This wikispace page was created to provide parents with easy access to Transition information and resources. Parents are welcomed to explore this page to gather information, that might assist them in helping their young adult make a smooth transition to adulthood.


a movement, development, or evolution from one form, stage, or style to another (Merriam-Webster)

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Secondary transition is the process of preparing students for life after they leave high school, including participation in post-secondary education or training, employment, and community living. These three areas are often referred to as “post-secondary outcomes” and are the driving force behind Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) written for students in high school.

Transition planning begins no later than age 14, in middle school or early high school, as students explore what they want their post-school outcomes to be through career awareness exploration activities. It continues through high school as instruction and community experiences support these outcomes.

Transition planning involves a partnership between the student, the family, school-age services and program providers, post-secondary services and program providers, and local community members. Effective transition involves purposeful planning among all these entities. It entails recognizing the student’s current strengths, interests, preferences, and needs, and then identifying what services and supports he or she will need to achieve future success.

Family Involvement:
Family involvement is one of the most important contributors to school completion and success. The most accurate predictor of a student’s school achievement is the extent to which his/her family encourages learning. Success is more likely if the family communicates high, yet reasonable, expectations for the student’s education and future career and becomes involved in his/her education. Middle school and high school students whose parents remain involved tend to:
  • make better transitions,
  • maintain the quality of their work,
  • develop realistic plans for their future,
  • have higher graduation rates, and
  • advance to postsecondary education
(Clark, 1993; Henderson & Mapp, 2002; Mapp, 2004; Schargel & Smink, 2001; Williams Bost, 2004).

Trainings:PA Community of Practice (COP) Series 2012-13:
This webinar series, sponsored by the Pennsylvania Community on Transition (PACT), in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN) and the Center for Rehabilitation Counseling Research & Education at the George Washington University, examines Secondary Transition for students with disabilities as part of the broader picture of college and career readiness for all students. The series of six topics will address and connect elements of effective transition planning, all of which help students to reach their post-secondary goals.

Pennsylvania's Community on Transition Conference:
The primary purpose of this conference is to expand the capacity of local education agencies and communities, in partnership with youth, young adults and families, in promoting the successful transition of youth/young adults with disabilities to post-school outcomes of employment, post-secondary education and training, community participation and healthy lifestyles. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about effective practices to assist youth/young adults with disabilities to explore possibilities, take advantage of their opportunities, and actively advocate for their future.

Website Resources:
Information about the Transition Process:
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PaTTAN Secondary Transition Initiative Page:
Pennsylvania Secondary Transition Guide:
This website is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education on behalf of the Pennsylvania Community on Transition .
The Pennsylvania Community on Transition is a group of various stakeholders from across Pennsylvania who work collaboratively to ensure appropriate transition outcomes for Pennsylvania youth and young adults.

Pennsylvania Career Education & Work Standards - Parent Resource Page:

Pa Career Zone:
Pennsylvania's career exploration and planning system designed especially for students.

Life After IEPs:
If you’re a parent or mentor of a young person with disabilities, Life After IEPs is for you. Whether your child is an elementary student or a high school graduate, you’ll find information, resources, and support you’ll need along the way.

National Center for Learning Disabilities- College & Work resources for parents & students:
When we talk about "transition," we're referring to the process of preparing your teenage child to be college- and career-ready – starting during the middle-school years and continuing through high school and beyond. Learn more about how to help your teen with a learning disability plan for the future and become an effective self-advocate.

Legal Information:

Wrightslaw Resources on Transition

Post-Secondary Education Resources:

Questions to ask the disability services coordinator:

  • What documentation must I bring to identify myself as a student with a disability entitled to reasonable accommodation? How current must it be?
  • How is confidential information handled?
  • Who decides if I qualify for accommodations?
  • Are the accommodations I need available?
  • How much advance notice is needed to have textbooks recorded on tape?
  • Is tutoring provided? What is the cost?
  • Are waivers or substitutions granted to students who, because of their disabilities, cannot pass certain courses, such as foreign languages or statistics?
  • Are basic skills or study skills courses offered? Are they available for credit? Can they be counted as hours toward full-time status? What is the cost?
  • Is there a support group on campus for students with disabilities?
  • Is there an adaptive technology lab on campus?

