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Secondary Transition from High School to Adulthood

Secondary Transition planning is a partnership between students with disabilities, their families, the school, higher education, training programs, employers and community service providers. The secondary transition planning process is a part of the student’s IEP and will be included in the student's IEP in the year they turn 14 and 1/2. 

The process of secondary transition includes assessments, family and student involvement, interagency collaboration, and providing community experiences. Transition services include planning for academic and non-academic courses and learning experiences, employment and related training opportunities, and independent living activities. Secondary transition planning should be a bridge from school programs to participation in opportunities of adult life.

Family Matters creates a quarterly newsletter titled Transition Newsblast. The newsblast shares important transition-related resources and highlights a youth who is navigating their transition education plan.

Self Advocacy is the key to a successful transition plan.


The Best Me I Can Be
Five film modules show how involving students in the IEP process increases student engagement, empowers students to achieve their goals, and prepares youth to successfully transition to adulthood.

Transition Tools for Life
A workbook and guide to adult life for individuals, students, and families.

Competitive Integrated Employment Toolkit
A toolkit that includes effective practices for preparing students for competitive integrated employment by providing transition services collaboratively. 

Career Pathways
A list of work-based learning opportunities and descriptions.

Your Accommodation Request was Denied:  What Now?
Strategies for people with disabilities whose employers have turned down their request for job accommodation.

My Child with Disabilities is Turning 18, What Steps do I Need to Consider?
Blog article on SSI and future planning from Rubin Law: A Professional Corporation - Special Needs Legal & Future Planning


PACER Center Project Launch
Information on career exploration, employment, and vocational rehabilitation for youth and young adults with disabilities.

PACER Center Students and Young Adults
Information to help youth develop self-advocacy skills and gain a better understanding of how to more effectively participate to increase success in the classroom, at home, and in the community. 

Illinois DHS Employment First
Information on the law requiring competitive and integrated employment as the first option for persons with disabilities of working age.

NCWD-National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth
Works to ensure that transition-age youth are provided full access to high-quality services in integrated settings to gain education, employment, and independent living.

JAN- The Job Accommodation Network
Offers guidance on job accommodations and disability employment issues.

CAPE - Youth - Center for Advancing Policy on Employment for Youth
Seeks to improve employment outcomes for youth and young adults with disabilities by helping states build capacity in their youth-serviced delivery and workforce systems. (Resource tab includes information valuable to families.)

DIAL - Disability Information and Access Line (888)677-1199
Connects callers to independent living resources such as accessible transportation.

NTACT-National Technical Assistance Center on Transition
Tools for effective services and instruction for students and out-of-school youth with disabilities.

Illinois Self-Advocacy Alliance
The Alliance is a statewide network of self-advocates, advocacy groups and allies in Illinois.

Self-Advocacy Online
Includes information on Employment First, decision-making, public benefits, and relationships.

The National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities
NACDD is the national association for the 56 Councils on Developmental Disabilities (DD Councils) across the United States and its territories. The DD Councils support programs that promote self-determination, integration, and inclusion for all people with developmental disabilities.  The website includes self-advocacy resources.

Estate Planning Checklist
This checklist includes information on trusts, wills, estates, and medical directives.


Best Colleges (Resources for Students with Disabilities)

EDsmart Winning In College: A Guide for Students with Disabilities

Financial Resources and Discounts for Students With Disabilities