Transition Planning

Independent/Community Living

The transition team must support the student in learning how to be independent in their home and community after graduation. It is important to remember that independence will look different for every student based on the student’s strengths and goals.

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Gain Knowledge, Set Goals

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The transition team is charged with helping the student become aware of possible options related to where and how the student can live after graduation. This includes exploring the places the student may want to live, and involves teaching critical independent living skills to help ensure the health, safety, and happiness of the student. Through effective, age-appropriate assessments, the team can help the student begin to answer critical questions and set goals specific to independent living.

  • What physical and mental self-care skill areas are strongest for the student and in what areas does the student need to improve?
  • What travel and transportation skill areas are strongest for the student and in what areas does the student need to improve?
  • What self-management skill areas including organization and money management are strongest for the student and in what areas does the student need to improve?
  • What current responsibilities does the student have and in what areas can they improve and become more independent?
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Let’s hear about the importance of making the connection between strengths, interests, and independent/community living options.

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How Can The Transition Team Help Students Identify The Best Independent/Community Living Option?

The transition team can support independent/community living in the following ways:

  • Help the student learn about the variety of living options (alone, with family, with friends, with a partner), the types of settings in which they might consider, and the process by which they can make the ideal living situation a reality.
  • Help the student explore the available transportation options and learn to travel independently around the community to be successful with work, education, and recreational activities.
  • Help the student learn how to responsibly manage aspects of their lives including finances and purchases, schedules, health, and safety.
  • Help the student become an active member of the community by voting in elections and engaging in community events and activities.
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Independent/Community Living: A Pathway to Success

Transition teams can support students in preparing for successful independent/community living by following a clear pathway to success.

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Managing a Home

Prepare students to care for the place in which they live.

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Managing Travel

Prepare students to use transportation safely and effectively around the community.

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Managing Health

Prepare students to care for their own physical and mental health needs including diet, exercise, sleep habits, medications, and doctor appointments.

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Managing Finances

Prepare students to manage money including banking, budgeting, saving, maintaining a solid credit score, and assessing loans that match needs.

Career Interested

Resources

This checklist from the Transition Coalition is designed to help the Transition Team decide if a student is in need of a postsecondary goal in the area of independent living.

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Want to Learn PA Secondary

Want to learn more?

Check out this fact sheet to determine how to help students build independence while still in school.

There are many aspects of independence that must be considered including where the student wants to live, participate, and access community resources, as well as the level of support that may be needed to be successful.

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