Students with Disabilities Prepare for Future - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Students with Disabilities Prepare for Future

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Watching a child head out into the real world is nerve-racking for any parent. It's even more difficult for parents of children with disabilities who face daily obstacles to learning and fitting in.

About 150 students with disabilities and their parents got a chance to learn about the opportunities ahead of them at the "Life after High School" conference and resource fair. The event served as a compass for their unpredictable road ahead.

Western Albemarle High School junior Megan McGrath wants to go to college like her older siblings.

"My brother goes to Georgetown, my sister goes to UVA, and I want to go to Virginia Tech," she said. "

She just has always been very into the whole college camaraderie and you know the athletics and things like cheering on the teams and she loves the mascots," Beth McGrath, Megan's mother, said.

But because of the challenges of a social setting and the academic rigor, college may not be in the cards.

"You want her to think that there are no limits and there's no barriers but that's not really realistic and to try and be encouraging at the same time as being - you know, trying to understand what the best options for her - it's very tricky," Beth McGrath said.

On Saturday Megan, her parents, and other students with disabilities learned about possibilities for the future at the "Life after High School " transition conference and resource fair hosted by the Parent Resource Center.

"School is a very sort of cloistered environment but after school you're looking at what are post-secondary opportunities? What are vocational opportunities? What's available in the community for students to access?" Sarah Blech, event coordinator, said.

So far, Megan's education has not followed a clear road map.

"It's been a lot of trial and error," Beth McGrath said.

And that trial and error will continue. But her parents say this is a good starting point.

"Whatever she ends up doing - as long as she's happy and feeling good about that job and her life, we'll be very excited and happy to see," Beth McGrath said.

Those who missed the conference but are interested in learning more about resources to help students with disabilities transition out of high school, click here.

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