Resource Directory /

Transition Tools

These tools will help you prepare for the transition to adulthood.

The transition to adulthood is a significant and exciting time in a person’s life. For youth with special healthcare needs and their families, this journey is no less rewarding but requires careful planning and knowledge of valuable resources to assist in the transition. We’re here to provide this support and help you and your family prepare for what lies ahead.

We have developed a set of checklists and materials to help youth and their families learn and practice new skills and gain greater confidence and independence. You can search for these resources by category or region on the right side of this page.

We’ve also compiled some of our most popular checklists and materials into one convenient packet for ease of reference:

We also have a booklet that includes information and resources that can be useful in planning for government benefits and health insurance:

If you are interested in receiving a printed copy of the toolkit or the Guide to Adult Benefits, Services and Resources, please click here.

We are eager to partner with you to make the journey to adulthood as successful as possible.

Healthcare Resources

  • Special Olympics School of Strength

    Special Olympics has created a fitness video series in partnership with WWE for Special Olympics athletes, led by Special Olympics athletes. The fitness campaign targets athletes in their teens and late 20s and features four workout videos with varying levels of difficulty in flexibility, strength, balance and endurance exercises encouraging athletes to commit to a lifetime of fitness habits.

  • The Importance of Healthcare Transition

    Transition not only includes vocational goals and community involvement but also health care transition. This includes discussing and planning for maximizing the potential for self-management of health care, along with age-appropriate health care as they transition to adulthood.

    In this short video, one of the regional managers with UIC’s Division of Specialized Care for Children (DSCC) explains the importance of healthcare transition and how DSCC is here to help youth and their families prepare for what lies ahead.

  • PACER's National Parent Center on Transition and Employment

    Information and resources for families of youth with disabilities on transition planning, civil rights, work-based learning, higher education and more.

See all

independence Resources

  • Illinois Life Span Program (ILS)

    Funded by a grant through the Illinois Department of Human Services, the Illinois Life Span Program (ILS) of The Arc of Illinois provides information and resources related to disability advocacy, supports and services across the life span. ILS staff members are family members of people with disabilities themselves and understand the importance of knowing there is someone to call when there’s a question.

    You can call ILS at (800) 588-7002.

  • Sign Language Interpreter Directory

    The Illinois Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission maintains a directory of sign language interpreters. You can search the directory by an interpreter’s name or by region/county.

  • Communication Wallet Card

    The Secretary of State’s Office offers an Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) Communication Wallet Card to help notify law enforcement that a person may have difficulty communicating. Applicant’s may request the wallet card at any Illinois Secretary of State Driver’s License Facility.

    The wallet card is available to notify law enforcement in advance that a person may require alternative methods of communication in order to respond to and communicate with an officer.

See all

work Resources

  • "What You Need to Know About Your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) When You Turn 18"

    This publication helps youth prepare for the transition from school to adult life. It provides information about SSI work incentives that primarily affect youth, as well as information about common programs and services that parents, guardians and youth may find helpful. Specific programs covered include the Student Earned Income Exclusion, SSI Continued Payments (Section 301), vocational rehabilitation and the Department of Education’s Parent Centers. Information on Medicaid, the importance of keeping health insurance and having a primary care provider are also included.

  • Building a Resume: Tips for Youth with Disabilities

    PACER’s National Parent Center on Transition and Employment provides these tips for young people with disabilities and their families on effective strategies for building the first resume.

  • Illinois Transition Consortium

    Helps students successfully transition from school to employment by providing contacts, education, and support.

    Contact by phone (618) 651-9028 or e-mail swalters@isbe.net.

See all