Building Real-life Independent Daily Living and Gainful Employment Skills (BRIDGES)
Seattle Public Schools’ BRIDGES program is designed for young adults with disabilities ages 18-21 who continue to need special education services outside of a 9th-12th grade setting/curriculum in order to meet their own unique post-secondary transition goals. Certificated special education teachers, with training in functional special education services, are delivery case managers.
The vision of the BRIDGES program is a world where young adults with significant disabilities are living their adult lives as productive, independent, and engaged community members. The mission of the BRIDGES program is to provide learning opportunities that build vocational, social, and independent living skills.
This is accomplished through a combination of direct instruction and community-based activities through one of our: BRIDGES Programs
Eligibility and Enrollment Process
With the BRIDGES program adult students have the opportunity to build their skills with a variety of tasks and projects at locations such as the Washington State Talking Book and Braille Library, Swedish Hospital, community food banks, local businesses, or the Emergency Feeding Program. Our Eligibility and Enrollment Process web page can help you get started to determine if this program is a good fit for your student. Read more about BRIDGES eligibility and the overall enrollment process.
To start the BRIDGES enrollment process for the 2022-23 school year, a student’s IEP team case manager must complete the BRIDGES Interest Form and BRIDGES-Prerequisite Assessment Skills Screening (B-Pass).
Visit the Eligibility and Enrollment Process page to view the BRIDGES enrollment timeline.
Project Search at Seattle Children’s Hospital
We are lucky to have a BRIDGES 1 Project Search program for students in their last year of school-age eligibility who are DDA-qualified and want to work. The program is well-established and embedded with Seattle Children’s Hospital. It was recently honored with the State of Washington Governor’s Employer Award.
General Program Information
From how to engage in related special education services to managing transportation needs during the program visit our General Program Information webpage.
BRIDGES Frequently Asked Questions
What are ways families can support their young adult?
Involvement by a student’s parents and family is crucial in assuring the successful transition from school to community. Some ways to support your young adult in this process include:
- Participate in planning meetings (as appropriate).
- Assist your young adult in exploring the community in the context of possible employment options.
- Apply for adult-service agency services such as Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA), Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), and Social Security Disability Income.
- Go to the King County sponsored transition resource fairs in March.
- Learn about the King County School-to-Work program.
- Research various job vendors and employment agencies.
- Learn about Age of Majority and Guardianship.
- Help your young adult self-advocate.
- Research various vocational and residential options as well as other resources. Once they leave the school system, most young adults with developmental disabilities will obtain part-time employment and will need to occupy their time in a healthy way.
- Continue to work with your young adult on independent living skills such as personal hygiene, transit training, household care, and money management.
- Support compliance with business/community dress code.
- Provide funds for community/recreational activities
- Connect with community organizations such as the ARC of King County.
- Be flexible, willing to take reasonable risks, and experiment
How can families support their young adult after they leave school?
One essential component of 18-21 transition programs is interagency collaboration with adult services. While students are in school, families may have come to rely on the school system to provide training, transportation, specialized health services, extracurricular activities, etc.
Once a student leaves school, these services are no longer provided by the school district and this support must be sought out by students and families. Establishing connections with community agencies before the student leaves school is highly recommended.
The BRIDGES programs often collaborate with and make referrals to the following agencies:
Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR)
King County Developmental Disabilities Division (DDD)
Arc of King County
Washington Initiative for Supported Employment (WISE)