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Transition from school to the community can mean many things: finding a job, starting a certificate program, entering community college, attending a four-year program etc. Transition also means changes to supports, such as health care, social security benefits, where to live, and many other areas of life. Most importantly, it means making decisions for one's self and self-determination. You will find resources on all of these topics and more in this section.

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Posted on 10/20/2017

Transition Activities in the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services

This 2017 publication describes present and upcoming OSERS transition activities, such as projects supporting students and youth with disabilities served by State agencies, written products offering technical assistance (TA), and presentations at conferences facilitating the exchange of information among transition partners. It is intended to be used as a reference tool to broaden awareness of OSERS transition activities.

Posted on 09/28/2017

Decreasing Dropout Rates

for Minority Male Youth w/ Disabilities from Culturally and Ethically Diverse Backgrounds

This monograph examines the problem of high school dropout rates among males with disabilities through the lens of three ethnicities--American Indian, African American, and Latino. Three chapters explore the nature of the problem, review the existing--and paucity of--research, examine root causes and risk factors, consider conditions that protect against dropout, suggest existing programs and strategies that help these young men to stay in school, offer direction for much-needed research, and articulate important changes that need to be made in both policy and practice to better serve young males of color.

Posted on 09/28/2017

Preventing Dropout in Secondary Schools

The goal of this practice guide is to offer educators specific, evidence-based recommendations that address the challenges of preventing dropout in secondary schools. This guide synthesizes the best publicly available research and shares practices that are supported by evidence. It is intended to be practical and easy for teachers and school leaders to use.

Posted on 04/11/2017

New Opportunities to Improve Economic and Career Success for Low-Income Youth and Adults:

Key Provisions of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)

In July 2014, President Obama signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) after it passed with virtually unanimous bipartisan support in Congress the first update to the nation’s core workforce training programs in the 16 years since the passage of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). A lot has changed since 1998 and our workforce system hasn’t kept up. Low skilled and low income workers face more barriers than ever to securing an education and getting a good job.

Posted on 04/11/2017

The Institute Brief

WIA is Now WIOA: What The New Bill Means For People With Disabilities

With the passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), Congress has reauthorized the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA), including the Rehabilitation Act, through 2020. Commenting on the bill’s passage, President Obama stated that the bill “will help workers, including workers with disabilities, access employment, education, job-driven training, and support services that give them the chance to advance their careers and secure the good jobs of the future.

Posted on 03/20/2017

Annual Progress Report on National Disability Policy

The National Council on Disability (NCD). has released the 2014 edition of National Disability Policy: A Progress report. The 2014 Progress Report focuses on seven key areas: the convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD), employment access and inclusion. subminimum wage, education outcomes, Medicaid managed care, mental health care, and data trends in disability policy.

Posted on 01/30/2017

How to Build Trust Between Minorities and Researchers?

This project is a web-based interactive educational program funded by NIH as part of the federal recognition of the importance of fostering greater participation rates of racial and ethnic minority populations in research.

Posted on 09/01/2016

School Records and Parents' Rights

A child's school records contains important information for making education decisions. Since parents of children with disabilities are an essential part of their children's education planning team, it's important for them to review and understand the information these records contains. 

Posted on 06/09/2016

Bullying among children and youth with disabilities and special health needs

Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems.

Posted on 06/09/2016

Children's Mental Health: Facts for Policymakers

Mental health is a key component in a child’s healthy development. Children need to be healthy in order to learn, grow, and lead productive lives. There are effective treatments, services, and supports that can help children and youth with mental health problems and those at risk to thrive and live successfully. Most children and youth in need of mental health services do not receive them.

Posted on 06/09/2016

Community-Based Approaches

for Supporting Positive Development in Youth and Young Adults with Serious Mental Health Conditions

The period of transition to adulthood a time of life that typically brings many challenges, as young people are expected to move into roles and relationships that reflect increasing independence and responsibility. These challenges are particularly pronounced for young people who experience serious mental health conditions (SMHC) during transition. Compared to their peers, young people with SMHC tend to fare worse educationally and economically, and they are more likely to have legal troubles or become parents at a young age. What is more, many of the young people who experience SMHC are vulnerable and/or at risk in other ways. For example, rates of SMHC are elevated among young people who are homeless or who have had experience in the child welfare or juvenile justice systems.

Posted on 06/09/2016

Paving the Way:

Meeting transition needs of young people with disabilities and serious mental health conditions

Youth and young adults aged 16 to 24 who have dual diagnoses of a serious mental health condition and a developmental disability experience significant challenges as they transition to adulthood. Services to support these young people are inadequate and they are commonly served inappropriately either because they have been misdiagnosed or because the services they receive target only the developmental disability or only the mental health condition. Young people with both disabilities are considered particularly vulnerable because they are also transitioning from receiving services in the child and adolescent mental health system and the education system into adult serving systems. For many young people, the inadequate service system results in inappropriate hospitalizations, restricted living situations, homelessness, interrupted education, and incarceration.

Posted on 05/12/2016

Adolescent Health Highlight: Access to Mental Health Care

Approximately one in five adolescents has a diagnosable mental health disorder, making these disorders one of the leading causing of disability among the age group. The Adolescent Health Highlight describes barriers to treating adolescent mental health disorders; discusses the connection between insurance status and access to mental health treatment; and explains funding for adolescent mental health services.

