Ready to Graduate Checklist


Do you know a high schooler who is unsure of their next steps? Many high school graduates are not ready to make decisions on life goals or don’t quite have the skills needed to feel capable and confident to make them happen. Nearly two-thirds of the 22 million working-age Americans with disabilities have been left out of the labor market, according to the National Council on Disability’s 2020 Progress Report on National Disability Policy: Increasing Disability Employment.
Consider asking your high schooler the following questions

to help facilitate discussions about how to reach these goals.

  • Share your dreams and goals for life after high school.
  • Do you have a typical daily schedule and supports provided so that you can be successful?
  • Are your education and activities aligned with your goals for the future?
  • Are you supported by friends and meaningful relationships in and out of school?
  • Do you have the supports necessary to succeed at a job?
  • Are you participating in community activities?
  • Are you planning to graduate high school after your senior year and continue to receive supports in your community through the school and adult systems until age 21? If so, do you have a plan for what services you will receive and from where, such as vocational habilitation?
  • Are you feeling supported enough to plan for work and recreation choices after completion of your senior year in high school?

Providing your high school student with community volunteer experiences, self-advocacy instruction, and recreational and social activities helps them have a place of connection that allows them to achieve their potential. If your loved one has not yet graduated, meet with programs like SAW, Inc.’s Next Steps, school team members and family to discuss post-graduation goals based on their interests, goals and the support needed. If your loved one has already graduated, programs like SAW Inc. can meet with you and your team members to discuss desires and develop strategies to help them reach their goals.

SAW, Inc.’s Next Steps is a results-oriented program for youth with developmental disabilities who are transitioning from school to adulthood. It’s a safe model that develops the skills and confidence needed to meet adult goals while participating with other young adults crafting their own futures. Learn more by contacting Laura Cooper, COO at or 216-861-0250,