Guidance and Graduation

Accessibility Beyond High School

Whether the student attends post-secondary schooling or joins the workforce, it is important for them to have up-to-date information about their cognitive strengths and weaknesses, as well as a clear grasp of what accommodations are most effective for them. This self-knowledge is necessary for the young adult to effectively advocate for themselves and maximize their effectiveness in either the school or work environment.

All students attending Foothills Academy have benefitted from having an Individual Program Plan (IPP) and personalized accommodations and supports. Students transitioning to post-secondary education or the workplace are also entitled to accommodations and supports. But, students and their families need to be aware of how to access these supports. It is important for students and parents to have a current understanding of their learning strengths and needs.

This is a very useful guide with career and education planning exercises as well as information about connecting with Disability Service Offices at the Post-Secondary Level.

This document is important for the transition to post-secondary. Accessibility Advisors in the Post-secondary institutions will use this document to see which accommodations were used and were successful for the student in high school and use this as a guide for what accommodations might be helpful at post-secondary. Therefore, it is important that the IPP - should document all accommodations used and required for the future.

  • Current / Adult Psych Ed Assessment

As they make plans for life after high school, grade 11 or 12 is a perfect time to have your child's psycho-educational assessment updated. In order to access support services for Learning Disabilities and/or ADHD, post-secondary institutions typically require an assessment that is completed within the past 3 years and uses adult measures (therefore, preferably completed after the student turns 16).

Whether you choose to complete the assessment in Grade 11 or 12, it is important to keep in mind that it should be completed by the spring of the student’s Grade 12 year so that they have up-to-date documentation to share with their chosen post-secondary institution prior to starting their first semester.

  • Annual Post-Secondary Transition Event for Students with Disabilities

During February every year, the Accessibility Offices of most post-secondary schools in Calgary put on a coordinated event for students moving on to post-secondary. This is a great opportunity to speak with representatives from all of the local schools, find out up-to-date information about finances and other resources. 

  • Grade 12 Transition Portfolio Program

There is an opportunity for each grade 12 student to meet with a member of the Psychology Team twice to review their psychoeducational assessment and practice self-advocacy

Why is this important? Data from Statistics Canada in 2012 shows that individuals with learning and attention issues are significantly less likely than those without LD/ADHD to complete post-secondary education. Similarly, in the workforce, individuals with LD/ADHD have higher rates of unemployment and underemployment compared to other young adults. The data also shows that they report mental health issues at more than twice the rate of young people without LD. Young adults with LD/ADHD may feel as though the diagnosis(es) no longer apply to them and/or they may be embarrassed to access support services in post-secondary or the workplace.