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 fill out this short form.

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

You can learn more about how we help empower youth to have a strong voice in the transition process on our Youth Voice and Youth Advisory Council pages.

Healthcare Resources

  • The Center for Chronic Illness

    The Center for Chronic Illness (CCI) is a nonprofit organization offering support and education to promote well-being and decrease isolation for people affected by chronic illness. CCI offers adults and teens living with chronic illness a variety of support groups and programs focusing on emotional well-being, health education and community. ​CCI provides:

  • National Resource Hub for Moving to Adult Health Care for Youth with Disabilities

    The Center for Transition to Adult Health Care for Youth with Disabilities offers a wide range of tools to empower youth and young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD) ages 12 to 26 to direct their transition from pediatric to adult care. This national site is a one-stop shop where young people and their families, clinicians, and direct care providers can find videos and other resources for understanding and navigating the transition to adult health care.

    Site resources include:

    • An “Introduction to Health Care Transition (HCT)” for youth and young adults
    • Videos and interactive quizzes
    • Changes in insurance and legal rights
    • Quick guides and infographics
  • Illinois Disability Benefits 101

    Illinois Disability Benefits 101 is a free, user-friendly, Illinois-specific website that helps work through the myths and confusion of Social Security benefits, health care, employment and more. It is a one-stop shop for information, resources, and tools to motivate and support employment and community inclusion for individuals with disabilities, their families and professionals.

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independence Resources

  • Illinois Assistive Technology Program

    The Illinois Assistive Technology Program (IATP) provides expertise in assistive technology and accessible information technology to all Illinois residents of all ages with disabilities and/or health conditions including family members, friends and caregivers.

    IATP provides assistive technology demonstrations and allows people to see, try and borrow devices before making a purchasing decision. IATP also allows people to donate or obtain gently used assistive technology devices.

    IATP also offers classes and help in finding the right AT devices for your needs:

    • Tech Kitchen offers cooking classes in a home-style kitchen showcasing accessibility and adapted tools. Classes are for individuals 14 and up with any disability.
    • Smart Home Technology features a five-room interactive Smart Home display highlighting home automation. Experts in assistive technology can discuss your needs and help you compare different AT devices. This program focuses on serving individuals receiving services from the Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Rehabilitation Services (IDHS-DRS).
    • IATP Makers provides custom AT devices and open-source 3D printer files for Illinois residents.
  • Illinois Life Span Program

    The Illinois Life Span (ILS) Program is a program of The Arc of Illinois that provides statewide resources and information, focused on developmental disability services and supports.

    Its website includes a resource locator that can help you find resources in your county and statewide.

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

  • Every Step of the Way Resource Center for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities

    Every Step of the Way (ESW) takes a hands-on, person-centered approach to providing support, networking opportunities and resources for individuals with mild to profound intellectual disabilities ages 20 and up and their parents/caregivers. ESW seeks to create a community where parents/caregivers in Chicago can:

    • Find resources for recreation, education, health (mental and physical), social and daily living skills, and behavioral intervention services
    • Network with each other
    • Brainstorm and collaborate to create programming and develop opportunities for their adult children
    • Advocate and network to accommodate the needs of their adult child and the adult children in the ESW community
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work Resources

  • After 22 Transition Program for Adults With Disabilities

    After 22 is Richard J. Daley College’s comprehensive transition program for adults with disabilities ages 18 and older. The After 22 Pilot Program connects adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to career training, educational opportunities and jobs. This program also teaches students life skills, provides them with coaches and mentors, and allows them to experience social and extracurricular activities.

    Students who complete this program will earn a Career Advancement Certificate from the college (not an academic degree).

    To enroll in After 22, students must have been ensured a free public education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), have a documented intellectual disability, have a high school diploma or GED, and be 18 or older.

  • Illinois Center for Transition and Work

    The Illinois Center for Transition and Work (ICTW) provides support to special educators, related services personnel and administrators by providing statewide training and technical assistance. ICTW strives to improve employment outcomes by focusing on preparing students with extensive support needs for the transition from high school to employment.

    The ICTW website offers information and webinars on a wide range of resources, including:

  • Illinois School-to-Work Transition Guide

    The Illinois School-to-Work Transition Guide is a comprehensive resource for transition-age students and their families as they plan for the transition from school to adult life. This user-friendly guide provides clear, up-to-date information about the transition process with a focus on the transition from school to work. The guide is designed to be a key resource for Illinois students, parents/guardians, teachers, school administrators, guidance and vocational rehabilitation counselors, and other school-based and adult services providers.

    The guide includes information specific to Illinois for the school-to-work (STW) transition, such as:

    • Key individuals and their roles and responsibilities
    • Important steps and stages in the STW transition process
    • Key terms and definitions
    • Legal aspects
    • Helpful guidelines and resources
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