Empowering families to advocate for themselves so that children with special educational needs can reach their full potential in education and life - through support, training, and education. 
four transition age youth with disabilities
Be Aware and Be Prepared! 
Resources related to transition from high school to adult life
A teacher discusses how he assists in the transition process with his students.
A teacher discusses how he assists his students during the transition process.

Youth transitioning to adulthood can be an awkward time in life. There are many challenges for almost every young person today but there are also exciting opportunities ahead. As a parent/family member of a child with a disability, preparation and knowledge of available resources can aid in the transition.

Youth with disabilities may need extra supports throughout their transition period in order to make informed choices and become self-sufficient adults. This includes planning for post-secondary education, housing options, and their careers.

The resources listed below are designed to assist parents and family members in understanding the various systems and available services/supports youth might need during and after the transition process. It's never too early to get engaged in collecting the necessary information you and your child will need to navigate transiting from high school to adult life.

While we cannot include every possible resource, we have compiled a list we think covers a large sector to equip you with tools necessary to help guide you through the transition process. The websites listed include tool kits, articles on best practices, and services/supports in your area.

Centers for Independent Living 
The Missouri Statewide Independent Living Council (MOSILC) promotes independent living for persons with disabilities and assists the 22 Centers for Independent Living in Missouri in developing their capacity and expanding their services.

Missouri Vocational Rehabilitation (VR)
VR specializes in employment and training services that can assist you in becoming employed. VR offers a wide range of services that are individualized for your needs. You and your counselor decide which services will help you become employed. Some of the services that may be available are: Guidance and Counseling, Job-Seeking Skills, and Job Placement and Vocational Training. VR also provides assistance with Transition Services, Supported Employment Services, Rehabilitation Technology Services, and the Ticket to Work Program.

National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability
Publications for understanding the various systems youth are involved in during the transition process and research-based programs and policies that have been found to be highly effective in assisting youth with disabilities through the process. Family Guideposts highlight proactive roles families can play and offer examples of how families can become informed, supportive, and engaged in their youth's transition.

Choose Work
The Social Security Administration (SSA) and CESSI, the Program Manager for Recruitment and Outreach for the Ticket to Work program, launched the Choose Work website for people with disabilities receiving Social Security disability benefits. The Ticket to Work program is a way to assist people to gain and maintain employment.

Going to College
This website provides information for high school students on living college life, providing video clips, activities, and additional resources that can help you get a head start in planning for college.

Heath Resource Center at the National Youth Transition Center
The Heath Resource Center Clearinghouse has information for students on educational disability support services, policies, procedures, adaptations, accessing college or university campuses, career-technical schools, and other post-secondary training entities. Check out the resources tab on the site.

Career One Stop
This website provides free tools and resources to a variety of audiences and about many topics, including multiple topics for workers with disabilities.

My Next Move
My Next Move is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor and Employment & Training Administration, and developed by the National Center for O*NET Development. It is an online job-exploration tool designed to assist any job seeker to explore and search possible employment opportunities.

I'm Determined
You can find information on goal setting and understanding personal strengths on this website.

This online resource offers a dynamic, curriculum-based tool that can help young adults plan for life after high school.

Job Accommodation Network (JAN)
JAN offers free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations.
youth with signs my future my story
Missouri STELLAR Project: Supporting Transition to Engaged Lives by Linking Agency Resources

Mission: Assist transition-age youth (14-26) with disabilities, their parents, family members, guardians and advocates; or other authorized representatives of the individual to effectively engage in vocational, independent living, and rehabilitative services.

Key Approaches/Initiatives:
  • MPACT Transition Mentors are specially trained to assist families and youth with disabilities through transition, post-secondary choices, and RTN (Regional Transition Networks) involvement.
  • Regional Transition Networks are statewide groups comprised of community stakeholders in the area of employment, independent living, and education.
    • Identify current effective practices and community resources and services for transitioning youth
    • Identify barriers and gaps in services related to employment and create action plans to address through information, resources, and training
    • Disseminate information about regional employment options and best practices in the region to families, youth with disabilities, and agencies
  • Career focused and supervised community-based on-the-job training while in school
  • Inclusion of self-advocacy and self-determination skills in the curriculum
  • Interpersonal skills and job-related skills training for students
  • Involvement and coordination of students, parents, businesses, and community representatives in interagency transition teams
  • Meaningful job placement experiences that provide living wages and career opportunities for youth with disabilities
  • Continuous support for both employer and student
For more information about STELLAR contact 800.743.7634 or info@missouriparentsact.org.
9th Annual Tools for Life Summit
Summit audience

OCTOBER 17, 2017

Keynote Speaker and Sessions

The Summit is a one-day learning experience designed for students who have disabilities, special education transition personnel and student teams, family members, case managers, VR counselors, and Centers for Independent Living personnel. Summit sessions are focused on the preparation of youth for transition to post-secondary education, employment, independent living, and community experiences.
Registration Cost: (all include lunch)
  • School teams of educators and students (each educator must be accompanied by at least one student) - no cost
  • Family member with student - no cost
  • Young adults with a disability (18yrs-26yrs) - no cost
  • Family members without a student or young adult 25.00
  • Professionals without a student or young adult 50.00
Exhibitors: $100.00 (display table, lunch, registration for one participant)
Sponsorship: Organization Logo on T-shirt and summit literature: $125.00
Exhibitor and Sponsorship Combo: $150.00 (includes logo on T-shirt given to students, registration for one participant, display table and lunch)
Sessions will cover: Employment, career exploration, self-determination, youth leadership, planning for college and information about Vocational Rehabilitation and Center for Independent Living services, Assistive Technology understanding ADA, Social Security, Housing and more....
Keynote: 2017 Keynote speaker will be shared at a later date, please check back! Previous Keynote speakers have included Aaron Likens, Matthew Pearl, LeDerick Horne, Greg Marshall, Kionne McGhee and Lauren Zeliff.
More info coming soon! D etailed agenda and registration will be posted on our website closer to the event.

For more information about the Tools for Life Summit, contact 800.743.7634 or info@missouriparentsact.org.
Additional MPACT Transition Events

Southwest Missouri Area
September 12, 2017

St. Louis Area
November 3, 2017
MPACT is funded in part or whole by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs Grant No. H328M090020-10. The contents of the website, however, and any documents cited herein do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S Department of Education.
Copyright © 2017 MPACT. All rights reserved.
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