Transition from youth to adulthood is a crucial time for individuals with disabilities to gain important skills for adult life. Individuals with disabilities and/or their families need to learn to successfully navigate the adult disability-services system. When most students with disabilities graduate from high school, they encounter the 'services cliff,' i.e., differing eligibility rules across states and sudden unavailability of special education services, both of which disrupt the continuity of needed services. This page provides information about preparation for transition from school to adulthood and challenges faced by young adults in transition.
Websites and Programs
- U.S. Department of Education
- National Technical Assistance Center on Transition NTACT assists education agencies and vocational rehabilitation services in implementing evidence-based practices to ensure students with disabilities are prepared for postsecondary education and employment. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA).
- Association of University Centers on Disabilities
- UCEDD/LEND Interdisciplinary & Interagency Transition Activities, Programs, or Projects The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) is a membership organization that supports and promotes a national network of university-based interdisciplinary programs on disabilities. They offer some resources related to transition on their website and refer to information about transition at member organizations.
Toolkits and Guides
- U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services
- A Transition Guide to Postsecondary Education and Employment for Students and Youth with Disabilities This guide addresses transition planning, transition services and requirements, postsecondary education and employment options, and the importance of supporting decisions made by students and youth with disabilities.
- Autistic Self Advocacy Network
- ASAN partnered with the Family Network on Disabilities to produce this guide, which prepares transition age youth for adulthood. The first half provides information on preparing for transition and the second half gives in-depth information on post-secondary education, employment, housing and independent living, and healthcare.
- National Council on Disability
Beyond Guardianship: Toward Alternatives That Promote Greater Self-Determination for People with Disabilities
March 22, 2018This report examines guardianship and makes recommendations for its use. Recommendations are based on disability law and policy, how people with disabilities are treated in the legal system, alternatives to guardianship, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
- Beyond Guardianship: Toward Alternatives That Promote Greater Self-Determination for People with Disabilities
- Drexel University
March 13, 2019This report describes the demographics, disability, education, and health characteristics of teens and young adults ages 12-23 on the autism spectrum.
- Roux AM, Rast JE, Garfield T, Anderson KA, Shattuck PT. Prevalence and Correlates of Work Experiences Among High School Students on the Autism Spectrum. Intellect Dev Disabil. 2020 Aug 1;58(4):273-287. doi: 10.1352/1934-9556-58.4.273. PMID: 32750712.
- Schall C, Sima AP, Avellone L, Wehman P, McDonough J, Brown A. The Effect of Business Internships Model and Employment on Enhancing the Independence of Young Adults With Significant Impact From Autism. Intellect Dev Disabil. 2020 Aug 1;58(4):301-313. doi: 10.1352/1934-9556-58.4.301. PMID: 32750714.
- Office of Autism Research Coordination and the National Autism Coordinator
Expanding Career Pathways for Youth and Young Adults on the Autism Spectrum: Employment as a Social Determinant of Health
March 23, 2020This webinar provided information about supports and resources to improve access to competitive, integrated employment for youth and young adults on the autism spectrum and enhance their career pathways.
- Expanding Career Pathways for Youth and Young Adults on the Autism Spectrum: Employment as a Social Determinant of Health
- Got Transition
Oct 28, 2020This webinar discussed Got Transition's Family Toolkit, which was developed for families to use during the transition from pediatric to adult health care.