Pipeline to adulthood: COVID-19 leaves future uncertain for young adults with disabilities
November 9, 2020
When his Chicago school closed in March, Matthew Marren, a 21-year-old with autism, was entering the last year of his education, a critical time for many students with special needs.
As part of a transitional program at Vaughn Occupational High School, Marren had been able to take classes at a community college, complete an internship, and practice using public transportation and ordering food at a restaurant.
The pandemic changed all of that. Students like Marren lost four months of transitional programming, and there is no way to know if they will be able to recoup that time. In Illinois, students with special needs can receive services until the day before they turn 22.