Education after High School

Postsecondary education is any education after graduation from high school!

What an exciting opportunity for all youth, including those with disabilities!

Going to college today can mean attending a 4-year college or university, a 2-year community college, or a technical institute or trade school. It can mean studying full-time or part-time, or living at school or commuting from home. Learning and earning go hand-in-hand. The more years of schooling your youth completes, the higher his or her income is likely to be. The wide variety of postsecondary educational programs currently available for youth makes exploring options with your son or daughter an exciting process for all youth, including those with disabilities! 

Although postsecondary students with disabilities are entitled to certain protections, the process for accessing accommodations is much different than in high school. Youth must take a more active role in knowing their rights and advocating for needed supports. This means they must know about their disability and the accommodations they need to be successful. Families play an important role in helping their young adults learn self-advocacy skills, as well as their rights as a person with a disability.

Source:  National Parent Center on Transition and Employment.

Note: You will need Acrobat Reader available on your computer in order to view the PDF documents.

How can the OPC help YOU!

Youth and their families may have a lot of questions about the differences between high school and education beyond.  If you have questions, please give us a call at 877-553-4332.

An Advocate is here to equip you with the tools you need to understand the system, work with service providers and schools, and advocate for yourself or your student.  Our staff is mostly parents or family members of people with disabilities and self-advocates, so we know the journey.  Our specialists have the background and information to assist in sorting through the issues and putting them in perspective.

Our goal is to give you the knowledge, skills, support, and tools you need to be the best advocate you can be! 

We can assist you in a number of ways:

  1. When you call us an advocate will walk you through your specific needs, help you develop a plan of action, and provide you with the knowledge, skills, and support you need to act.
  2. The OPC offers learning opportunities through face-to-face and web-based trainings on the rights, responsibilities, and protections under IDEA and related laws.
  3. The OPC has a website, social media pages, and print materials available to keep you informed, educated, engaged, and amused.

Preparing for Postsecondary Education: What Families Need to Know

Accessing accommodations in college is much different than in high school. Learn more about the process and how to plan ahead by watching this three-minute video from PACER Transition Specialist Erika Theiler.

Self-directed Self-Advocacy Employment Programs

Partners in Employment

Getting a job requires hard work, persistence and careful planning. This self-study course is designed to help people with developmental disabilities, their family members and supporters:

  • Understand how people with developmental disabilities have worked throughout history.
  • Learn about the employment system, common employment options and employment strategies.
  • Understand some of the common barriers to employment that people with developmental disabilities face.
  • Learn from the experiences of others.
  • Find resources to help find jobs in the community.


This is the registration page for Partners Online Courses. Your registration information will only be used to access and track progress for the courses on this site. Please view our privacy policy for more information.

After registration, please check your email – your assigned password will be sent to that address, and you will need your user name and password to register.  After logging in, you may change your password to one you select on the profile page.

Source:  Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities.

Soft Skills to Pay the Bills:
Mastering Soft Skills for Workplace Success

Cover of the Soft Skills Publication: Soft Skills - to Pay the Bills.  Mastering Soft Skills for Workplace Success

“Skills to Pay the Bills: Mastering Soft Skills for Workplace Success,” is a curriculum developed by ODEP focused on teaching “soft” or workforce readiness skills to youth, including youth with disabilities. Created for youth development professionals as an introduction to workplace interpersonal and professional skills, the curriculum is targeted for youth ages 14 to 21 in both in-school and out-of-school environments. The basic structure of the program is comprised of modular, hands-on, engaging activities that focus on six key skill areas: communication, enthusiasm and attitude, teamwork, networking, problem solving and critical thinking, and professionalism.

Introduction Materials

Soft Skill #1: Communication

The activities in this section will not only help participants practice and recognize how they provide information to others, but also help them consider how others may prefer to receive information. It is important to reinforce with participants that communication skills involve give and take — and they can, indeed, be learned and strengthened over time.

Soft Skill #2: Enthusiasm & Attitude

The activities in this section seek to teach participants about the importance of enthusiasm and a positive attitude in the workplace. Participants will hear strategies for turning negative thinking into positive thinking and displaying and discussing enthusiasm during an interview and on the job.

Soft Skill #3: Teamwork

The activities in this section seek to teach participants about the importance of teamwork to workplace success and the specific role each individual on a team may play. Participants will learn about positive teamwork behavior and discover how their own conduct can impact others on a team.

Soft Skill #4: Networking

The activities in this section focus on the process of networking and its relevance and importance to career development. Participants will learn about taking initiative and overcoming fear, informational interviewing, as well as potential guidelines to consider when using social networks, texting, and email for networking purposes.

Soft Skill #5: Problem Solving & Critical Thinking

The activities in this section focus on learning how to solve problems in a variety of ways in the workplace. Participants will hear about how to properly tell the difference among criticism, praise, and feedback and reacting appropriately. The section will also review strategies for making ethical decisions, solving problems on a team with others, and learning how to take into account others’ perceptions when assessing actions or statements in the workplace.

Soft Skill #6: Professionalism

The activities in this section focus on each of the five individual soft skills presented in this publication (communication, enthusiasm/attitude, teamwork, networking, and problem solving/critical thinking), but in a broader framework. This is because professionalism, is not one skill but the blending and integration of a variety of skills.

Additional Materials

Source:  U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy.

Free e-learning opportunities by the National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes (NDC)

The National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes (NDC) offers a variety of free e-learning opportunities to support the postsecondary success of deaf students. Earn CEUs by completing one of our short courses or dig deeper and enroll in one of our course series. Individuals who take classes with NDC – explore will be able to view real stories shared by deaf people across the country, discuss concerns and challenges with others, and learn from national experts.

Courses are available at no cost to participants and enrollment is ongoing, and open to anyone. CEUs are available.

More information on all of our current courses is available on our Canvas Catalog.

Source: National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes (NDC)

Making My Way Through College

This guide is for any student pursuing a degree or other type of credential (e.g., certification, license) at a two-year or four-year community college, college, or university. It provides information on a variety of topics relevant to navigating the college experience for students with disabilities or those who think they may have a disability.


For Students

Colleges, Scholarships, Financial Aid, and Grants

For Parents and Teachers

Assistive Technology

What is Assistive Technology? Assistive Technology (AT) is any item, device, or piece of equipment used to maintain or improve the functionality of people with

Oklahoma Partners

The Oklahoma Parents Center (OPC) recognizes the multiple partners in many of the communities across the state. These partners are able to help Oklahomans with

Tools and Resources

  The Independent Futures that Work! project is a joint effort of the Parent Training and Information Centers (PTIs) in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma,