Rights and Responsibilities

Visit Transition to Adulthood for more resources on the transition process. 

When a student reaches age 18 and legally becomes an adult, rights and responsibilities transfer from the parent to the student.  There are many areas to consider. 

  • All rights covered by state and federal legislation automatically transfer to the student when they reach the age of majority. Information regarding this transfer of rights at the age of majority must be given to students with an IEP, on or before their 17th birthday.  Students can choose to allow their parents or an advocate continue to help them with their educational transition plans.  Many student handbooks address 18 year-olds still in high school.
  • Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) General Guidance for Students explains that all rights formerly given to parents under FERPA transfer to the student. Students may give written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student’s education record
  • Identification cards are issued in Michigan by the Secretary of State.  This can be done before age 18, there is no minimum age requirement to obtain a state ID card.
  • Male U.S. citizens, ages 18 through 25, are required to register with Selective Service.  This applies to all men regardless of disability, exemptions based on disability would be requested if the draft is reinstated
  • Individuals can register to vote when they turn 18. Voters with disabilities have rights, including the right to assistance when voting.
  • Healthy Bodies: A Parent’s Guide on Puberty for Adolescents with Disabilities addresses the needs of these families and is a response to the limited number of practical resources about puberty and disabilities.  The toolkit is written for a broad range of disabilities and provides a wide variety of visual supports and social stories that are especially useful for youth with autism or youth who are nonverbal.  The toolkit deals simply and directly with practical matters of puberty. Examples of topics and supports include hygiene, menstruation, nocturnal emissions, and appropriate behavior in public vs. private settings.