With the passage of Chapter 285, Massachusetts requires that starting when an eligible student is 14, the school district must plan for the student’s need for transition services. Transition planning continues throughout the high school years as students prepare to journey into an inclusive adult life. Here are some helpful transition resources for professionals and to share with families.
Workshops / Conferences
Trying to locate a transition planning workshop near you? Federation for Children with Special Needs Schedule of Workshops. Registration is NOT required.
Federation for Children with Special Needs LINK Center
The LINK Center connects families, professionals and individuals with disabilities who are of transition age (14-26) with information, supports, and services to achieve students’ future visions. Transition can be an overwhelming process as one plans for life after high school. The LINK Center and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission have developed an overview of available Transition services and procedures in Massachusetts.
Transition Internship Program
The Boston Center for Independent Living is excited to announce their annual summer Transition Internship Program (TIP). TIP is a great opportunity for youth with disabilities, ages 16-22, to gain valuable work experience. TIP hires and pays each intern and matches them with partner sites where they work for from late June to the end of August. Interns can work for their site between ten to twenty hours per week and will also be expected to attend weekly employment skill building workshops at BCIL. TIP is a competitive program and internships are limited. If you or your students have any questions, you may contact the TIP Staff.
Programs for Students
Here are some great opportunities of available programs for students that will assist with self-advocacy skills, independent living skills, and making healthy choices.
Boston Transition Project (B-SET) For Career, College & Community Living
An advocacy resources to Boston families and transition-age youth, 14 – 22, who have disabilities. These resources will help to ensure that the school district meets federal and state special education requirements and provides high quality transition program for its youth with disabilities. Provides community workshops, free technical assistance, legal advice and referral, free legal advocacy and administrative advocacy.
Phone: 617-357-8431 for information /workshops
Phone: 617-357-8431 x 3224 for help with your child
A Transitional and Post Secondary Arts Based Service for Young Adults with Disabilities This center successfully serving young adults with disabilities and preparing them for a professional career in the arts. The program prepares young people with disabilities to transition successfully from school to work using age appropriate, professional arts-based activities considering individual needs, strengths and interests. This service is also available for talented adults turning 22 with appropriate public or private funding. Disabilities include developmental and psychiatric, including cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, visual impairment, hearing impairment, head injury, Williams Syndrome, and spectrum disorders including autism and Asperger’s syndrome.
To apply:Contact Ted Lampe
617-734-1577 x. 10
MRC Turning 22 (T22) Independent Living Program (pdf)
Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission’s Community Living Services ‘ Turning 22 Independent Living Program provides transition services for young people who have a severe physical disability with a mobility impairment, and would like to live independently after high school graduation or turning 22. The program utilizes the independent living philosophy in which consumers are empowered to make their own decisions about their lives, based on informed choice. The T22 Independent Living Program provides funding for three major components: Supported Living (case coordination), the Transition to Adulthood Program and Ancillary Supports.
MRC staff also work with special education departments to coordinate services for students who will be graduating and needing supported living services. Students can choose the supported living provider with whom they wish to work and should begin meeting with them during the last 6 months he/she is in school. The case coordinator will help with such things as finding accessible housing and hiring appropriate Personal Care Assistants (PCAs).
Transitioning to Adult Program (TAP)
The TAP program, funded by Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) is offered through six independent living centers and provides peer mentoring, independent living skills and self-advocacy services to special education students (ages 14 – 22) regardless of type of disability. If a student is interested in receiving independent living skills training through the TAP while in school, contact: Anna Hermann, Independent Living Programs Supervisor at 617.204.3786
MGH Aspire Teen Programs
Offers a variety of community-based education activities for teens and young adults (ages 13 – 22). For additional information, call 781-860-1900. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Easter Seals of Massachusetts Youth Transition Services
High school students with disabilities, their families and educators are given tools to help achieve their vision. Assistive technology, rehabilitation therapy, vocational evaluation, career skills development, job placement, on-the-job training, Independent living-skills, social and recreational opportunities are just a few of offerings.
