Transition from school to employment services can be scary and very exciting. Your final years in high school it are an important time to start planning and thinking about future possibilities for employment, post-school education, and connections with Spokane County employment agencies.
The Bridge Project
The Bridge Project is a program that helps "bridge the funding gap" for people with developmental disabilities who need employment services but do not have a Medicaid waiver to pay for those services. The Bridge Project can pay for services to help you prepare for and get employment such as: job preparation, job exploration, job development, and job coaching.
Below is a link to a brochure that more fully explains The Bridge Project and who qualifies. Also linked is The Bridge Project application and the consent form, which must be completed together and returned to the address at the bottom of the application.
School 2 Work
Students who have jobs when they graduate are more prepared for adult life than those who don't. School 2 Work is a collaboration between the Developmental Disabilities Division of Spokane County, your school, and the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) to help students with developmental disabilities, in their last year of school, find jobs before they graduate.
Below is a link to a brochure that more fully explains the School 2 Work. Also linked is the School 2 Work application and the consent form, which must be completed together and returned to the address at the bottom of the application.
Did You Know?
Transition should be addressed in your Individual Education Plan (IEP) by your 16th birthday or earlier, if appropriate.
It is important to check the eligibility status of your Social Security Income (SSI) the month of your 18th birthday. You will need to check your SSI eligibility status regardless of being previously denied or receiving benefits prior to age 18.
The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) offers short-term employment supports before the age of 21. Short-term services are also available after age 21.
Long-term employment supports may be available through DSHS, Region 1, Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA)/Spokane County Community Services, Housing, and Community Development Department when you are age 21 and exited from school. Spokane County can assist you in navigating a complex system. Some of the ways in which we can assist you for a smooth transition are:
- Attending your Individual Education Plan (IEP)
- Discussing your future goals
- Explaining what each agency can offer you in the areas of Employment and Community Access
- Discussing other resources, e.g., Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR)
Spokane County offers Resource Fairs to give students the opportunity to meet each qualified agency that provides employment services. On page 8 of the Participant Guide are questions you may want to ask an agency while deciding who you will hire for employment supports.
If you are between the ages of 16-21 and want to learn more about transitioning from high school to employment, please contact Linda Devlin at 509-477-4377.
Community Employment Specialist
Developmental Disabilities Division
Spokane County Community Services, Housing, and Community Development Department