After High School


Leaving high school and entering the adult world is an exciting time for everyone! Planning for life after high school should begin early, preferably in middle school. Young people need to decide what they want to do as an adult, including what kind of job they want to have, and learn what training or education they will need to do that job. This planning process, which is called secondary transition, is described in the Graduation Requirements and Preparing for Adult Life sections of this website.

One very important difference between high school and adult life is that your student's IEP no longer applies. Colleges and employers are not required to offer the same level of assistance that is required of schools under IDEA. IDEA protection ends at age 22 or when a student receives a standard diploma, whichever comes first. Adults with disabilities are protected under the following federal legislation.

  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
    • Section 504 guarantees that a person with a disability will not be discriminated against in any program, educational service, or activity receiving federal funds. The institution must provide supplementary aids and services needed by the person with a disability.
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
    • The ADA supports individuals with disabilities so that they are able to participate fully in all aspects of society. This act prohibits discrimination in employment and requires reasonable accommodations in hiring practices, access to training and programs, and promotion policies that apply to individuals with disabilities. Auxiliary aids and services must be provided when necessary. The ADA also addresses the accessibility of services, commercial buildings and operations, and telecommunications.
Florida has legislation and rules that support both the ADA and 504. As your son or daughter becomes an adult, they must learn to speak up for themselves and become a self advocate, able to describe and advocate for their own needs as much as possible.