Transition refers to the time when youth with disabilities leave the school system and continue on to adult life–college, vocational training, employment, and/or independent living. This is a time when many youths “fall through the cracks” and lose services and supports that enable them to lead an independent, productive life. Planning for life after high school should be included in a student’s Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) by age 16. In fact, this is mandated by the IDEA.
Resources for Youths
HEATH Resource Center at the National Youth Transitions Center
Directory of Transition Websites
Chart Your Own Future
Explains how youths can use their IEP to plan for their future after graduation.
Going to College
A Web site about college life with a disability. It’s designed for high school students and provides video clips, activities and additional resources that can help them get a head start in planning for college.
Awareness of Post-Secondary Options
Online tutorial designed to answer questions about educational and training options available after high school.
A fun, interactive web site for youth with games, on-line journal, life maps and more that help youth with disabilities realize their employment, education, and independent living goals.
An informative website featuring multiple resources, including a services database, to assist both parents and students with selecting and attending college.
Resources for Parents
Life After High School Toolkit
Toolkit full of strategies, tools, and resources for families of youth with disabilities to assist in creating successful transition plans.
Transition Parent Briefs
Materials from the PACER Center
Transition to Adulthood
Information on transition from the National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities
Health Care Transitions
Got Transition?- National Health Care Transition Center
Provides easy access to proven health care transition tools for professionals, youth, and families.
Health Care Transitions
Information for youth to help them transition from pediatric to adult health care services such as how to talk to doctors and take a more active role in health care. Offers a variety of materials to enhance the health care transition related knowledge and skills of adolescents, young adult, families and health care professionals.
Healthy Transitions: Moving from Pediatric to Adult Care
This website is for youth with developmental disabilities ages 14-25 years, family caregivers, service coordinators, and health care providers. It teaches skills and provides tools for care coordination, keeping a health summary, and setting priorities during the transition process and interactive tools that foster self determination and collaboration.
Resources for Educators
National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center
NSTTAC helps states build capacity to support and improve transition planning, services, and outcomes for youth with disabilities and disseminate information and provide technical assistance on scientifically-based research practices with an emphasis on building and sustaining state-level infrastructures of support and district-level demonstrations of effective transition methods for youth with disabilities.
Pathways for Disabled Students to Tertiary Education and Employment (PDF)
The report was written by experts from multiple federal agencies. Inside you’ll find a terrific summary of how federal laws define “disability” differently for children and for adults; a statistical comparison of students with disabilities and the general student population; policies and laws relevant to students in transition; financing; parental involvement in transition planning; and available training for transition personnel and parents of transitioning students with disabilities.
Other Helpful Resources
Heath Resource Center at the National Youth Transitions Center
A web-based clearinghouse that serves as an information exchange of educational resources, support services and opportunities related disability, counseling, transition and postsecondary education.
Online training modules, podcasts, and materials on transition for students, parents, and school personnel.
National Center on Secondary Education and Transition
The Center coordinates national resources, offers technical assistance, and disseminates information related to secondary education and transition for youth with disabilities in order to create opportunities for youth to achieve successful futures.
National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth
The National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth) assists state and local workforce development systems to better serve all youth, including youth with disabilities and other disconnected youth. The Center is composed of partners with expertise in education, youth development, disability, employment, workforce development and family issues.