There have been a number of questions regarding some of the facets of our 4PLUS program, which is known as the Young Adult Transition Program (YATP). The following will seek to answer some of broader and more frequently occurring questions.

Last updated 3/21/2024

Q: Is this program for high schoolers?

YATP is designed for students who have completed the academic requirements to graduate from high school, but still have Individualized Education Plan (IEP) goals to achieve.

Q: What is the age range for students in the Four Plus Program?

Typical student ages range from 17-21 years old.

Q: Why is this program needed?

Multiple 4PLUS programs, run by both high schools and community colleges, already exist throughout the state of Iowa serving students with disabilities. Unfortunately, these programs often have minimal experience working with blind students. This often results in lowered expectation and minimal provision or awareness of the non-visual skills and training blind students need in order to be independent. As our state continues to grow so does the demand for skill training that can help pave the path to self-advocacy and independence for Iowan students. YATP accomplishes this by building and enhancing on student’s existing learning and practices while introducing new skills as well.

Q: So why do these students not go directly into the adult adjustment-to-blindness orientation center?

As with most students exiting high school, there are often deficits found within personal management, self-care, and essential skills simply due to lack of exposure and it being a transitionary time in their life. Due to this we’ve often found that some students who we serve don’t yet meet the requirements of the Adult Orientation Center, and can often find difficulty when making this transition. Given this deficit YATP allows additional support and teaching opportunities to review and explore such topics as fiscal responsibility, essential skills, home management, and personal care. Ultimately this allows us to be able to meet students where they are at on their current journey to independence and increased self-advocacy. Students who will be involved in YATP will often have an ongoing relationship with IDB or other agencies, which allows us to continue to build on this rapport and enhance the growth opportunities for each student.

Q: Will blindness be the primary disability?

Yes, our focus is on helping all students gain the blindness skills they need to achieve their employment goals. As we do in all of our programs, we will adapt our teaching strategies and techniques to best serve the learning needs of each individual student. Due to the majority of the student population served by this program having disabilities in addition to blindness, we work with school districts, service providers, and other partners to help the student obtain any strategies, tools, or techniques they need to succeed in life.

Q: Will there be a nurse or psychologist working in the four plus program?

No. In order to attend YATP students must be able to independently manage any current medications that they take.

Q: What is the structure of the four plus program?

YATP will run throughout the course of the school year. Students may continue in YATP more than one year if their IEP goals have not been met, however, the objective is for the student to graduate and move on to the center, post-secondary education, or employment as soon as possible. The program provides uniquely dynamic training with practical and hands on experience combined with a positive attitude and philosophy regarding blindness.

Q: So, what does a typical day look like?

During the day, students will work on activities related to achieving their IEP goals. This will be done across various classes such as: Braille, Technology, Cane Travel, Life Skills, and Career classes. In the evening students will shift into a structure home management modality where they will coordinate on meal prep, cleaning, attending events in the community, and personal care.

Q: Will there be business classes and confidence-building activities?


Q: How will going out for dinner and eating on the weekends be covered?

There will be staff present to work with students during evenings and weekends.

Q: Will students receive maintenance to cover their expenses, and, if so, how will budgeting be handled?

Students in YATP will receive maintenance funds in order to assist with outings and expenses as well as learning fiscal responsibility and money handling.

Q: Will this interfere with the adult orientation students work spaces, such as in the kitchen and industrial arts areas?

No, YATP students have their own assigned kitchens as well as classrooms and workspaces all on the 2nd floor. YATP does not participate in the industrial arts class on a regular basis.


This need has existed within Iowa for many years and will continue to grow. We are excited to have the opportunity to provide a 4 PLUS program with IDB’s positive attitude, high expectations, and non-visual training. We are very excited to be able to empower young adults to be gainfully employed, increase their independence, and move toward a higher level of self-advocacy.

Please field any and all additional questions, comments, concerns, or interest to the Education and Training Program Administrator Ambrose Fowler-Harney whose contact information can be found below: 
Ambrose Fowler-Harney 
(515) 829–7411