During your time in High School: The transition specialist will be assisting students with an IEP to become part of our vocational work program by getting you started as a Department of Rehabilitation client in their STEP program. Enrolling in this program will allow you to gain help from a job coach or your school's vocational coordinator in learning through on the job training and ultimately landing a job in the community.
Before you take your diploma: The transition specialist will be assisting you, along with your case manager and vocational coordinator, to 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. Their role will be helping to partner you with the Department of Rehabilitation services, which then takes over when you have chose to take a diploma and graduate. If you participate in the STEP program you will automatically be enrolled in the next step, if you choose to take advantage of it.
Department of Rehabilitation Programs
In District 230, we offer a occupational information class (job skills focused) and a vocational work program working within the school and out in the community (we hope to resume when safe to do so). If a student is enrolled in our voc work program or wants/has a competitively paid job in the community we would like them to be referred to the Department of Rehabilitation Services to enroll them in the Secondary Transitional Services Program (STEP). This allows us to partner with them to offer additional services.
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 case manager/vocational coordinator at the building level. In order to be referred a parent signature, student signature, and social security number must be obtained to start the procoess. Once referral is started, you will be contacted to participate in an intake meeting to get to know the student and their individual needs to begin developing your STEP plan.
Once enrolled in the STEP program, what can you expect?
This will depend on your personal plan and goals. You may be enrolled in the schools occ ed job skills class, be in our voc work program or seeking employment/competitively employed. Each outcome will have a different plan so this will be discussed with you at your intake meeting!
Before taking your diploma, if you have an IEP you will have the opportunity to be referred to the Department of Rehabilitation Services Adult Services. This will be the office that takes over to help provide one of the following services based on your goals:
- Set education and career goals
- Finding 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 you are currently in the STEP program, your file will automatically be moved to the adult services side of DRS upon accepting your diploma (if chosen to).
If you are not in the STEP program, at the beginning of your senior year your vocational coordinator/case manager will be reaching out to you to see if you would like to be referred. In order to be referred a parent signature, student signature, and social security number must be obtained 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
(708) 745 - 5246
Instructional Services Assistant
(708) 745 - 5233
Andrew Vocational Corordinator
Sandburg Vocational Coordinator
Stagg Vocation Coordinators
Please join us virtually for our "Planning is Essential" virtual series this year. Signs up for our NovemberSession - National Louis University P.A.C.E. Program on November 17 from 6:00 - 8:00 pm.
- Overview on PUNS, SSI, Guardianship, ABLE Account, and more