Getting Where You Need to Go!

Getting Where You Need to Go!

Transportation is an important aspect for postsecondary transitions for teens and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  When they have the freedom to get to and from work, school, social activities, and medical appointments, their ability for independence grows as they develop confidence in themselves. Sometimes due to an individual’s disability, they are often limited to having to walk, ride a bike or having someone else transport them to where they need to go, if they do not learn to access transportation. 

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDA)and its regulations include travel training in the definition of special education. Travel training is instruction that enables students with disabilities to develop awareness of the environment in which they live and to learn the skills necessary to move effectively and safely from place to place within that environment. This training is an important component of a student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) since it helps to promote and prepare students to live independently.

The decision of whether to obtain a driver’s license or choosing other transportation options is an important discussion families must have with their child. If it is decided that the child will not obtain a driver’s license and instead use public transportation it is necessary for them to learn how to navigate the public transportation system in their community.

Below you will find a link to learn more about transportation in your community. Let’s Go! A Guide to Getting Around Your Community in Florida-County-by-County Transportation Information and Services for Persons with Developmental Disabilities and Their Families is an informational guide sponsored by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Developmental Disabilities and the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, Inc.

How Young Adults with ASD Can Prepare for Employment

How Young Adults with ASD Can Prepare for Employment

As High School students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), begin their postsecondary journey towards employment, they may begin to feel overwhelmed by the process of pursing their first job. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the families to help their child make a plan throughout high school to prepare for employment beginning in ninth grade as outlined in the Employment Resource Guide: Successfully Preparing Students with Disabilities for Competitive Integrated Employment.

Each year, specific goals are set to encourage the student to be prepared for employment, such as understanding their strengths and areas for improvement and utilizing them to improve their weaknesses, utilizing career exploration activities such as skill inventories, career aptitude, and career investigation, practice self-advocacy skills and deciding what living arrangements they will choose after high school.

It is important for families to discuss how to assist their child and plan for the transition process from high school to living independently and gaining employment. Families can begin to identify what skills need to be developed before they begin looking for employment. Once this is done, parents can utilize various strategies to improve the skills that are needed for employment. These include such things as assigning chores at home, using calendars or planners to practice time management, practice self-advocacy, communication, social skills. and volunteering in the community.

As families begin planning for their child’s transition to adulthood, it is important to remember that plans can change no matter how carefully they have been thought out over the high school years.  It is important to be flexible regarding future plans for your child and continue to help them develop the self-determination and self-advocacy skills that are so important for adult life.

To learn more about the Employment Resource Guide: Successfully Preparing Students with Disabilities for Competitive Integrated Employment created by the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) and the Department of Employment & Economic Development (DEED) click on the link below:

Hurricane Isaias


HDS is closely watching the forecast for Hurricane Isaias. Landfall is anticipated to occur north of our location sometime over the weekend, however we anticipate we will be fully operational throughout the weekend and into next week.

HDS continues to operate under our  Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plan. This is to continue to ensure the safety of our staff and our business operations during the COVID pandemic.

HDS will remain fully operational and you may continue to reach our staff via telephone and email.  Our hosting facilities will continue to be monitored and will operate normally throughout this timeframe.

We will continue to keep you posted via email with any updates and information.

Thank you all for your thoughtfulness as always.

Andrew Moffitt

Post-Secondary Pathways for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

The pathway between high schoolpostsecondary education, and employment can be quite daunting and challenging for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  Fortunately, nowadays, students have options when meeting their graduation requirements during high school or after graduation. Traditionally, students choose to attend a two-year college, a four-year university or go directly into employment. Today, young adults are choosing the Career and Technical Education (CTE) track while in high school, which also allows them to earn a standard high school diploma. 

As students begin to prepare for life after high schoolin the current competitive job market, choosing the CTE path affords students who do not want to attend a two or four-year college or university the option to learn a profession and provides invaluable trainingCTE provides career preparatory programs that allow students to pursue their individualized interests and help them reach their goals. It also prepares them for a highly competitive job market environment external to traditional schooling. 

When students choose CTE, they receive technical skill training, which can help them attain specific employment and credentials, such as a career certificate, applied technology diploma, journeyman’s license, college credit certificates, associate in science (A.S.) and/or associate in applied science (A.A.S.) degree. 

Project10, a program funded by the Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services (BEESS), within the Florida Department of Education (FDOE)provides an informational guide entitled: “Career and Technical Education Experiences in Middle School, High School, and Postsecondary Education.” If you are interested in pursuing a postsecondary technical path, we encourage you to read more about CTE’s benefits at the link below. 

ADA Celebrates 30 Years of Progress in Access and Inclusion

Throughout the year, we have been celebrating 30 years of progress in access and inclusion, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the ADA Anniversary. The ADA was signed into law by President George H. W. Bush on July 26, 1990. Through passing this law, President Bush ensured that individuals in the United States of America will no longer be socially defined or limited in life by a disability. The Anniversary milestone is a celebration that promotes awareness of equality for people with disabilities. 

The ADA is the first comprehensive civil rights law that protects people with disabilities from discrimination based on their disability.  It protects people with disabilities from discrimination in all areas of public life, including the workplace, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the public. The law guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in public accommodations, such as accessible buses for wheelchairs, tactile exhibits at parks and museums, captions, or a sign language interpreter at a theater, concerts, or ball games. Other changes include accommodations in local, state, and federal government services, and telecommunications. These are just some of the life-changing accommodations that were made possible for people with disabilities because of the American Disabilities Act. 

We are grateful to the ADA for making a life-altering change for individuals with disabilities. If you have any questions, please visit the resources below: 

This Tool Kit is a project of the ADA National Network and its ten regional ADA Centers across the United States that provide comprehensive “one-stop” information, guidance, and training on the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). 

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