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.

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independence Resources

  • 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.

  • Special Needs Chicago Transportation Services

    Special Needs Chicago provides individuals with physical and/or cognitive challenges throughout Chicago and the suburbs with wheelchair-accessible transportation.

  • The Basics on PUNS

    PUNS is the name for the list of the people in Illinois with developmental disabilities who want or need services but do not yet have funding. Individuals who need help from the government to pay for needed Division of Developmental Disabilities Waiver services now, or in the future, should register for PUNS.

    This handout from The Arc of Illinois provides an overview of how to get on the PUNS list and how to check the approximate date when you may be selected.

    (English) (Spanish)

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work Resources

  • A Transition Guide to Postsecondary Education and Employment for Students and Youth With Disabilities

    The U.S. Department of Education Department provides this transition guide to help students with disabilities and their families understand the years-long process and the options available to them as they prepare to leave public education.

    The guide addresses transition planning, transition services and requirements, education and employment options for students and youth with disabilities and how to support the decisions made by students and youth with disabilities.

  • "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.

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