success: Transitioning Beyond High School


The transition from high school to post-secondary life can be both exciting and challenging for any young adult. However, when a young adult has a disability, this transition requires additional planning and support to ensure a smooth journey toward independence and success. In this blog post, we will explore the transition process for parents of young adults with disabilities aged 18-26, focusing on programs like The Horizons School that offer life skills and career training. Let’s dive in and discover how to empower your young adult during this important phase of their life.

Understanding the Transition Process:

Transition planning is crucial to help young adults with disabilities successfully navigate the journey from high school to post-secondary life. The Individualized Education Program (IEP) includes transition components, and it’s essential to involve the student and their support network in the process. Set realistic goals that align with your young adult’s abilities, interests, and career aspirations. Be sure to explore available resources such as vocational rehabilitation services, community-based organizations, and post-secondary programs like The Horizons School.

The Horizons School and its Benefits:

The Horizons School is a post-secondary institution that provides specialized support and training to young adults with disabilities. We offer a range of programs and services tailored to help individuals develop life skills and pursue their career goals.

Here are the key benefits of The Horizons School:

  • Life Skills Training: The Horizons School places great importance on life skills training. We provide guidance on personal finance management, daily living skills, self-advocacy, and social skills development. These skills empower young adults to lead independent lives, make informed decisions, and effectively communicate their needs.
  • Career Training: Career training programs offered by The Horizons School focus on vocational skills development, job placement support, and internships or work experiences. We customize training based on each individual’s abilities and interests, ensuring they receive the necessary skills to succeed in their chosen career paths.
  • Transition Support: The Horizons School provides comprehensive transition support services. We assist with post-secondary education applications, housing arrangements, and ongoing mentorship to ensure a smooth transition from high school to our program. This support helps young adults adapt to their new environment, build connections, and feel confident in their journey.

Strategies for Parental Involvement:

As a parent, your involvement plays a vital role in supporting your young adult’s transition. Here are some strategies to consider:

  1. Effective Communication and Collaboration: Maintain open and ongoing communication with educators, program staff, and your young adult. Collaborate to ensure a coordinated approach to their transition, exchange information, and address any concerns or questions that arise.
  2. Empowering Independence: Gradually foster independence by encouraging your young adult to make decisions, solve problems, and advocate for themselves. Offer guidance and support while allowing them to take ownership of their journey.
  3. Building a Support Network: Connect with professionals, mentors, and other parents facing similar challenges. Building a support network can provide valuable resources, share experiences, and offer emotional support as you navigate the transition together.

Overcoming Challenges:

While the transition process can be exciting, it can also present challenges. Addressing these challenges will help ensure a successful transition:

  1. Addressing Fears and Concerns: Acknowledge the fears and concerns you may have as a parent. Understand that it is natural to worry about your young adult’s future. Take proactive steps to mitigate these challenges by seeking information, connecting with support networks, and staying involved in the transition process.
  2. Coping with Emotional Adjustments: Recognize that you may experience emotional adjustments during this transition. Take care of yourself and seek support when needed. Engaging in self-care practices and seeking guidance from professionals can help you navigate the emotional aspects of this journey.


The transition from high school to post-secondary life skills and career training programs like The Horizons School is a critical phase for young adults with disabilities. By understanding the transition process, exploring available resources, and actively participating in their child’s journey, parents can provide the necessary support and guidance to help their young adults thrive. Remember, with careful planning, collaboration, and ongoing support, your young adult can embrace a fulfilling and independent future.

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