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Transitioning to Life after High School: Resources

Online Transition Guide

5/22/2019 10:00:52 AM

ASL version

If you are DeafBlind or prefer to watch the video in a slow-paced, high contrast format, watch the DeafBlind friendly ASL version instead. 

English version

Hello, high school students! What do you plan to do after graduation? How do you prepare to transition out of high school to college or work?

Have you seen the Transition Guide online? It provides resources and information on services and supports available to high school students who are transitioning to post-graduate life. You can download the guide (the URL will be shared at the end of this video).

The Guide

The guide was created by representatives of state agencies, schools, and community organizations who work together to improve education and employment outcomes for students who are deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing. The guide was designed to help students like you, as well as teachers and families, learn how to navigate employment, education, and independent living resources!

Examples of how you can use the guide.

If you are thinking about employment, but it might affect your social security benefits, such as SSI, you can contact the Social Security Administration. You can also find answers to your questions at the Disability Benefits 101 website, which provides information and tools about employment and benefits.

Did you know that every high school in Minnesota has a VR counselor assigned to it? Please get connected with Vocational Rehabilitation Services. They have counselors ready to provide career assessments, job exploration and placement services, interpreters for interviews, job coaching and supports available if you qualify. Career Force locations (formerly known as the Work Force Centers) are all over Minnesota and online for help as well.

If you want to go to school after you graduate, you can talk to your high school guidance counselor or someone who is in the transition program if your school has one. Additionally, check the guide for tips and suggestions about post-secondary education. You can also reach out to the college that you’re interested in and ask to talk to someone from that particular program. Make sure you have the grades and test scores necessary to apply!

If you’re not interested in college, there are other education and training options available. You can take local community education courses in your area. Or you can find a short-term training program, which may be able to give you the skills needed to obtain a job in your area of interest. Or you can join an employment training program, such as Goodwill or the American Red Cross, which may also provide you necessary training to obtain a job. Or you could find some free classes that are offered for adults through Adult Basic Education.

If you are looking for housing, check out the Additional Considerations page of the guide under “housing assistance.”

Information about financial aid.

Do you need a way to pay for college or an education or training program?

Did you know you can apply for FAFSA (Free Application for Student Aid) to see what kind of financial aid you will be offered for your program? The deadline for Minnesota this year is October 1. 

Another option is to take out student loans, which you will have to pay back over time. But while you are in school, you don’t have to make payments on your loans.

If you are eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS), they may be able to provide financial assistance for your education, if it is needed to obtain your employment goal. They may be able to provide financial assistance for assistive technology if that is part of your employment plan with them.

If relevant to you, there is also State Services for the Blind (SSB) that can provide support to you if needed.

Please review the guide and watch the videos.

Each page on the guide has great information and most of the pages have videos. Some of the videos are messages from professionals working with students like you, and some of the videos show young adults who are deaf and hard of hearing, also just like you. They describe how to use the guide and their experiences and their journeys.

Please review the guide with your family and teachers as you plan your future.

Guide to Adult Services

One page of the Transition Guide is especially helpful. It is called the “Guide to Adult Services” and has the direct link and contact information about who to contact for each topic such as transportation and housing. The specific page is also designed to be mobile friendly so you can sit with your parents or teacher over the app on a smartphone and get the information you want.

Where to find the Minnesota Transition Guide.

This is an exciting time in your life. You have many support services available in Minnesota. Good luck! You can find the Minnesota Transition Guide for Teachers of Deaf/Hard of Hearing here.

Additional information

  • The Minnesota Commission of the Deaf, DeafBlind & Hard of Hearing thanks the Collaborative Plan stakeholders for developing the Transition Guide, James Paul Beldon for ASL talent, Mark Zangara for voiceover, and Keystone Interpreting Solutions for film production.
  • Special thanks to Elise Knopf for her input.
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