Now that we’ve rung in the New Year, many of us will be making resolutions and setting plans for the year ahead. This is an important first step toward success – after all, you can’t achieve a goal if you never set it in the first place.
The department’s Office of Disability Employment Policy and its partners – including the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth, Boston University’s School of Education and Social Dynamics – recently completed a five-year study on the use of Individualized Learning Plans, a planning tool used by 38 states to personalize learning, engage students and prepare them for life beyond high school. Through student-directed college and career exploration activities, students can take charge of their futures. Because they generally start while a student is in middle school and are updated frequently, ILPs also allow students with disabilities and their families to engage in comparatively early and in-depth transition planning.
To assist high school students in making the most of their ILPs, ODEP recently released an ILP toolkit and checklist. With practical guidance and real-life examples, this guide can help young people think − and learn − more about who they are and what they want to be. It also can help them begin to see planning as a life-long strategy to achieving success.
After all, as the great Yogi Berra once said, “You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going because you might not get there.”
If you are a young person trying to plot your future, or know and care about someone else who is, check out our website to learn more.
Rhonda Basha is a supervisory policy advisor on ODEP’s Youth Team.