Youth Services

Youth Services photo

What are DRA’s Youth Services?

DRA has several different services that are offered specifically for youth and their families. These include Education Advocacy, Youth Transition Services, Youth Summer Programs and Simulated Driving Lessons.

Education Advocacy

DRA offers assistance to parents and their students to navigate the IEP (Individualized Educational Plan) process. Staff can do one-on-one training with parents and students that are new to the IEP process. We share information so they understand the process. DRA staff can also attend IEP meetings with families for advocacy support.


Youth Transition Services

DRA works with youth and their families to help students transition from high school to future training, education or employment.

DRA’s Transition Program’s foundation rests on DRA staff providing direct instruction to students with disabilities within their current participating school district classrooms. The Transition’s Program prepares students ages 14-21 to transition from school-to-work or school-to-higher education or vocational training. The Transition’s Program services teach students vital independent living and career planning skills which are necessary to succeed in the next real-life steps.

DRA staff can refer youth, age 16 – 21 who are on an IEP, to Vocational Rehabilitation. VR will assign a counselor to the student to help prepare them for future employment.


Youth Summer Programs

DRA offers summer trainings for youth. The employment training teaches important skills such as communication, problem solving, interviewing, resources and finance. Another class offered in the summer is Driver’s Permit Training. During this class, the Missouri Department of Revenue Driver Guide is reviewed chapter by chapter to help youth learn the main keys that students need to know before taking the Driver’s Permit Test.


Simulated Driving Lessons

Throughout the year, DRA offers individual lessons on a computerized driving simulator. These session will assess a potential driver’s ability to operate a vehicle safely and effectively. The software that accompanies the steering wheel assembly and computer screens creates hundreds of simulated driving experiences. DRA staff provide 5 one-hour sessions on the Driving Simulator to teens who want to assess and develop their driving skills.

Thanks so State Farm Foundation, scholarships may be available to cover the cost of these lessons.

Click here to learn more about Simulated Driving Lessons.


What is the cost of these Youth Services?

Each of these services are provided free of charge (except Simulated Driving Lessons, which may have scholarships available to cover the cost).

Because grant funds only cover a portion of the cost to actually provide these services, donations are always welcome to allow DRA to provide this service for all who need it.


How do I request DRA’s Youth Services?

Please contact Nancy Pope ( for more information about DRA’s Youth Programs. Or fill out this online Program Request Form here.