TRANSITION YEARS (14-18)

The transition years are pivotal for planning your life. During this time, you can design a plan for academic and non-academic courses, other learning experiences, employment and community living. The goals of transition planning are to help you understand your disability and to determine your future. One way transition does this is by connecting you to teachers and other caring adults, support services, and experiences that build skills and help reach your goals. Transition is based on values, priorities and culture, and is focused on your interests, preferences and needs.

“Greet all people with a smile.”

Ethics of the Fathers 3:16

Transition Planning

Transition planning should begin at the age 14. While this may seem early, it can take months or years to complete the transition process. Below are important questions to consider with your support system:

  • What kind of work do I want to do?

  • Will additional education or training be necessary?

  • Where do I want to live?

  • How could I live independently?

  • What transportation options do I have access to?

  • How will I obtain and transition to adult health care and what will that mean?

It isn’t enough to simply be aware that you need guidance to transition successfully from high school to the next phase of young adulthood; concrete action steps must be taken to guide and prepare you for college, a career and independent living.

The Center for Parent Information and Resources hosts a comprehensive website with information designed to connect you with basic information on transition planning, as well as webinars, on health care, work, post-secondary options and finances.

The articles, guides, and online training are designed for specific audiences, because we all process and use information from the vantage point of why we want to know and what we’re going to do with the info.

Disability Rights Florida – Four Types of Transition Plans. This site discusses IEP’s, 504 plans, TIEP (Transition Individualized Education Plan) and IPE (Individualized Plan for Employment).

Obtain an identification card:

As you transition to adulthood, it is important to obtain a State Identification Card even if you are not planning to get a driver’s license. Without a photo identification card you may find it difficult to access services at banking institutions, government agencies, and transportation centers such as train stations and airports.

State Identification Card:

The Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles issues driver’s licenses and state identification cards.  As youth transition to adulthood, it is important to obtain a State Identification Card even if you are not planning to get a driver’s license.

Identification/Disclosure Card:

The Wallet Card Project is a project of The Disability Independence Group, Inc. (DIG) that was designed in collaboration with The Coral Gables Police Department (CGPD), and The University of Miami Nova Southeastern University Center for Autism and Related Disabilities. (UM-NSU CARD).

The wallet card is a tool to be used by a teenager or an adult with a disability.

Transition is a formal process of long-range cooperative planning that will assist students with disabilities to successfully move from school into the adult world.  High quality transition planning and services will enable students with disabilities to pursue their desired postsecondary goals. For assistance with transition issues, please contact Wendy Metty at wendy.metty@fldoe.org. Click here for a great resource on navigating transitions.

Project 10 part of the transition Education Network outlines the process of transition in this excellent flyer:

Family Network on Disabilities – The mission is to strive for the complete integration and equality of persons with disabilities in a society without barriers and to serve families of children with disabilities, ages birth through 26, who have the full range of disabilities. Here is there Transition Toolkit.

UM-NSU CARD (Center for Autism and Related Disabilities) At University Miami and Nova Southeastern University, 5 locations in Broward and Miami Dade counties, maintains a resource page for community programs for adults with autism.

The Association for People with Disabilities APD provides: Medicaid HCBS Waiver through iBudget Florida; Placement in an intermediate care facility for those with developmental disabilities; Supported employment services; Supported living services; Consumer Directed Care Plus (CDC+); and IFS (Individual and Family Supports) funding for non-waiver customer expenses.

Next For Autism (formerly New York Collaborates for Autism) is a non-profit organization that strategically designs, launches and supports innovative programs to improve the lives of people living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

 Easter Seals offers a wider array of services over the life span for children and adults with different abilities. These include education, therapy, vocational training and summer programs

Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) is a federal-state program that helps people who have physical or mental disabilities get or keep a job. VR mission is to help people with disabilities find meaningful careers. They offer career counseling, financial assistance with tuition and job counseling.

The Able Trust, also known as the Florida Endowment Foundation for Vocational Rehabilitation, is a 501(c)(3) public-private partnership foundation established by the Florida Legislature in 1990. Its mission is to be a key leader in providing Floridians with disabilities opportunities for successful employment. Since its establishment, The Able Trust has worked with community organizations throughout the state to help thousands of Floridians with disabilities enter the workforce. The Able Trust youth programs provide career development and transition to many students with disabilities annually, helping to reduce the dropout rate and prepare young adults for life beyond high school.

The Florida Developmental Disabilities Council is an agency that advocates for and promotes programs, practices and innovative initiatives that enhances the independence, productivity, inclusion and self-determination of individuals with developmental disabilities in all aspects of life. They have a particularly good reference section of publications on different stages of life.

The Dan Marino Foundation (DMF) is a results-driven nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of persons with autism or other developmental disabilities. Using innovative approaches to problem solving and leveraging the latest computer technologies, the DMF is creating unprecedented opportunities for the disability community. At the core of the Foundation’s initiatives is Marino Campus, an intensive 10-month post-secondary educational program to help young adults with autism or other developmental disabilities bridge the gap between high school and employment.

Helping Adults with Autism Perform and Excel (HAAPE) provides adults with autism the opportunity to benefit from meaningful employment to become more independent and enhance their lives. HAAPE has established a technology center as a workplace for adults with autism that will provide training, employment, and a social environment conducive to their needs


Picasso Einstein provides educational and consulting services to create meaningful employment for someone with a developmental disability by starting a small sustainable business focused on the strengths and interests of the individual. Picasso Einstein offers courses, consulting and benefits counseling.

Quick Links

Transition planning

Preparing for transition

The first step in planning for a successful transition is developing a transition plan. For more information about transitional planning, click here.

The Transitions Planning Timeline Checklist, created by The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore’s Disabilities Task Force for the Baltimore Jewish Abilities Alliance, is a great resource for navigating transitions.

 

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