Posted on 05/12/2016

Anxiety in Adolescents with ASD

Anxiety is believed to be one of the most common co-occurring disorders for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) along with depression and attention deficit disorder (ADHD). Anxiety is thought to be more prevalent during adolescence as teens with ASD become more aware of their differences from their peers. This is particularly true for teens without an intellectual disability. Because anxiety is so common in teens with ASD, it is important that parents, teachers, and health care professionals are observing for signs that an adolescent may be trying to cope with anxiety

Posted on 05/12/2016

Autism Practice Brief on Social Skills

Social communication and social skill are sometimes challenging for youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Effective social skill training requires explicit instruction in social expectations and practice opportunities in a variety of natural setting with multiple peers and partners. Due to the wide range of abilities and needs in the area of social communication, social skills training requires a high level of individualization based on the learner as social skills are highly diverse and vary greatly depending on context.

Posted on 05/12/2016

Autism Practice Brief on The Foundational Five

Our understanding of how to best support the learning of individuals with ASD is always evolving. Evidence-based practice are those practices that have been researched and are widely accepted and recognized as effective techniques. The Foundational Five is a best practice for youth with autism because they ;provide the building blocks for effective instruction. Well planned and consistently implemented instruction is key to supporting all students, and especially those with ASD.

Posted on 05/12/2016

Community Based Functional Skills Assessment for Transition Aged Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder

A key ingredient in creating a transition plan for an individual with autism is a transition assessment that leads to comprehensive skill development in the final years of school. Every individual with autism is different and as a result, there is no "one size fits all" plan for the path to adulthood. A transition plan involving job training and skill development that is fitting for one person with autism may be ineffective for another. The most important factor in creating a plan is to focused on the individual. His or her strengths, needs, challenges and preferences will play a critical role in ensuring a successful transition process.

Posted on 05/12/2016

Depression in Adolescents with ASD

Depression is more common among teens with ASD than teens without ASD. Rates of major depressive disorder have been reported as high as 37% in adolescents with ASD compared to about 5% of adolescents in the general population. Studies that measured parent reports of depressed mood have revealed a rate as high as around 50%. There is also emerging research that has shown an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and tendencies among teens with ASD. This means that parents and school staff need to be aware of the signs of depression.

Posted on 05/12/2016

Health Care Transition for Youth with Disabilities and Chronic Health Conditions

The increasing number of youth with disabilities and chronic health conditions surviving into adulthood has necessitated a shift in the approach to educational, health, employment, and independent living services. To achieve these goals as adults, youth with disabilities and chronic health conditions may require support and services to help transition in all aspects of their adult lives, including employment, independent living, and health care. Health affects all aspects of life--school, community, and job success are all associated with health.

Posted on 05/12/2016

Impact of Social Media on Adolescent Behavioral Health in California

Teenagers throughout the country regularly use the internet, cell phones, and video games to gather information and communicate with each other. The ability to interact with each other is the unique feature of social media which provides powerful new ways for teems to create and navigate their social environments. Overall, social media use is associated with many benefits for adolescent health and development. An examination of youth's experiences with social media, which included teens from California's urban, suburban and rural communities, documents powerful new ways in which youth use social media.

Posted on 05/12/2016

Internet Safety, Social Networking, and Technology

Individuals with autism are just as interested, if not more interested, in using the internet as a connection to mass amounts of information and millions of people. To ensure the safety and success of internet usage, it is critical that individuals with autism learn how to protect themselves online, and that they understand what is and is not appropriate on the internet. Some organizations have specific classes to teach individuals with autism safe and fun ways to use the internet. Parents should closely monitor their young adult's internet use and constantly make sure that their internet activity is safe and appropriate.

Posted on 05/12/2016

National Resources for Parents of Children & Youth with Disabilities

Parents of youth with disabilities have unique opportunities to promote their successful transition to postsecondary education, employment and full adult participation in society. Families can assist in the transition process by providing adolescents direction in their exploration of interests, guidance in career and college planning, and encouragement as they pursue their dreams. The following resources may be helpful in assisting parents as their children prepare for college and careers.

Posted on 05/12/2016

Successful Transition Models for Youth with Mental Health Needs: A Guide for Workforce Professionals

This InfoBrief from ODEP (Office of Disability Employment Policy), describes service barriers faced by youth with mental health needs as they reach adulthood, while highlighting new models and strategies designed to break down those barriers and help them to transition successfully into the workplace. Through thoughtful systems change at the local and state levels, and the adoption of promising new program models promoting collaborative networks for care more youth and young adults with mental health needs can become self-sufficient adults who experience personal and employment success.

Posted on 05/12/2016

Supporting Functional Communication in High School

Students on the autism spectrum sometimes have ways of communicating that are different from students without autism. Challenges sometimes appear in three main areas: comprehension, expressive communication, and interacting with others. This article was designed to support high school staff and family members in understanding and improving the communication skills of adolescents on the autism spectrum. Examples are provided in the context of academic course and teacher and peer relationships.

Posted on 05/12/2016

Teaching Students with Disabilities about Online Safety

Many parents and teachers of children with disabilities are well aware of the potential for in-class bullying and make efforts to stop bullying before it starts; but what about the exclusion and harassment that teachers and parents don't see? Therefore, preparing all students for safe interactions online is important, and it is all the more critical to examine the special risks and issues that students with disabilities face online. Learn from these tips and strategies to help your students meet the standards for digital citizenship and to guide your students to use technology and digital media in a safe and responsible way.

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