During High School: The transition specialist will be assisting students with an IEP to become part of the vocational work program by getting them started as a Department of Rehabilitation client in their STEP program. Enrolling in this program allows students to gain help from a job coach or vocational coordinator with on-the job training and ultimately landing a job in the community.
Before Receiving a Diploma: The transition specialist, along with the case manager, will help you transition from high school to your preferred next step in life. This can include but not limited to college, trade school, military, getting a job or continuing into the transition program. They will also be helping to partner you with the Department of Rehabilitation services, which then supports students once they receive their diploma and graduate.
Department of Rehabilitation Programs
Secondary Transitional Education Program (STEP)
In District 230, an occupational information class (job skill focused) and a vocational work program is offered. If a student is enrolled in the work program or wants/has a competitively paid job in the community, he/she will be referred to the Department of Rehabilitation Services in order to enroll in the Secondary Transitional Services Program (STEP).
Vocational rehabilitation specialists work with students to individualize STEP services to meet their needs. Other services include:
Job Exploration Counseling
Work-Based Learning Experiences
Counseling on Post-Secondary Education
Workplace Readiness Training
Instruction in Self-Advocacy
Click this here for more information on STEP Services.
How to get enrolled in the STEP program?
Speak with the case manager/vocational coordinator at the building level. In order to be referred, a parent's signature, student signature, and social security number must be provided to start the process. Once a referral is started, an intake meeting will be scheduled in order to get to know the student and their individual needs to begin developing the STEP plan.
Once enrolled in the STEP program, what can you expect?
This will depend on your personal plan and goals. Students may be enrolled in the school's occupation skills class, work program or competitively employed. Each outcome will have a different plan discussed at your intake meeting.
Vocational Rehabilitation Services
Before receiving a diploma, students with an IEP will have the opportunity to be referred to the Department of Rehabilitation Services Adult Services (DRS). DRS will help provide one of the following services based on your goals:
Set educational and career goals.
Find a job that matches your abilities, interests and needs.
Advocate for needs in school and the workplace.
Possible financial assistance with furthering your education.
Your DRS counselor will help you create an individual plan which will include determining what you are eligible to receive from the state for assistance to meet your goals.
Two ways to be referred to the DRS Adult Services division with District 230:
If students are currently in the STEP program, their file will automatically be moved to the adult services side of DRS upon accepting a diploma (if chosen to).
If students are not in the STEP program, at the beginning of senior year, the vocational coordinator/case manager will be reaching out to see if you would like to be referred. In order to be referred, a parent's signature, student signature, and social security number must be provided to give permission for the referral. The Department of Rehabilitation Adult Services will then be contacting you to set up a meeting with them prior to graduation.
Local Department of Rehabilitation Office Information:
1010 Dixie Hwy, 4th Floor
Chicago Heights, IL 60411
Phone: (708) 709-3333
TTY: (888) 472-0943
Fax: (708) 709-3328
Mary Evelyn Schaffer
Andrew Vocational Coordinator
Sandburg Vocational Coordinator
Stagg Vocation Coordinator
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