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Youth in Transition Toolkit:


My best life

Planning for a best life

Planning allows youth to establish goals and identify steps to reach those goals.

Youth may use various planning documents from different services and programs, especially while they're in school. The key is to ensure that planning is driven by what's important to (and for) the youth. It's also helpful to coordinate the plans and save them in a central location.

  • Awareness: Understand the importance of planning and the various planning documents, such as Personal Learning Plans and other school and agency plans.
  • Exploration: Identify strengths, preferences, interests and needs related to planning for a good life.
  • Preparation: Practice skills for completing planning documents and leading planning meetings. Create a My Vault account for storing and sharing planning documents.
  • Implementation: Follow steps outlined in the plans. Review and update the plans regularly.

Instruction in self-advocacy

LEARN: Develop your knowledge

Learn how to support youth in planning for their best life.

Planning for a best life includes use of school-supported plans, employment plans and waiver plans. These plans can be saved and shared through My Vault.

School-supported plans include:

  • Personal Learning Plan (PLP): Minnesota requires all high school youth to create, review and regularly update a Personal Learning Plan. The plan includes academic scheduling, career exploration, career and employment-related skills, community partnerships, college access, post-secondary training and experiential learning opportunities. The plan can inform Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), a Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) Employment Plan and other planning documents.
  • Individualized Education Program (IEP): An IEP outlines special education and related services provided by the school district. By 9th grade, an IEP must include components that address transition to adult life.
  • 504 Plan: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (commonly referred to as Section 504) is a federal law designed to protect the rights of people with disabilities in programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance. To qualify under Section 504, a youth must have a disability that limits a major life function. The 504 plan outlines reasonable accommodations and other school-provided services to ensure that the youth participates fully in the school setting.

Youth eligible for vocational rehabilitation will work with a Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS) counselor to complete an employment plan that lists a job goal and the services that will be provided to help the youth achieve that goal. Read about VRS student career services and State Services for the Blind from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Youth can use My Vault to save and share planning documents. Help youth create their own My Vault accounts, using their own email addresses (not school email addresses, which will end when they graduate). If the youth doesn't have their own email address, assign "homework" that involves parents.

Share My Vault: How to create an account guide (PDF) with parents and ask them to help their youth create a My Vault account.  

To learn more about My Vault, watch the video below and check out Using My Vault to support people.

Welcome to My Vault


DO: Work with youth

Find resources to help youth plan for their best life.

Direct youth to the My Vault section to learn more about My Vault and to create a My Vault account.

I get to decide is a My Vault activity that helps youth learn about their right to control their own life. The activity features a short animated video on rights and then a series of questions about informed choice.

iTransition is an app you can use with students to help them create a draft transition plan, which can then be shared with their IEP team.

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