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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 03/16/2015

Helping Youth Transition from out-of-home care to adulthood

Minnesota’s county and tribal social workers have a responsibility to assist adolescents in out-ofhome care with preparation for successful adulthood. This work is required by Minnesota Statutes, section 260C.212 subdivision.1(c)(11). It is also good social work practice and acknowledges a primary adolescent need to discover self and gain autonomy. Minnesota statute requires that youth age 16 and older who are in out-of-home care because of a permanency disposition have an independent living plan. It is important to understand that an independent living plan does not conflict with, or replace the goal of achieving permanency for adolescents. In fact, youth who are state wards and youth whose permanency disposition is longterm foster care, should be the highest priority for county services that promotes preparation for independent living and permanency. These youth will leave child welfare system without the support of their birth families. It is the counties and tribes responsibility to assure that they leave out-of-home care with a high school diploma; employment and/or acceptable post-secondary education; health care coverage; a savings account; a safe and affordable place to live; a means of transportation; knowledge of community resources; and connections to positive adults and family members. The purpose of this practice guide is to provide social workers with the information and resources to do this work effectively.

Posted on 03/16/2015

How You Can Help Your Child Learn to Be a Good Self Advocate

It is never too early to start teaching your child how he or she can advocate for himself or herself. Like many other important life skills, self-advocacy is a critical tool your child needs in order to achieve goals, increase self-sufficiency, and become a successful young adult. It is a life long process that begins with your child learning by watching you, as a parent, be a good advocate.

Posted on 03/16/2015

Individualized Housing Options Resources Guide for Persons with Disabilities

Putting the pieces together one person at a time

"Create your vision for where you want to live" The Individualized Housing Options (IHO) guide will help a person discover housing options, plan a move, learn about help and supports and develop a person-centered housing support plan that is workable into the future. Many individuals with a disability want to move out of their family’s home, a foster care home, group home, nursing home or other institutional settings. They want to rent, lease, or own their own living space.

Posted on 03/16/2015

Leadership: A Guide for Promoting Leadership skills in youth with disabilities

One goal of the Natural Supports Project is finding and sharing new ways to encourage leadership opportunities for youth with disabilities. During the summer of 2009, the Natural Supports Project staff interviewed 32 young adult leaders with disabilities ages 18--30 to gather their perspectives on what makes someone a leader and to ask their advice on how to best support leadership development in youth with disabilities. This guide was developed to share their advice and strategies with families, school staff, other adults who work with youth, and with youth with disabilities who want to develop their leadership skills.

Posted on 03/16/2015

National Gateway to Self-Determination

The Impact of College on Self-Determination

To borrow a phrase from the poet Laura Hershey, "you get proud by practicing." Pride and belief in oneself are cultivated when young people have the opportunity to be in places and with people who support and promote that growth—safe places for them to "practice." College and university campuses are designed to be such places. These learning and living environments provide opportunities for growth in self-efficacy and self-determination which, in turn, foster increased confidence in the young people that attend.

Posted on 03/16/2015

Navigating Medicare and Medicaid

A resource guide for people with disabilities, their families, and their advocates

This guide explains the critical role Medicare and Medicaid have come to play in the lives and the futures of roughly 20 million children, adults, and seniors with disabilities—and gives people with disabilities new information to help them navigate these complex and confusing programs.

Posted on 03/16/2015

Opening Doords to Self-Determination Skills

Planning for Life After High School

Planning for Life After High School A Handbook for:  - Teachers  - Students  - School Counselors  - Parents

Posted on 03/16/2015

Post-School Outcomes for Transitioning Youth with Developmental Disabilities

Can we predict integrated employment?

While strides have certainly been made, youth with disabilities continue to have less than desirable post-school outcomes (Newman, Wagner, Cameto, & Knokey, 2009; Wagner, Newman, Cameto, Levine & Garza, 2006). Although youth with developmental disabilities typically stay in school longer than their peers and often receive costly long-term funded supports as adults, national surveys document dismal employment outcomes for adults with developmental disabilities (Butterworth, Smith, Hall, Migliore & Winsor, 2008; Migliore & Butterworth, 2008).

Posted on 03/16/2015

Promoting Increased Competitive Integrated Employment for Youth with Disabilities

Session Overview  - Why Employment matters  - Federal Investments  - How can we work together on this important policy area

Posted on 03/16/2015

Research to Pracxtice Brief

Self-Determination: Supporting Successful Transition

Self-determination is a concept reflecting the belief that all individuals have the right to direct their own lives. Students who have self-determination skills have a stronger chance of being successful in making the transition to adulthood, including employment and independence (Wehmeyer & Schwartz, 1997). Starting with the 1990 re-authorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)(P.L. 101-476), transition services must be based on student needs and take into account student interests and preferences. To accomplish this goal, students must be prepared to participate in planning for their future. Several curricula have been developed to address the need for self-determination skills among adolescents, including the skills needed to take control of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process. Selected curricula are identified an described at the end of this brief.

