Transition Resources for Employers and Systems Change

Three adults standing in front of a cork board, talking about reports pinned to the board.

Comprehensive and supportive systems can promote authentic engagement and more effective collaboration across key partners to achieve improved post-school outcomes for children and youth with disabilities and their families. Key partners may include families, school-based teams, vocational rehabilitation counselors, community-based program staff, higher education personnel, employers, workforce agencies, and social service providers. Together this complex network of systems helps to identify, teach, and apply the knowledge and skills necessary for successful transition through school to postsecondary education, community living, and competitive integrated employment, including supported employment. These systems should promote high expectations for children and youths that are strength-based, results-oriented, and reflect their interests, preferences (e.g., academic, functional, and beyond), and informed choice. Working together, these partners can engage and empower children, youths, families, and practitioners to proactively identify and address their needs to self-advocate and proactively fulfill their transition and employment goals. To do that, systems need to promote a seamless network of services and supports that are easy for youth and families to navigate. Below are additional resources to help guide the collaboration and systems changes necessary to assist children, youths, and families to achieve their postschool goals.  

The ECTA Center supports state IDEA Part C and Part B, Section 619 programs in developing more equitable, effective, and sustainable state and local systems that support access and full participation for each and every young child with a disability and their family.

Resources from ECTA

Part C to Preschool Transition Page

  • This webpage provides information on requirements, guidance and tools to ensure seamless transitions for children and their families as they leave Part C and other early childhood programs, so they have timely access to appropriate services. This page provides information on State and local structures, policies, interagency agreements, personnel development processes, and other critical mechanisms that must be in place to support the transition process.

Transition from Preschool Services to Kindergarten Page

  • This webpage provides information to support successful transitions between preschool services to Kindergarten. The page provides state information, as well as resources from other National Centers to ensure young children have a successful transition from preschool service to the K-12 system.

Transition Practice Improvement Tools

  • This webpage provides tools based on the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) Recommended Practices to help practitioners and families implement evidence-based transition practices. These tools and resources guide practitioners and families in supporting young children with disabilities in a variety of early childhood settings and include tools to improve practice, illustrations of effective transition practices, and practice guides for families and practitioners. They are available in both English and Spanish.

The National Center on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB) provides technical assistance (TA) to meet the needs of children and youth with deaf-blindness in key priority areas including identification and referral, family engagement, interveners and qualified personnel, and transition. Its activities are conducted in concert with state deaf-blind projects throughout the U.S. and with national partners. NCDB's website also serves as a hub of information for state deaf-blind projects, families, service providers, and the general public.

Resources from NCDB

Recommendations to Improve Transition Outcomes for Students with Deaf-Blindness and Additional Disabilities

  • These recommendations are based on a comprehensive review of laws, policies, and best practices related to transition as well as extensive interviews with experts. Topics include school and adult agency collaboration, work experiences, community activities, qualified personnel, and education for families.

Meet Jake Steinbach

  • This "Families Matter" video from the National Center on Deaf-Blindness introduces Jake and his family. They share experiences throughout Jake's life related to communication, literacy, movement, transition, empowerment, and teaming. An important theme of the story is how experiences throughout life are preparation for transition to adulthood.

READY Tool: Readiness Evaluation of Transition to Adulthood for Deaf-Blind Youth

  • This tool helps students who are deaf-blind, parents, and professionals determine essential transition activities related to assessment, programming, and team collaboration. Activities are categorized by 4 age groups: prior to age 14, 14 through 17, 18 through 21, and 22 through 26. The completed tool should be used to generate a plan of action and develop goals and objectives for IEPs and transition plans.

The National Center on Inclusion Toward Rightful Presence at SWIFT Education Center provides technical assistance to state and local educational agencies to successfully implement sustainable systems, policies, and practices that cultivate rightful presence for K-12 students, including those with significant cognitive disabilities and English learners. Rightful presence occurs in schools when students, staff, and families throughout the community have a sense of belonging and the power to contribute to educational decisions.

Resources from National Center on Inclusion Toward Rightful Presence at SWIFT Education Center

Transitioning to an Inclusive Setting: Five strategies for districts, schools, and families

  • This resource provides a vignette and highlights strategies for the critical transition students increasingly are making from a self-contained, special classrooms to inclusive educational environments.