Questions the disability services coordinator may ask you:

The disability services coordinator may ask you these questions. Write down your answers and review them with your IEP manager, a teacher, school counselor or parent.
  • What is your disability?
  • How does it interfere with your learning?
  • How comfortable are you in discussing your disability with teachers?
  • What are your academic strengths?
  • In what areas do you have difficulty or problems?
  • What accommodations will you need?
  • What kind of support services have you used in high school?
  • What was most helpful?
  • Are you willing to work harder than other students to be successful in college?
  • How do you manage your time?

Differences Between High School and College:

AHEAD is actively involved in all facets of promoting full and equal participation by individuals with disabilities in higher education; and supporting the systems, institutions, professions, and professionals who attend to the fulfillment of this important mission.

“Going to College” is an online resource for teens with disabilities to learn about college life and what to do to prepare for it. It’s also a resource for parents to help their son or daughter learn about college and prepare for success.

EducationPlanner is your one-stop career and college planning website. EducationPlanner provides practical and easy-to-understand advice to help prepare students for the important decisions they will face in the future.

Think College – The information is for transition aged students as well as adults attending or planning for college. It provides resources and tools for students, families, and professionals.

Employment Resources:
The Commonwealth Workforce Development System (CWDS) provides access to Pennsylvania workforce development and independent living services provided by the Departments of Labor & Industry and Public Welfare

The Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, or OVR, provides vocational rehabilitation services to help persons with disabilities prepare for, obtain, or maintain employment. OVR provides services to eligible individuals with disabilities, both directly and through a network of approved vendors. Services are provided on an individualized basis.

The O*NET program is the nation's primary source of occupational information. Central to the project is the O*NET database, containing information on hundreds of standardized and occupation-specific descriptors. The database, which is available to the public at no cost, is continually updated by surveying a broad range of workers from each occupation. Information from this database forms the heart of O*NET OnLine, an interactive application for exploring and searching occupations. The database also provides the basis for our Career Exploration Tools, a set of valuable assessment instruments for workers and students looking to find or change careers.

CareerOneStop is…

My Next Move is an interactive tool for job seekers and students to learn more about their career options. My Next Move has tasks, skills, salary information, and more for over 900 different careers. Users can find careers through keyword search; by browsing industries that employ different types of workers; or through the O*NET Interest Profiler, a tool that offers personalized career suggestions based on a person's interests and level of work experience.

YouthRules – is a website that provides information regarding federal and state laws that apply to young workers. Information can be found on this website to educate teens, parents, educators and employers on the number of hours youth can work, the jobs youth can do, and how to prevent workplace injuries.

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is the leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues. Working toward practical solutions that benefit both employer and employee, JAN helps people with disabilities enhance their employability, and shows employers how to capitalize on the value and talent that people with disabilities add to the workplace.

Benefits Planning:
AHEDD is a private non-profit organization with a mission to serve the community as a catalyst in the employment and development of persons with a disability. Founded in 1977, AHEDD is:
  • An outcome-focused agency which has pioneered performance based contracting in the provision of employment services to increase industry wide accountability;
  • An influential advocate promoting the culture of employment for persons with disabilities in key state and local task forces;
  • The coordinator of the Pennsylvania Business Leadership Network,a business-to-business forum;
  • A private partner with the Social Security Administration in helping beneficiaries understand the links between work and important benefits;
  • An entrusted option among a growing number of schools in assisting youth with a disability in their transition to careers and work in the community;
  • A team of professionals with a vision to be the premier agency in its field with a single purpose and focus of improving employment outcomes through exceptional service to each of our business customers.

Independent Living Resources:

Freedom Valley (CIL):
Freedom Valley is committed to empowering individuals with disabilities to empower themselves through outreach, training, and peer interactions. Freedom Valley values the importance of individual choice, consumer control and personal responsibility.


PAMA was formed to provide training and information to individuals who want to form Microboards across the state. The Association is committed to the development of high quality information forums in a manner that fosters self-determination that lead to the formation of Microboards.

For Youth:

Transition Youth Engagement Wikispace:

Pennsylvania Youth Leadership Network (PYLN):
Pennsylvania Youth Leadership Network- The PYLN is a team of youth leaders with disabilities from across Pennsylvania with a purpose to develop the self-determination, empowerment, and leadership of youth that promotes successful post school outcomes in the areas of education, employment, independent living, and health and wellness among youth and young adults throughout Pennsylvania.

PYLN Toolkits:

Transition Programs:

Ken Crest: