Intellectual Disability, what happens after school?

A post secondary school pathway is where a young adult goes to after school and could vary over time during adulthood. While at secondary school teachers will have discussed options for pathways that may have included: further study, work, an apprenticeship, supported employment, an adult day programme  or a mix of options.


Your degree of Intellectual Disability and secondary education results will assist to determine what your options are going to be. Most secondary schools have a careers or transition support teacher who will have worked with you to begin this planning process. This process usually commences early in secondary school and should be well planned for by the time you are ready to leave school.

Many schools offer work experience opportunities while you are at school that provide you with a variety of experiences in an area of interest to see if in fact this is what you want to continue with after secondary school has finished.

Possible pathways could include:

  • Further study – TAFE, Online Courses
  • Work – office, hospitality, retail
  • An apprenticeship – bakery, carpentry, hairdressing, panel beater, horticulture
  • Supported employment – a job where you can have a support person help
  • An adult day program – programs for adults who have a severe Intellectual Disability and other learning disabilities.

To help your planning think about the following:

  • Who can help me investigate options
  • How will I know if this is right for me
  • What do I do if I don’t like the first choice
  • Does this place have people there that I can ask to help me
  • Will I still be living at home
  • How far will I have to travel
  • Can I travel by myself or will I need help initially or for the long term
  • Can I organise or can someone assist me to organise a visit to the venue

More focused planning will take place in the last two years of school. The careers or transition support teacher will meet with you to discuss what you want to do when you leave school and how to set some goals. Together you will look at your skills, your suggestions and what you need to do to plan to move in that direction. We all need to consider the possibility that we don’t get our first choice of what we would like to do, so it is best to discuss a couple of options with your teachers and parents to put several plans into place.

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