Parents of school-age children with intellectual disabilities have a new guide to help them plan for their child’s life after high school. Adulthood for people with intellectual disability can be challenging since only 34 percent of working-age adults with intellectual disabilities are employed, according to a University of Massachusetts-Boston study commissioned by Special Olympics. By contrast, 83% of adults without disabilities who are in the labor force are employed, the study found.
"The Journey to Life After High School: A Road Map for Parents of Children with Special Needs” is the name of the new guide, which is being distributed for free by AbilityPath.org, an online forum of Community Gatepath, which provides services to people with disabilities in Northern California.
"We are all looking for resources for our athletes and our families,” said Special Olympics CEO Janet Froetscher, who applauded the release of the new guide. Froetscher was among a panel of experts discussing the new guide on a teleconference 12 August.
Special Olympics commissioned the study with the University of Massachusetts
as part of its ongoing work with and on behalf of people with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics recently kicked off a campaign to introduce high school and college students to Unified Sports, an initiative that combines people with and without ID on the same teams to foster friendship, fitness and understanding.
The new guide is intended to inform and encourage families about the components of the transition to adulthood; explain the choices and changes that make up the transition process; and to connect families with resources available for helping them with the transition.