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:
- Guide to Adult Benefits, Services and Resources in English
- Guide to Adult Benefits, Services and Resources in Spanish
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.
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.
DSCC's Self-Care Assessment for Parents/Caregivers of Youth with Intellectual/Development Disabilities
DSCC’s Self-Care Assessment for Parents/Caregivers of Youth with Intellectual/Development Disabilities is designed to help caregivers of young adults (ages 18-25) assess the young adult’s ability to care for their own health. The assessment will help provide information about what your young adult already knows about their health and areas where you/they need to learn more.
If a young adult is able to fill out this information independently, they should complete the young adult version of this form instead.
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.
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.
Disability Vote IL provides voting resources and information for the disability community. The site offers updated nonpartisan videos, webinars and information on elections, how to register to vote, and promoting accessibility of voting technology and polling places. The website also includes information about:
- The Be My Eyes app that helps people who are blind or have vision impairments with voting
- Transportation to the polls
- In-person, nursing home and hospital voting
- Important dates
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:
- Customized employment
- Pathways to employment
- Building self-determination skills
- Transition assessment tools
- The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act
- Work-based learning experiences
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
The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) provides two internship programs offering professional and career development opportunities for students and recent graduates with disabilities. The programs help participants access meaningful employment, gain leadership skills and connect to the broader disability community.
Learn more about the programs and how to apply: