Transition to Adulthood Program (TAP)

What is TAP?

The Independent Living Center of the North Shore and Cape Ann (ILCNSCA) offers a Transition to Adulthood Program. The purpose of this program is to help students with disabilities prepare for the transition from special education to adulthood, no matter the type of disability. Students receiving TAP services attend public, private and residential schools throughout Massachusetts.

Independent Living Peer Guides, who also have disabilities, provide advocacy, skills training and peer counseling to young people with disabilities, often in their school setting. Students develop an Independent Living Plan and learn skills and self-confidence to better prepare them for independence. Exposure to adult peer role models, helps students learn how to take on the responsibilities of living independently in the community of their choice. Individual services include:

Information and Referral - Providing information and referrals related to disabilities such as where to look for accessible housing, adaptive equipment, medical providers, legal assistance and a large number of other programs and resources.

Peer Counseling - The sharing of experiences of another person with a disability who has successfully strived to lead a productive and meaningful life in their community through a peer role modeling approach. Peer counseling issues include: personal growth, problem solving, socializing or issues faced specifically by persons with disabilities.

Skills Training - The acquisition of skills needed for living independently, such as how to find housing, Personal Care Attendant management, budgeting, self-advocacy or accessing benefits.

Advocacy - Guiding persons with disabilities to know and assert their rights with, for example, asserting their rights to choose their own life path including educational and employment opportunities, health care choices, community living options.

Service Coordination - Coordinating services with other agencies that are involved in a student’s transition.

Group Services - In addition the TAP will offer peer support groups and social and recreational activities that support consumers in improving their social and communication skills, self-confidence, and comfort in participating in community activities with others. The TAP will also be offering support groups for parents and guardians of TAP consumers to help them understand the concepts of Independent Living and consumer control.

Who is eligible for TAP Services?

The ILCNSCA’s TAP Program will serve high school students aged 14 – 21 who have a significant disability or disabilities of any type. Participating students must have an IEP or 504 plan, and should be enrolled in high school, including local public schools, out of district placement, private schools or home schooling. The program may serve individuals between the ages of 16 and 21 who are currently out of school, however these individuals must have a goal in their Independent Living Plan (ILP) to return to school. There are no financial criteria to receive TAP services.

TAP is funded by the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC).

A message from Mary Margaret Moore, Executive Director of ILCNSCA