Youth Development

Disability Awareness

Students should know that having a disability means that they have strengths and specific needs. Students should be able to communicate their needs to others. They should know that having a disability also means that there are several laws that ensure they have the same opportunities in school, at work and in the community that everyone else has.

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The Power of Disability Awareness

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It is important for the transition team to assist students in their exploration of what disability awareness can look like. As students prepare to meet their post secondary transition goals, students should:

  • Understand their disabilities
  • Know their rights
  • Identify supports needed
  • Build Confidence
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How to plan for secondary transition when students need assistive technology.

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Why Is Disability Awareness An Important Skill To Teach Students?

Some students may find it necessary to disclose their disability to an employer or college professors. They might do so to secure needed job/education accommodations or to prevent potential challenges.

  • Disability disclosure is just one aspect of a person with a disability advocating for their needs
  • A student who has strong self-advocacy skills may feel more comfortable discussing the impact of their disability with an employer
  • Students will self-advocate what they need to be successful
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What Can Providing Disability Awareness Do For Students?

Disability awareness leads to:

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Increased Success

Disability awareness gives students the skills to advocate for accommodations for success.

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Understanding Disability Rights

Students should know what their rights are and what legal protections they have if they are discriminated against due to their disabilities.

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Greater Freedom

Greater freedom means opportunities to be open to friends and communicate without feeling stressed.

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Understanding of Health Needs

When students understand their disabilities they are able to develop skills to communicate their health and medical needs.

Featured Resources

The PA Community on Transition offers resources on a variety of topics, all focused on improving outcomes for students with disabilities.

Career Interested


The National Parent Center on Transition and Employment has a Toolkit on Disability Disclosure



Health Care Transition Timeline

Map out what students need to know at what age


Want to Learn PA Secondary

Want to learn more?

An important component of understanding disabilities is knowing the tools that help with independence.

Understanding assistive technology can help!