Partners for Youth with Disabilities
YEP Career Readiness Program
The Young Entrepreneurs Project is a career development program for urban youth, ages 14 – 24, with disabilities and their peers without disabilities. To enroll contact your MRC counselor
Partners for Youth with Disabilities-Access to Theater
Access to Theater is a series of interactive discussions and recreational activities designed to help adolescents and young adults, ages 14 – 22, with disabilities and special health care needs prepare for adult life. Access to Theater is an award-winning inclusive theater program for teens and young adults. Its purpose is to develop communication, artistic, and leadership skills, and lasting professional and personal friendships. It is held over the summer as a two-week theater camp, and throughout the year as a weekend program.
About Chapter 688: Massachusetts Dept. of Education (pdf)
Massachusetts Chapter 688 of the Acts of 1983 (also known as the “Turning 22 Law”) stipulates that a student receiving special education, who because of the severity of his or her impairment may require continued disability-related services upon exiting school (by graduating or turning twenty-two years of age, whichever occurs first), shall be offered specific, coordinated transition planning. As such, the statute establishes the Bureau of Transitional Planning (BTP). The primary function of the BTP is to insure that for all students referred under Chapter 688, formal transition planning occurs in accordance with the process and outcomes described in the statute.
Advising High School Students with Disabilities on Post-secondary Options (pdf)
This 192 page guidance and career counselors’ toolkit resource contains answers to counselors’ most frequently asked questions about post-secondary opportunities for students with disabilities. Students and their families are encouraged use the toolkit to help guide their transition planning for college and career. It has been vetted by the U.S. Department of Education.
An Approach to Transition Assessment and Planning
Tips in transition planning for students and parents from The Asperger’s / Autism Network (AANE).
Transition support for students with physical disabilities and health conditions
Center for Parent Information and Resources: Transition Planning
Provides resources for parents helping to navigate the transition process for students.
Central Mass Transition Resource Guide (pdf)
Developed by the Central Transition Team to coordinate information about the state agencies and other resources in central Massachusetts that may be involved in planning and providing transition services. (2010)
Designed to help individuals with autism spectrum disorder and other learning differences explore career interests, see & obtain employment and successfully maintain employment.
National Health Care Transition Resources
A national resource for health care professionals, families, youth, and state policy makers focusing on a young adult’s transition from pediatric to adult health care.
Project Access Program: High School Transition for Students with Disabilities
Project Access helps high school students with disabilities transition into post-secondary education, increase their success rate and retention at Howard Community College, and improve career counseling and job placement services to meet their needs.
Arc of Massachusetts Transition Resources
Transition is about planning for life. The transition your son or daughter will make from school to adult life in the community is a long journey beginning at age 14 through 22 years. Transition services include post-secondary education, vocational education, integrated and supported employment, adult services, independent living and community participation.
School Days to Pay Days: An Employment Planning Guide for Families of Young Adults with Intellectual Disabilities
This publication was written by staff from the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services and the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Boston.
Think College Options for Those with Intellectual Disabilities
Website provides access to searchable databases of existing college options. Be sure to check out “What’s New” feature on right side of screen.
Transition from School to Adult Life
This site from Department of Elementary & Secondary Education provides helpful guidance on transition for both the students and their families.
Transition from School to Adult Life Time Lines (pdf)
This downloadable brochure was prepared by Arc of Massachusetts and The Arc of Greater Haverhill / Newburyport. It gives timelines and what parents can do to prepare for their child’s transition.
Transition Planning for Adolescents with Special Health Care Needs and Disabilities: A Guide for Health Care Providers
This 80-page resource guide is written for health care providers who care for children with special health care needs. This booklet was created through a joint effort of the Institute for Community Inclusion at Children’s Hospital, Boston and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, as part of the Massachusetts Initiative for Youth with Disabilities.
Transitioning Teens with Autism Spectrum Disorders (pdf)
Be sure to check out the Autism Consortium’s extremely helpful manual for youth with ASDs over age 12.
Set to Go: Transition Year
A road map to emotional health at college which helps parents of child with mental health condition and students themselves.
VR Services to Youth in Transition
MRC is an agency that is here to guide you through the transition from high school to your options of independent living and work. We will assist you in identifying your strengths, interests, and areas where you may need more support.
Youth on the Move
Provides information, strategies, and resources to transition navigators – teachers, counselors, family members, and community providers – – to guide youth on the move.
Transitions Research and Training Center Materials
UMass Medical School’s Mental Health Transition tip sheets, information and materials are accessible to diverse audiences. If you need a publication or product in an alternative format, please send a request to TransitionsACR@umassmed.edu
Fact Sheet last updated on: 5/2/2019