Posted on 03/16/2015

School Help For Homeless Children with Disabilities: Information for Parents

If you and your family are dealing with homelessness, it might be tough enrolling your children in school and making sure they attend every day. If your children have special needs, the issues might be even tougher. For example:

  • You might not know whom to talk to about school services.
  • You might not know if your children’s problems in school are caused by a disability or the stress of being homeless.
  • You and your family might move from one temporary housing situation to another; or your children might change from one school to another.
  • You might have trouble finding time and transportation for meetings at school.
  • You might not understand the special education process. There are two laws that help make sure that homeless children and youth with disabilities can enroll and do well in school. Those laws are: 1) The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act; 2)The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

Posted on 03/16/2015

Social Network Sites: Consider the benefits, concerns for you teenager

Social networking sites have become an integral part of today’s culture, especially for teens. Of the 65 percent of teens using sites such as Face-book and MySpace, 61 percent use them to send messages to their friends and 42 percent send messages to friends every day this way, according to a recent study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

Posted on 03/16/2015

Social Security: Benefits for Children with Disabilities

Our website,, is a valuable resource for information about all of Social Security’s programs. At our website, you also can:

  • Apply for retirement, disability and edicare benefits;
  • Review your Social Security Statement;
  • Get the address of your local Social Security office;
  • Request a replacement Medicare card; and
  • Find copies of our publications

Posted on 03/16/2015

SSA's Youth Transition Demonstration (YTD) Evaluation

Design, implement, and rigorously evaluate demonstration projects intended to -  - Improve transition outcomes for youth with disabilities (especially employment outcomes)  - Reduce dependency on SSI and SSDI

Posted on 03/16/2015

State Funded Housing Assisstance Programs

State Funded Housing Assistance Programs is intended to be a resource about the design and administration of housing assistance programs funded by states. This report grew out of questions from various State Mental Health Authorities (SMHA), including those participating in the Olmstead Policy Academy sponsored by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), about ways that states are working to design and implement strategies to support people with mental illness and other disabilities in integrated settings.

Posted on 03/16/2015

Statewide Strategic Planning

Promoting Postsecondary Education Options for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities

Inclusive postsecondary education (PSE) for individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID) has gained momentum nationally. While once a dream for youth with ID, many individuals are now attending college/university and receiving essential supports to enable their participation in the academic, social, residential, and recreational aspects of college life. Postsecondary opportunities vary by state, with activities ranging from strategic planning to pilot projects to established programs.

Posted on 03/16/2015

Successful Transition Models for Youth with Mental Health Needs:

A Guide for Workforce Professionals

This InfoBrief describes the systems' service barriers faced by youth with mental health need 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.

Posted on 03/16/2015

Supporting Homeless Students with Disabilities: Implementing IDEA

Best Practices in Homesless Education

Over 1.35 million children and youth experience homelessness each year. These children and youth face challenges that include a lack of basic necessities (food, clothing, medical services); discontinuity of education due to mobility; and trauma caused by the chaos, poverty, and instability of their circumstances. Children and youth who are homeless face additional educational challenges when they have disabilities. Studies indicate that children who are homeless are twice as likely to have learning disabilities and three times as likely to have an emotional disturbance as children who are not homeless. Two federal laws that address the needs of homeless children and youth with disabilities are the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Posted on 03/16/2015

Tips fot Transition


The Division on Career Development and Transition (DCDT) and the Transition Coalition have collected and disseminated these tips in an effort to enhance public access to information about transition activities. Our intention is to provide resources that are current and accurate. We do not endorse or promote any of the products, Web sites, or ideas presented in the tips. Although every attempt is made to ensure the accuracy of this information, we can make no guarantees. We will, of course, make every effort to correct errors brought to our attention. If you find an error in one of the tips listed, you may contact us. Any or all portions of this document may be reproduced without prior permission, provided the source is cited.

Posted on 03/16/2015

Transition and Postsecondary Education Programs for students with Intellectual Disability

A Pathway to Employment

Higher education leads to a variety of personal and financial benefits, and is an integral part of establishing a successful career path and enhancing earnings over a lifetime (Carnevale, Rose, & Cheah, 2011). However, up until recently, low expectations coupled with minimal opportunities have prevented people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) from receiving the benefits associated with higher education.

Posted on 03/16/2015

Transition Fair Toolkit

National Secondary Treansition Technical Assistance Center

The National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center (NSTTAC) developed this Transition Fair Toolkit to help state and local planning teams implement and evaluate a transition fair.

Posted on 03/16/2015

Transition Services

Helping Students with Disabilities move from school to adulthood

The transition process is designed to help students with disabilities move smoothly from school to adult life. Transitioning to adulthood is difficult regardless of a youth's abilities, so transition planning is key to ensuring success in adulthood for young people with disabilities. Adult services are very different from the services provided to students. There is no right to a job, day program or residence once your child leaves school, so early planning is essential!

Posted on 03/16/2015

Transitioning Youth with Mental Health Needs to Meaningful Employment and Independent Living

This research and report are the result of funding and guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). This report has also greatly benefited from the careful direction of Joan Wills and Curtis Richards at the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth). Both are committed to quality research and to information and tools that can be readily used by practitioners and policymakers to better serve youth with disabilities.

Posted on 03/16/2015

VCU: Work Incentive Planning and Assistance National Training Center

Part I. The Importance of Considering Social Security Disability Benefits in the Transition Planning Process. The successful transition of students with disabilities from school to work and full community participation is a major policy initiative within several federal agencies including the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Labor. In recent years, school to work transition has also become a growing emphasis for the Social Security Administration (SSA). Since many students with disabilities are receiving Social Security disability benefits such as SSI or title II Childhood Disability Benefits (CDB), and so few become employed at substantial levels after completing school, it makes sense for the SSA to be an active partner in these initiatives.

Posted on 03/16/2015

Vocational Rehabilitation (VR): A Young Adult's Guide

Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Agencies are located in every US state. VR helps people with physical or mental health disabilities achieve employment and live independently by offering vocational counseling and related individualized services. The information below explains how young adults with serious mental health conditions can take advantage of the VR services in their state.

Posted on 03/16/2015

VR in South Dakota

Vocational Rehabilitation in South Dakota. Department of Human Services: Division of Rehabilitation Services & Division of Services to the Blind and Visually impaired.

Posted on 03/16/2015

VR Research in Brief

A partnership in career development for people with disabilities: Collaboration between vocational rehabilitation counselors and families.

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