Every child deserves to have an inclusive education. Work with your school to have a general education curriculum and learn alongside your peers without disabilities. You can accomplish this by having an educational plan, called an IEP, in place. During the transition years, your parents and educators will continue to have input into creating the specific learning objectives for your future. Consider post-secondary education, the development of career and vocational skills as well as the ability to live independently.

“Greet all people with a smile.”

Ethics of the Fathers 3:16

Diploma Options for Students with Disabilities

The number and types of options for diplomas vary from state to state. The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001 has increased the pressure on schools across the country to improve graduation rates for all students, including students with disabilities. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Amendments of 1997 require that students with disabilities participate in state and district assessments and that results be reported. These requirements have had an impact on the states, affecting the range of diploma options offered to students. Many states offer multiple diploma options as a strategy to meet the requirements of NCLB and IDEA and to improve school completion rates for students, especially those with disabilities.

Miami-Dade Public High School Diploma

Local Resources

Florida students may choose from one of five different types of diplomas.

Step Up For Students is a state-approved nonprofit scholarship funding organization that helps administer five scholarships for Florida schoolchildren: the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program (FTC) and the Family Empowerment Scholarship (FES) for lower-income families, the Gardiner Scholarship for children with certain special needs, the Hope Scholarship for public school students who are bullied or victims of violence and the Reading Scholarship Accounts for public school students in third through fifth grade who struggle with reading.

Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) is a federal-state program that helps people who have physical or mental disabilities get or keep a job. VR mission is to help people with disabilities find meaningful careers. They offer career counseling, financial assistance with tuition and job counseling.

Jewish Education Please contact the Center for Jewish Education for the most up to date listing of Jewish schools with special education.

Academic Options. AO is a practice of Independent Consultants specializing in therapeutic and educational placements. Founded in 2006, AO has assisted thousands of families from all over the world navigate the difficult and confusing process of exploring residential or boarding options. Their goal is to help every child, adolescent, and young adult succeed in life.

College Living Experience is a post-secondary program for students who require additional support with academic, social and independent living skills. CLE provides intensive assistance to students of varying abilities.  Students with autism, Asperger’s, learning disabilities, developmental delays and a host of other special needs receive the support they need to pursue post-secondary education and become independent adults. Participating schools include Broward College, Florida Atlantic University, American InterContinental University, Nova Southeastern University, Sheridan Technical Center, and McFatter Technical Center.

The Dan Marino Foundation (DMF) is a results-driven nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of persons with autism or other developmental disabilities. Using innovative approaches to problem solving and leveraging the latest computer technologies, the DMF is creating unprecedented opportunities for the disability community. At the core of the Foundation’s initiatives is Marino Campus, an intensive 10-month post-secondary educational program to help young adults with autism or other developmental disabilities bridge the gap between high school and employment

Additional Resources

Americans Live With an Autism Spectrum Disorder
of Children Have Been Diagnosed with a Developmental Disability