Youth Education and Workforce Readiness

RAMP offers a variety of services that empower youth with disabilities to grow into self-determined adults.  These youth-focused services are important to our community because youth with disabilities experience lower graduation and adult employment rates than their non-disabled peers. To combat these statistics, RAMP partners with parents and students to ensure that their journey through the educational system and into adult living honors their individuality and goals for the future.

Everyone has the right to achieve their full potential and this starts with a solid education. RAMP works with students and their families to learn the laws that protect the rights of a student with a disability, how to navigate the maze of community services, and to learn the skills required to achieve their goals. Youth Education & Advocacy Services are for students with disabilities and their families who require information, referral, self advocacy training, or peer support to ensure that they receive a fair and equitable education so they can achieve their full potential during their school years and as they transition to adult life.


  • Have a disability or suspected disability
  • Have a barrier to their educational or independent living goals


  • Educational rights training
  • Self-Advocacy Skills training
  • Information & Referral
  • Peer Support
  • Independent Living Skills training
  • Transition Planning guidance
  • Educational workshops
  • Assistance with letter writing
  • Attendance at IEP, 504 or other related meetings





Pathways for Success: Preparing for Life After High School is a useful Transition Resource Guide for parents and students. The program also works with school district personnel and teachers to help them understand their responsibilities to children with disabilities and how to appropriately accommodate their educational needs. For more information about youth education and advocacy please contact RAMP or visit the Illinois State Board of Education website.

These services lay a foundation for high school students with disabilities to reach their full potential by encouraging enrollment in college, preparing for employment or career opportunities, and preparing for independent living. These services can be provided in a group setting or via individual instruction. Services include exploring student’s options for post-secondary education and/or employment by gaining job seeking skills, finding job shadow or internships in the community, and/or obtaining community employment while still in school. The goal is to leave students with the tools needed for a successful transition to further their education and/or employment desires.

• Willing to enroll in the State of Illinois Vocational Rehabilitation Program
• Have a documented disability (IEP, 504, medical/counseling records)
• Ages 14 through 21
• Enrolled in an education program


  • Career exploration
  • Soft/Essential skill training
  • Transportation training
  • Job seeking skills training
  • Job shadow/volunteer opportunities
  • Apprenticeship/Internship opportunities
  • Resume development
  • Master application development
  • Interview skills training
  • Peer Support
  • Benefit planning assistance/referral
  • Mentoring on post-secondary education & certification opportunities
  • Independent living skills training
  • Self-Advocacy skills training

Project SEARCH is a unique, business focused, one year school to work transition program that takes place entirely in the workplace. The selected students will work in three internships over the course of the year in combination with classroom instruction, goal setting, career exploration, and hands on training through worksite rotations. Each student works with a team that includes their family, an instructor, a department mentor, rehabilitation counselor and employment specialists to create their employment goal and to support the student during their transition from school to work.