Transition to Adulthood Program
TAP assists youth between the ages of 14-22 who are still in high school to set goals and connect to supports and services that will assist them in life after high school. Through the five core services (Information and Referral, Skills Training, Advocacy, Peer Mentoring, and Transitional Services), TAP aims to empower youth to make decisions about their lives, no matter what their disability is, so that they can make a smooth transition into adulthood.
During these key transition years, TAP staff assist youth with disabilities in planning for life after high school by assisting them to find housing, apply for college, request accommodations, search for jobs, solve transportation issues, and obtain appropriate equipment. BCIL provides guidance with the Individual Education Plan (IEP) and Individual Transition Plan (ITP) processes. As our services are consumer controlled, it is up to the youth to set their goal and work with staff on how that goal will be accomplished.
Some examples of goals within the five core services are:
Skills training assists young people in learning how to
- budget money and balance a checkbook
- apply for college
- request accommodations
- obtain a driver’s permit
Peer mentoring helps young people sort through questions such as
- Do I disclose my disability when I first apply for a job?
- How do I deal with Internet dating?
- What are appropriate boundaries to establish between myself and my PCA?
Advocacy assists youth to
- Become a self-advocate
- Receive needed supports and services
- Become involved in systemic advocacy
Information and referral connects youth to
- Adult service agencies
- Transportation options
- Mobility training agencies
- In-home services
Several examples of ways BCIL Transitional services assist youth include
- A young adult secured employment but needed assistance with how to handle situations in the workplace. Working with a BCIL skills trainer the young adult learned how to advocate for them self, and subsequently has maintained long term employment.
- A student, prior to high school graduation, worked with a BCIL advocate and skills trainer to successfully enter and complete a work training program. Upon completion of the work training program, the student was able to secure a part time job.
- Working with the BCIL Transition Internship Program, a student was able to secure an internship with a Greater Boston area company. After successfully completing the internship the student was hired by the organization as a permanent employee. A BCIL Youth Transition Advocate has continued to work with the student to secure opportunities for career growth.
- BCIL has worked with a young person for several years, helping them connect to volunteer and internship opportunities, become a self-advocate, register for and complete the SATs, graduate high school, and apply for college. The youth is now attending community college and working part-time.
BCIL also will work with family members to understand benefits and services, post-high school education and employment options, and laws that protect their rights; and with school systems and other providers to address issues that youth with disabilities face in the home, school, and community. To connect with TAP services, BCIL staff will conduct informational sessions, special trainings, and/or regular group or individual skills training sessions at schools or other community organizations. BCIL regularly attends transition fairs and parent nights within our service area. To organize a session at your school, or a trip to BCIL for your students, please contact BCIL’s Director of Services, Sally English, at 617-338-6665 ext. 215.