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Preparing for life after school

Not all people who have a disability or an additional support need identify with the word ‘disabled’.

And if you don’t, you might not want to tick a box that says this on things like application forms for employment, college and university.

Cutout image of teen boy

However, when preparing for life after school it may be best to tell your new employer or education provider as much as you can.

This can help give you the best chance of getting off to a good start and receiving the support you might need.

If you don’t tick the box, your college, university or employer might not know that you have learning support needs.

And without talking to people about what extra support you might need – or what kind of support helped you at school – it’s difficult for them to make sure you get the same chances as others.

Our top tips

Here are some tips on how to best prepare for life after school if you have a disability and/or an additional support need:

  1. Tick the disability box on any application or entry forms that you’re asked to complete.
  2. There are lots of additional support needs included in the ‘legal definition’ of disability – so don’t worry if you’re not sure. Ask someone that you trust to help you.
  3. It’s better to ask for help sooner rather than later. Don’t wait until after you’ve started if you think you might benefit from support.
  4. However, if you’ve already applied or started and didn’t tick the disability box or let someone know, it’s not too late! You can tell your college, university or employer at ANY time.
  5. Disability Rights UK has a really helpful factsheet. It has great information about the how your future college, university or employer can and should support you.
  6. Disability Rights UK also have a great website called The Right to Participate. It has stories, practical advice and downloadable resources to help if you don’t feel like you’re getting the right support.
  7. Try not to feel embarrassed about asking for the support that you need. We all have the right to fair and equal treatment.

Who else can help?

If you aren’t in the process of leaving school yet but are considering your options, Lead Scotland can help!

An image of a white version of the Lead Scotland logo which consists of the word 'Lead' with the word 'Scotland' below it. To the right there is a graphic of a tree. The leaves of the tree consist of lots of circles that are different sizes.

Lead Scotland can support you to think about how you can carry on with your learning after you leave school.

They can also help to identify practical steps if you have a goal in mind. This could be things like getting a qualification, or learning a new skill. 

You can also ask for their help if you’re not sure where to begin but think you’d like to try something new.

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