This program assists students with disabilities 5 to 24 to prepare for their future careers by focusing on interests and abilities. Our services assist youth in making transition elementary to secondary to post -secondary education to empower students to realize their full potential. We assist the youth early on in their development in order for them to acquire knowledge, and learn skills they will need to maximize their independence, and self-efficiency in their communities.
This process may involve accessing educational and employment opportunities including career and technical education, obtaining employment related services and supports, finding stable housing, and acquiring health insurance coverage, transitioning from pediatric to adult health care, financial aid, and other supports and services to assist in their future planning and development towards adulthood.
Being connected to programs, services, activities, information, and supports help to maximize youth’s success. Learning about education, competitive integrated employment, and disability related programs and services, helps youth and their parents become more aware of their options and make informed choices. Areas of importance include civil rights, community life and integration, education, emergency preparedness, employment, benefits, work incentives, health, housing, technology, and transportation.
To be eligible for the program: students need to be 5 to 24 years of age and that are currently receiving services under the Individual Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan.
Ability 1st Utah’s Youth Program Services are provided during the school year at Nebo, Provo, Alpine, Wasatch and North and South Sanpete school districts. Our services are free to all of the students that we serve.
We assist students in achieving their goals by providing the following services:
• Assist Life Skills classes
• We tailor the classroom classes to the teacher’s curriculum
• IEP Advocacy
• Money and time management
• Healthy relationships/Socialization
• How to look for housing
• How to look for and maintain a job
• Community safety/emergency preparedness
- Completing forms for jobs
- General hygiene
- Riding the bus, trax, and reading bus schedules
- Employment skills/resumes & application, looking for the right job
- Individual advocacy skills
- Effective communication skills
Youth Transition to Adulthood:
The Youth Transition to Adulthood serves students 18 to 30 year old who are in need of independent living skills to assists them with the transition from high school to community living. These specific skills teach youth how to live as independently as possible. Some of the highlighted skills classes are:
- Cooking & Meal Preparation
- Peer Support
- Health & Safety
- Communication/ Social Participation
- Recreation/ Socialization
- Money Management
- Grooming/ Hygiene
- Household Management
Youth Summer Program:
Ability 1st Utah has a Youth Summer Program between the ages of 17-30 that runs during the months of June, July, and part of August. Youth have opportunities to participate in social activities, as well as Independent Living Life skills classes.
An activity calendar for the summer program is in our newsletter, which is available on our website, or a physical copy can be provided upon request.
Additionally, youth are invited to participate in an annual Youth Leadership Conference sponsored by the Utah Statewide Independent Living Council and supported by the center’s emphasis on independent living.
This conference provides youth with disabilities the opportunity to network with other youth statewide and gain necessary leadership skills. They also receive guidance and support for successful transitions from school to achieve their individual education, employment, recreational, and housing goals.
Youth Program Success Story:
Daniel started in our program the summer 2021. In talking and interacting with him, we learned that he wanted to work a regular job, but he seemed to lack the confidence to take the steps necessary to do that. We worked with him and encouraged him to apply at his local Subway in Gunnison. He was hired immediately, but soon found that his work schedule conflicted at times with our summer program schedule. On a particular day he let us know that he had to fulfill his work commitment and would not be able to join the group as usual. To show our love and support for him, we decided to take the entire group to Subway that day for lunch. It was really exciting to see this young man thriving in his new job and how much he enjoyed the support of the program in his new role.
For more information, please contact:
Youth Program Coordinators