I’m really proud of you. Here you are reading about your upcoming transition from high school, which means you’re taking initiative in preparing for your future. You’re on the right track; taking initiative is, in my opinion, the biggest predictor of workplace success.
So here’s what you can do to prepare yourself for a smooth, exciting transition into adulthood:
- Continue on your journey of self-awareness. Figure out your interests, values, goals, abilities, and how you come across to others. Learn more by reading Self-Awareness and This One Goes Out to the Ones I love; This One Goes Out to the Ones [Feeling] Left Behind: A letter to Middle and High School Teens who are Blind or Visually Impaired.
- Increase your responsibilities. Take ownership of your grades, self-care, study skills, some cook and cleaning, occasional independent travel, etc. Additionally, while you still have the support of a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI), learn how to advocate for your accommodations and order accessible textbooks.
- Request that formal transition services begin as early as possible. Prepare early.
- Know the purpose of transition goals. You’ll establish personal goals and be motivated to pursue them.
- Ask the IEP team to administer a vocational assessment early in your high school years so that you can identify career-related aptitudes, strengths, and weaknesses.
- If possible, take classes or high school tracks that prepare for specific career options.
- Explore various careers and work settings. Find out what types of jobs are available and pursue job-shadowing, volunteering, and part-time jobs.
- Learn from a mentor who is blind or visually impaired and working in a career field of interest.
- Strengthen your Orientation and Mobility skills. Remember, Orientation and Mobility skills are predictors of employment success for young adults with visual impairments.
- Participate in community activities, sports, or interest groups. You’ll get practice meeting and interacting with people in a group setting.
Don’t hesitate to ask questions or share your concerns in the comments section or on the CareerConnect message boards.