The National Center for Systemic Improvement (NCSI) provides strategic technical assistance (TA) to help State Education Agencies (SEAs) refine infrastructures and engage stakeholders to transform systems in order to improve outcomes for students with disabilities. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) NCSI provides differentiated support through Universal, Targeted, and Intensive technical assistance to states to help them best use their general supervision and professional development (PD) systems to establish and meet high expectations for all students with a disability.

Resource from National Center for Systemic Improvement (NCSI)

Book Study in a Box: A Professional Book Study on Coherence: The Right Drivers in Action for Schools, Districts, and Systems

  • Description: A book study is a popular method of capacity building in schools, districts, and systems. This Book Study in a Box includes a Facilitator Guide, a Facilitator Implementation Guide, and a Participant Guide to support agencies in conducting a book study for the book Coherence: The Right Drivers in Action for Schools, Districts, and Systems, by Michael Fullan and Joanne Quinn (2016, Corwin Press). These resources can promote professional learning at the system level and help leaders build capacity about comprehensive improvement models to better school systems and improved student outcomes.

The goal of the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition: the Collaborative (NTACT:C) is to assist State Education Agencies (SEAs) and State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies (SVRAs) as they support Local Education Agencies (LEAs) and service providers to implement effective practices and strategies so that all students and youth with disabilities experience increased: (1) enrollment in postsecondary education, (2) credential attainment, (3) competitive integrated employment, and (4) community engagement. This goal is achieved by building capacity within state agencies to use data-driven decision-making processes, strengthening partnerships to coordinate services and providing quality professional development activities. NTACTC provides information, tools, and supports to assist multiple stakeholders in delivering effective services and instruction for all secondary students and out-of-school youth with disabilities.

Resources from NTACT:C

Practice Descriptions and Predictor Resources or Effective Practices

  • Transition education and services should be grounded in quality research. NTACT:C has identified evidence-based and research-based practices that lead to the most successful outcomes. Practitioners can use Practice Descriptions and Lesson Plans to support transition-focused instruction.

Unpacking Assumptions/Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

  • A series of resources on a systems approach to justice, equity, and inclusion initiatives targeting specific marginalized students with disabilities.

Transition Services Across Agencies

  • Transition services are mandated and expected to be provided by multiple agencies. This resource is a conversation starter for understanding roles and responsibilities in serving students and young adults as they strive toward successful outcomes.

Please find these additional resources related to Vocational Rehabilitation.

Vocational Rehabilitation Resources

Specific VR Program Requirements on Transition Services

  • As part of its charge to provide training and technical assistance that will enable State VR agency personnel to manage available resources, improve effective service delivery, and increase the number and quality of employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities, the Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center for Quality Management (VRTAC-QM) developed this resource outlining the specific VR program requirements on transition services.

Dear Director Letter: Formal Interagency Agreements Between State VR Agencies and SEAs

  • The Rehabilitation Act and its regulations require VR agencies to enter into formal interagency agreements with SEAs describing how the entities will collaboratively plan and coordinate transition services for students with disabilities needing those services. This formal interagency agreement is an important foundational document that helps to ensure students with disabilities experience a smooth transition from school to post-school activities. To support these efforts, RSA, in collaboration with OSEP, created this review instrument for formal interagency agreements between SEAs and VR agencies.

Pre-Employment Transition Services Policy Guide

  • The VRTAC-QM and NTACT-C developed this guide for the development of policies and procedures for VR agencies in the provision of pre-employment transition services.

RSA Frequently-Asked Questions about Pre-Employment Transition Services

  • RSA issued this frequently-asked questions document related to how VR agencies may use the reserve requirement for the provision of pre-employment transition services to students with disabilities.

Notice of Interpretation regarding Pre-Employment Transition Services Funds

  • RSA published this final notification of interpretation to clarify current policy regarding the permissibility of using funds reserved for pre-employment transition services for auxiliary aids and services, and to announce a change in policy regarding the use of Federal VR funds reserved for pre-employment transition services.