Able SC Youth Services
The transition to adulthood for youth with disabilities can be complicated. As an organization staffed and board-directed by a majority of people with disabilities ourselves, we understand the needs of youth, their families, and the professionals supporting them in ways that other agencies may not. We provide one-on-one skill-building support in areas like college and career planning, self-advocacy, disability rights, and financial literacy; youth peer mentoring; leadership development; in-class skill building for SC elementary, middle, and high school students; professional trainings; and more!
Below are some descriptions and links to our programs related to supporting youth in reaching their goals for their post-high school lives. If you don’t find what you’re looking for here, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Director of Youth Transition Programs, Paige Maxwell, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Equip – Equip is a peer-to-peer young adult leadership group focused on empowerment, support, and camaraderie for youth ages 13-28 with disabilities. Our young adult leaders guide youth with every type of disability in finding their a-ha moment—when they take charge of their lives, find their unique voice to self-advocate, and engage with their community of peers more fully. Equip meets regularly with monthly hangouts in-person at both offices, online, through an annual week-long summer leadership series, and through one-on-one peer mentoring. Equip is funded by the SC Developmental Disabilities Council and Family Connection of SC. Email email@example.com for more information. Click here to learn more about the Equip Summer Series.
Able SC contracts with Family Connection of SC to offer individual and group skill-building and peer support to youth with disabilities to enhance their self-advocacy, independence, and leadership skills.
SC Youth Leadership Forum (SC YLF) – South Carolina Youth Leadership Forum (SC YLF) is a unique 4 day, 3 night overnight summer experience that empowers and enhances the leadership and self-advocacy skills for young adults with disabilities. Delegates participate in hands-on activities with peers, mentors, lawmakers, and successful role models with disabilities. SC YLF is open to young adults with any type of disability who are rising 11th or 12th graders or recent graduates. Delegates are selected based upon an application and interview. SC YLF is funded through the SC Developmental Disabilities Council. To learn more, check out SCYLF website: www.scylf.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Empowering a Future (EAF) is an annual professional development opportunity for educators and service providers working with youth with disabilities in transition. View the Empowering a Future page for information on the next date.
Mapping Your Future (MYF) is a unique transition conference for students with disabilities, hosted annually in both Greenville and Columbia. Teachers can sign up to bring their students with disabilities for free. Students will participate in peer mentoring on pre-employment transition services such as self-advocacy & IEP advocacy, work readiness, financial literacy, and college and work training options. Mapping Your Future is made possible by the SC Department of Education, Transition Alliance of South Carolina, and SC Vocational Rehabilitation.
The SC Supported Decision Making Project aims to educate parents, professionals, and individuals with disabilities about alternatives to guardianship that promote self-determination and value quality of life. This project is a collaboration between Able SC, The Arc of South Carolina, Family Connection of South Carolina, and Protection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities, Inc. The SC Supported Decision Making Project seeks to increase awareness of Supported Decision Making in South Carolina and promote alternatives to guardianship that allow individuals with disabilities to retain control of their lives. The project’s activities include: creating informational materials, family trainings, professional trainings, family counseling sessions, systemic advocacy, and more. For questions about Supported Decision Making, please email email@example.com.
In-School Support of SC Students and Education Professionals
- CareerBOOST Capable and Ready! is an initiative where Able SC has partnered with SC Vocational Rehabilitation to provide pre-employment transition services (Pre-ETS) to schools across the Able SC serving area. Currently, Capable and Ready! consists of 6 curricula that span 6, 45-minute sessions (or one full, 4-hour day immersion experience), with the intent to build students’ skills in the areas of self-advocacy, work readiness, financial literacy, post-secondary exploration, and self-directed IEPs. These lessons are majority led by young professionals with disabilities or include young adults with disabilities coming into the classroom to co-facilitate. This peer-based model is an added layer of support to students as they navigate high school, transition, and being prepared for continuing education and the workforce!
- Project Inclusion – Able SC has a grant through United Way of the Piedmont to work with students in Cherokee County to assist them with their transition into adulthood. We provide activities for students within the school, but can also work one-on-one with young adults to teach them how to plan for their future and accomplish their goals.
- SC Department of Education School Visits – Thanks to the support of the SC Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Services, Able SC has another avenue for supporting local youth with disabilities and teachers in the classroom. Classroom visits specific to the needs of teachers and students concerning transition success and disability awareness, history, and pride. These visits can be one-time, or a series of visits depending on the topic area needed. Visits have included exploring the disability rights history timeline in comparison to other major historical events that students study, young adults sharing their transition stories and disability pride, but can include more!
- Technical Assistance – Able SC is committed to the inclusion of students with disabilities in all aspects of the educational process. As part of this commitment, training and technical assistance is available to educators and administrators in order to promote understanding, inclusion, and accessibility in South Carolina schools’ curriculum, transition programming, community activities, interagency collaboration, and planning. All training and technical assistance offers an individualized approach based on the school’s specific needs, barriers, and prior experience.To get this process started, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Short Term Projects
Virtual Youth Support Services: To adapt with school closures during the COVID-19 outbreak, the SC Department of Education has funded Able SC to provide an array of virtual youth support services, including: self-paced lessons for high school students, lessons for students exiting high school, social-emotional learning for elementary students, online peer mentoring, yoga and mindfulness, and one-on-one support.
Equal Access: Sex Education for Students with Disabilities: Able SC has received funding from the United Way of Piedmont Youth Philanthropy Board to provide technical assistance to special educators to teach sexual education to their students with disabilities.
- To get started on this project, we need your help! Teachers, please complete this quick survey to help us assess needs.