Discovering What's Next?

Answering the Big Question: What's Next?

There's a lot to learn when you leave high school. Funny isn't it? Many of us think we're finished with learning when we say goodbye to our high school teachers and friends. Actually, though, when we leave school, we start a new type of learning. 

It's different for everyone. Some people will be learning about jobs, transportation, and how to handle their money. Some will be learning to live with new roommates in an apartment or finding supports to help them contribute to their communities. Others might be attending job training programs or taking courses at the local community college or university.  

You and your family may have questions about benefits, state IDs or learners permits and drivers training, guardianship or supported decision-making, and health care coverage. See? There really is a lot to learn! 

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What's Next? is a free monthly newsletter with tips and resources about many of those issues. Issues are short and to the point. We just want to give you a few ideas and point you in the right direction. 

Subscribe to What's Next? newsletter by taking this brief survey. You can either click on the link or use the QR code.  And scroll down to take a look at some recent issues. 

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Read Past Issues

Got mixed emotions? We can relate. In those first years after you leave school it's normal to feel excited, anxious, confused, hopeful, and frustrated--maybe all on the same day. We're here to help...

Read Issue No. 1

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Sometimes your boss (or a potential employer) may need a little help. It could be that they'd like to hire you or promote you to a job with more responsibilities, but they're concerned that it may be too challenging for you. Maybe. But maybe all you need is a workplace accommodation. What's an accommodation and how could it help you?...

Read Issue No. 2

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Indiana is now one of five states offering Family Employment Awareness Training (FEAT). You're probably already aware that transition to adult life and support services can be complicated. FEAT gives transition-age students, young adults with disabilities, families, and caregivers the chance to see beyond complications to real possibilities...

Note: Although the FEAT training described in this issue is now finished, IN*SOURCE and the Center on Community Living and Careers continue to offer FEAT periodically, throughout the year. Ask IN*SOURCE when the next training will be or check the CCLC FEAT webpage

Read Issue No. 3

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In the world of transition, information can help you navigate this new road you're on and open up a world of possibilities. But how do you find the right information and how can you be sure that it's coming from a source you can trust?

Read Issue No. 4

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You may have already decided that you want to attend college or earn an academic degree. If this is your final year in school, that probably means you're graduating from an Indiana high school with either a Core 40 or a General Diploma. But if you'll be leaving school in a few years with a Certificate of Completion, does that mean you can't experience college? Not necessarily...

Read Issue No. 5

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This month is all about funding your college or career education. You and your family already know how expensive college can be. The good news: You may be eligible for some financial help. One of the most important things you can do is fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA...

Read Issue No. 6

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It's all connected--sort of. In Indiana, when a student who had been receiving Medicaid turns 18, they must first apply for Social Security benefits as an adult. It's important to know that Medicaid is considered a state benefit (funded by both Indiana and the federal government)...However, Indiana is one of many states that rely on Social Security to determine eligibility for Medicaid based on eligibility for Social Security. That's why...

Read Issue No. 7

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In Indiana, when a student turns 18, they must reapply for benefits they may have been receiving while they were in school. Admittedly, this process will probably be one of the most challenging things on your transition to-do list. For most young adults, it will mean submitting at least three different applications. Knowing that up front, though, is half the battle. Don’t worry. In this issue...

Read Issue No. 8

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Highlights and recordings from the Indiana Department of Education's fall 2020 virtual transition fair. 

Read Issue No. 9

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People with disabilities have a new way to save money. That’s a big deal because traditionally, saving isn’t easy to do when you need to keep benefits like health care and other services and supports. Medicaid, Medicaid waiver supports, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) from Social Security are all intended for people who have limited incomes. If you earn or save more money than Social Security or Medicaid says you should have, you could lose your benefits....

Read Issue No. 10

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To make the transition to adult employment easier, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) made changes to federal vocational rehabilitation law and added pre-employment transition services, simply referred to as Pre-ETS, for students who have a documented disability.

Read Issue No. 11

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In the June 2021 issue of What's Next, you learned about Pre-employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS), and, as promised, with this issue (July-August) we want to follow up with what might be the next step in your employment journey. To begin, ask yourself these questions...

Read Issue No. 12

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Indiana's WorkOne offices provide services to people who are unemployed and to those who are looking for a job. But did you know that WorkOne also has a number of programs and services that help prepare people for jobs or careers?

Read Issue No. 13

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Seeing  life’s possibilities is often one of the biggest challenges we have during the transition to living an adult life. It’s hard to imagine what’s past the horizon when you haven’t been there yet. For that reason, let’s talk to a couple of people in the know. Meet Adria and Michael.

Read Issue No. 14

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Person-centered planning can be a wonderful way to figure out your own “what’s next.” It’s a process that artfully blends team building, goal determination, and self-discovery.

Read Issue No. 15

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In October’s issue of What’s Next?, we asked you to send questions about independent living to our colleagues Michael Ely and Adria Nassim.

Thanks to our readers for reaching out! As promised, here are Adria’s and Michael’s responses.

Read Issue No. 16

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To succeed in high school, college, or work, you’ll need executive function supports. In this issue of What’s Next?, we’ll talk a little about how to find the right supports for you and give you some suggestions and resources on how to enhance your executive functioning.

