Engaging Families in Transition Planning

Family members and caregivers have a great deal of knowledge and insight regarding their sons and daughters. They are usually the only one consistent person in the life of a youth or young adult. Family members and caregivers will also still be there after a student graduates from high school and moves on to fulfilling their post-secondary goals. As one parent put it “ we are the transition coordinators for life .” 
Therefore it is important for family members and caregivers to have a good understanding of and be actively engaged in the secondary transition process. This page contains information that can assist family members and caregivers in helping to navigate matters concerning post-secondary transition for youth with disabilities.

The following series of family friendly 1-page documents are designed to provide brief, concise overviews of prioritized topics that address what parents and family members should consider when supporting their youth in preparing for post-secondary education, employment, and independent living. Click on the document titles, below, to access downloadable versions of each of the 1-pagers

  • Customized Employment
    Customized employment is a flexible process designed to personalize the employment relationship between a job candidate and an employer in a way that meets the needs of both. This family friendly 1-pager guide describes customized employment.

  • Entitlement vs Eligibility
    School-age students with a disability receiving special education services are ENTITLED to receive services to access a free appropriate public education as outlined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). However, ELIGIBILITY for services and supports for youth once they exist school is determined thought the requirements of the agency outside the public school system. This family friendly 1-page guide describes the differences between entitlement and eligibility for services.

  • Exploring the Option of a Two or Four Year College
    When considering a two or four-year college, it is important for youth to self-advocate for needs and live as independently as possible. This family friendly 1-page guide describes considerations for discussions family members may have with you considering college options.

  • The Importance of Employment: Why Work
    This family friendly 1-page guide provides family members with discussion topics to review with their youth specific to the importance of employment.

  • Job Skills: Getting Ready for Work
    Learning and practicing job skills while youth are still in schools helps youth with disabilities to be more successful at finding and maintaining employment. This family friendly 1-page guide describes skills for youth that lead to success in the workplace.

  • Post-Secondary Education Expectations

This family friendly 1-page guide describes difference between high school and post-secondary education.

  • Promoting Independent Living While Still in School
    There are many aspects of independence for a young person with a disability and family members to consider. This family friendly 1-page guide addresses examples of activities in the school, home, and community that parents and family members can discuss with their youth.

  • Preparing for Employment
    When family members have high academic and employment expectations for their children with disabilities, the youth experience greater success in those critical areas. This family friendly 1-page guide addresses considerations for youth employability and the importance of work for youth with disabilities.

  • Understanding Self-Advocacy
    Self-advocacy means that a person understands her/his rights and responsibilities. This family friendly 1-page guide provides family members basic information to share with their youth about self-advocacy