Did you know that your son/daughter becomes a legal adult according to the law when he/she turns 18 years old?
- This means their special education rights and decisions become theirs.
- If you feel your son/daughter is not ready to make educational, medical, or financial decisions without assistance you may want to consider applying for voluntary conservatorship or guardianship.
- Please see the manuals below for assistance or call your local probate court for assistance.
According to the State Department of Developmental Services( http://www.ct.gov/dds/cwp/view.asp?Q=449846):
"When persons in the State of Connecticut turns 18 years of age, they are considered to be an adult. That means they can make decisions about their lives such as where they live; medical treatment; educational or vocational opportunities; how they spend their money and who has access to their records.
In Connecticut legal guardianship has to be obtained through Probate Court before a parent, family member or others can make decisions for a person with an intellectual disability. Not every person with an intellectual disability needs a legal guardian. There are different types of guardianship, including plenary (full), limited, and standby of person and/or estate.
The legal guardian's role is to help a person make the best decision for himself/herself, not to dictate how he or she should live their life.
The application process can be started before the person turns 18, though the person must be 18 years of age at the time of the hearing to decide the matter of guardianship."
Students with an IEP and/or a 504 plan can get services in post-secondary school environments.
Please see brochures/materials provided by the US Department of Education provided below. Or review their website at http://edpubs.gov.
Building Bridges (See attached)
Bureau of Rehabilitation (BRS) is open to all graduating students who may need post-secondary assistance in finding and maintaining employment. (See attached)
- Our school would be happy to make a referral for any qualifying graduate or post-graduate still attending RHAM to Elizabeth Torres
- Students who have graduated and taken their diploma can call BRS and inquire to receive a referral packet
- This state funded division found under the Department of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) http://www.ct.gov/brs/cwp/view.asp?a=3890&q=459988 offers students who have graduated several opportunities that can include some of the resources below.
BRS is also referred to as DORS or Department of Rehabilitation Services
- DORS Level Up is all about providing students with the tools, training and resources to work competitively and forge a path to independence. Working together we are building relationships with schools, families and the community and have created a collaborative partnership that introduces students who have an IEP, 504 plan or related challenges to new possibilities. Our goal is to help students be prepared to go out and find their place in the world.
- Our services for DORS Level Up are designed for students ages 16 to 21. Our vocational services may be made available in the school setting, outside of school hours and in the summer months.
- To request more information on DORS Level Up call 1-866-844-1903.
- Contact is Allison Kopie email: Allison.Kopie@ct.gov Phone: 860/462-2126
School to Work with BRS
- BRS typically works with young adults who have disabilities in their last two years of high school.
- Occasionally, BRS will work with young adults who have multiple barriers to employment as early as age 14. Contact Ms. Jakubiec or our BRS liason to talk about when it might be best for you to apply.
- Please see brochures below
- Watch the video at http://www.ct.gov/brs/cwp/view.asp?a=4325&q=532694
The Vocational Rehabilitation Program
The goal of the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Program is to assist individuals with significant physical and mental disabilities to prepare for, obtain and maintain employment. Through the provision of individualized services, persons with disabilities who are eligible for vocational rehabilitation are supported in planning for and achieving their job goals.
To be eligible for the VR program, an individual must have a significant physical or mental condition which poses a substantial barrier to employment, and must require VR services in order to prepare for, find and succeed in employment.
The vocational rehabilitation program serves persons with all disabilities except legal blindness. Individuals with legal blindness are served by the Board of Education and Services for the Blind; their website is located at http://www.ct.gov/besb.
The vocational rehabilitation program is supported by a combination of state and federal funds. To learn more about the vocational rehabilitation program, go to www.ed.gov/offices/OSERS/RSA/.
The Independent Living Program
The Bureau’s Independent Living (IL) program provides comprehensive independent living services, through contracts with Connecticut’s five community-based independent living centers (ILCs). FAQ's can be found at http://www.ct.gov/brs/cwp/view.asp?a=3890&q=461420
Please contact your school counselor for more information on this federally funded program that can provide you your high school diploma, employment skills and employment for those up to age 24 years of age.
Transition Bill of Rights (see attached)
PACER's National Parent Center on Transition and Employment site (supported by CPAC)
- PACER's National Parent Center on Transition and Employment (NPCTE) Online Learning Center has compiled web-based, written, and video resources for families on topics that span the whole employment process
How do I apply for Department of Developmental Services (DDS) Supports and Services?
Please call the Toll Free number: 1-866-433-8192. For out of state, phone 860-418-6117.
You can also email to request that an application be sent to you by regular mail. Email address: DDS.Eligibility@ct.gov
To send an application directly to you, we need a mailing address, and phone number, the name of the applicant, and date of birth.
People can apply at any age, as long as there is evidence that the condition existed prior to age 18.
- The applicant will be asked to send a copy of his or her birth certificate and medical insurance card.
- All information that applicants submit is kept strictly confidential. They will be asked to submit school, medical, psychological and psychiatric records. If there are Social Security Disability records, please include those as well.
- The applicant or his representative will be asked to complete the release forms included in the application. He or she sends them to the school, doctor, etc. The signed release forms give permission to make copies of records and asks the school or professional to send the records directly to the Eligibility Unit.
- To be found eligible for services, the person must reside in Connecticut. The person's IQ score must be 69 or less. At the same time, the person must have deficits in adaptive functioning. People with a diagnosis of Prader-Willi syndrome are also eligible. Adaptive functioning includes communication, social activities, relationships, and daily living skills such as handling money, cooking, dressing, and grooming.
There are no deadlines for submitting information, but the sooner the file is complete, the sooner a determination is made.
In addition, individuals and families interested in applying for services for children from birth to age 3 should call the Birth to Three Info-line toll free number – 1-800-505-7000.