Read Issue No. 17

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One of the biggest reasons individuals with disabilities do not seek employment is because they worry they will lose needed benefits. But this fear is often based on misinformation.

Let’s explore some common myths about working and benefits.

Read Issue No. 18

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Finding the right job can be challenging, but young adults, families, and other supporters don’t have to figure it out by themselves!

There are options.

Read Issue No. 19

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While Pre-Employment Transition Services provide a needed start to transition to adulthood, students with disabilities should also apply for Vocational Rehabilitation services because it provides many services for students after high school.

Read Issue No. 20

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Although youth with disabilities often overlook summer work experiences in competitive integrated settings, they can get positive work experiences from short term summer-related goals and activities.

Read Issue No. 21

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For high school students considering self-employment, there's a lot to understand: the process, necessary forms, marketing strategies, and much, much more.

Don't be daunted, though: Success is attainable, and according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, your future looks bright!


Read Issue No. 22

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Throughout school, you’ve had an Individualized Education Program and teachers who know you have a disability and what accommodations you need. As you move from high school to what’s next, you are the one who will need to speak up for your rights.

As an adult, it’s up to you to advocate for what you need.

Read Issue No. 23

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Job fairs are an excellent way to explore career opportunities, meet prospective employers, and practice communication and networking skills. Check out these 10 tips for making the most of a job fair.

Read Issue No. 24

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Centers for Independent Living are a great resource if you need help living more independently but don’t know where to start. Here's how these centers got off the ground.

Read Issue No. 25

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Thinking about what your life will be like after high school is both exciting and daunting. If crafted well, your Transition IEP will help you to succeed —Are you ready?

Read Issue No. 26

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As individuals transition from the security and familiarity of the school system into adulthood and increased independence, the need for mental health services becomes even more vital.

Special guest post from the Assistant Director of the Indiana School Mental Health Initiative, Kristy Eaton.


Read Issue No. 27

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When you turn 18, you have access to the rights and responsibilities of an adult. Don’t let this important change come as a surprise to you or your parents. Are you ready?


Read Issue No. 28

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Phone calls remain a part of life. No matter your situation, prepping and practicing before a phone call will help ease your mind.


Read Issue No. 29

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Self-determination is all about directing your own life. It's also a lot like learning a foreign language: Practice it and use it … or lose it.


Read Issue No. 30

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Some key questions to ask when exploring possible postsecondary college education programs for adults with higher support needs.

Read Issue No. 31

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Reviewing common words and phrases used often in an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) will prepare you to lead your case conference and ensure you appropriately plan for the transition.

Read Issue No. 32

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Have you enrolled in postsecondary education at a college, university, or vocational school? Can you get accommodations at your new place of higher education? How do you go about doing so?

Read Issue No. 33

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Career suitability with ADHD depends on your unique mix of personality, strengths, weaknesses, and interests. Here are some tips to help you experience workplace success. 

Read Issue No. 34

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While none of us has a crystal ball that can tell what the future holds, taking an active role in planning for the future certainly makes good outcomes more likely. Here are some tips on how you can start planning now.

Read Issue No. 35

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As you transition from high school and begin exploring resources and agencies, acronyms become so common. To help you navigate these new currents, we have defined a few examples you will encounter.

Read Issue No. 36

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Many young adults with disabilities and their families fear losing needed benefits due to financial growth. But what if there were safe pathways to build for the future, without the ever-present dread of benefit loss? 

Read Issue No. 37

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Independent living encompasses the skills needed for an adult to thrive. Assessing your competencies is the first step.

Read Issue No. 38

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Here are some tips for how to help those with disabilities to live a more independent lifestyle.

Read Issue No. 39

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To prepare for a solid job search, it's crucial to gather the right materials and ensure you’re prepared for each aspect of the process, from search to acceptance. Here’s a list of documents that will boost your chances of landing your dream job.

Read Issue No. 40

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The employment landscape for individuals with disabilities is undergoing a dramatic change in Indiana and across the U.S. Explore the following resources for more insight on how disability employment has evolved as of late.

Read Issue No. 41

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When you turn 18, you become responsible for making the big decisions in life—your health care, how you spend your money, where you live. Some teens look forward to taking that step into adulthood. For others, it can be a little overwhelming. Here are a few suggestions to ease the nerves.

Read Issue No. 42

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Resilient adults face problems, handle them, and recover. All adults need to become successfully resilient, and like all skills, it’s something you can practice and learn. Here are a few suggestions on how to be resilient.

Read Issue No. 43

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Earning and saving money can give you more choices in life. However, it can be difficult if you're trying to maintain access to benefits like Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). An ABLE account can help you save money while you maintain your benefits. Here are some updates and tips regarding ABLE accounts.

Read Issue No. 44

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If you are significantly affected by a disability, you have the right to work in inclusive settings and earn at least the minimum wage like everyone else. Agencies and professionals are available to help with a variety of services on your journey to employment. Here are a few suggestions on how to navigate any challenges you may encounter when obtaining those supports and services.

Read Issue No. 45

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