Contact: Scott Kupis, Special Education Coordinator,

DMHAS is required by law to provide special education, vocational programming, and related services to eligible residents between the ages of 18 and 21 in DMHAS facilities throughout Connecticut. DMHAS inpatient facilities are located in Hartford, Middletown, Norwich, New Haven, and Bridgeport. Screening and eligibility procedures are in place at each hospital to identify potential students.  A Special Education Liaison is assigned to each facility.

Who is Eligible for DMHAS Special Education Services?

Any inpatients or residents of DMHAS facilities who are under the age of 21, who have not graduated from high school, and have been receiving special education services, are eligible to continue those services while in residence.

How Does DMHAS Assist Youth who are Transitioning to Adulthood?

DMHAS Special Education Services is dedicated to providing quality educational programs for eligible inpatients. Youth are encouraged to take an active role in their education. They are invited to attend their educational planning meetings to assist in describing or exploring their future goals and in making plans to attain those goals. Such goals might include attending a two or four year college which might require additional academic knowledge and credits. Additionally, an employment goal might require vocational competencies and training. Finally, an independent living goal might require life skills and community participation capabilities.

What Resources can DMHAS Provide to Youth who are Transitioning to Adulthood?

  • Within DMHAS there are 6 schools, one located in each of the State Mental Health and Addiction facilities, that provide instruction from Connecticut State certified academic instructors.
  • Students enrolled in DMHAS special educational programs have various program options to obtain a high school diploma. Students can work toward graduation by attending school either in the community or in the hospital based tutorial program, completing Carnegie units, or by successfully passing the GED. While in residence, DMHAS would assume all costs of such education including tuition, transportation, and related services.
  • Students enrolled in DMHAS special educational programs have an opportunity to participate in various program options to further the transitional skills required for employment, independent living, and community participation. Such programs are provided in the least restrictive environment and supported training programs in the community are widely used. Here again, DMHAS would assume all costs of such placement including tuition, transportation, and related services.
  • For students returning back to their community schools collaborative discharge planning meetings are conducted to prepare for a seamless transition from DMHAS jurisdiction. In that way, the individual education plan developed at the DMHAS facility can be implemented anywhere students reside. Included would be educational and treatment recommendations, and a transcript of recommended credits generated in order for a local school district to award high school credits.

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