Getting ready for life after school - top tips for people with a disability

There are so many things to think about when getting ready for life after school – What do I want to do? Work? Study at Uni? Study at TAFE? Maybe an Apprenticeship or Traineeship?

The questions go on - Where do I find out about what's involved? Who can help me? What support might I need? Where can I get it? And importantly, how will all of this fit with the rest of my life?

Planning for life after school is often called transition planning. Transition is the process of moving from one set of circumstances to another. Young people make many transitions as they move into adulthood – these might include starting a new job or a new course, moving house or getting married. Making transitions is exciting, but can also be challenging. People who plan their transitions well, with help where needed, are likely to have a better outcome than those who don't. There are lots of decisions and preparations that all young people have to make when planning for transition. There are also some extra things that young people with a disability or chronic medical condition should consider, and some additional support that can help them to plan well for life after school.

These top ten tips are a guide to some of the key things to think about, consider, and do when you are planning for transition. These tips are evidence-based, and were developed by the Western Sydney NDCO Program using a multi-stage process. The development included:

Click on each of the following for more detail, practical tips to help you plan for life after school, and links to further information and resources.

  1. Get ready early – It is very important to start your transition planning as early as possible
  2. Get the big picture – Think about your goals and interests, and how your disability may affect your future study or work
  3. Get connected – Make connections with people who can help your transition
  4. Get to know your options – Research different post-school options and identify realistic ones for you
  5. Get the skills – Identify the skills you will need for future study and work – which do you have and how can you develop others?
  6. Get organised – It's really important to be organised and manage your time effectively
  7. Get support – Think about where you can get support from and the types of support you may need
  8. Get involved – There are lots of ways to gain experience that will be really valuable in the future
  9. Get to know your rights and responsibilities – Learn about your rights in education and employment and how they are protected
  10. Get confident – Practice standing up for yourself and taking responsibility