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:
- Transition Toolkit PDF in English
- Transition Toolkit PDF in Spanish (Coming soon!)
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.
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.
DSCC's Insurance for Teens Tip Sheet
This tip sheet from the Division of Specialized Care for Children (DSCC) explains how teens with special healthcare needs can learn about their insurance benefits, how to keep track of insurance information and explore adult insurance options.
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.
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.
Urban Autism Solutions (UAS) is a Chicago non-profit organization serving young adults with autism and other learning differences. Their person-centered programming focuses on building life skills, community integration, social interaction, an integrated community life, and social and vocational opportunities. UAS programs include:
- The West Side Transition Academy
- Growing Solutions Farm
- Life Lab
- Network 1212 social meet-ups and outings for young adults
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:
Valley Education for Employment System (VALEES) provides career and technical education (CTE) courses and oversees a variety of state and federal education improvement grants for schools in DeKalb, LaSalle, Lee, Kane and Kendall counties. Students with disabilities and other special populations in the VALEES region can earn industry credentials and education benefits, participate in skill-building workshops and competitions, and connect with business and industry. Parents, guardians, educators and professionals can visit the VALEES website for resources and programs for special populations.
SourceAmerica’s Job Board is a resource for job seekers with disabilities and direct service professionals who help job seekers fulfill their work and career goals. SourceAmerica provides a nationwide network, support and tools to find the job that matches your skills and abilities. Their dedicated job board includes:
- A job search tool
- Resume builder
- Career matching and training resources
- Mentorship opportunities