Resource Directory /

Transition: Education Resources

  • “What’s New in the 2020 ISBE Parent Guide on Understanding Special Education in Illinois?”

    Family Matters Parent Training and Information Center provides a summary of the key updates in the Illinois State Board of Education’s 2020 Parent Guide on Special Education.

  • 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 includes information on 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.

  • Able Flight Aviation Scholarships for People with Disabilities

    Able Flight is a nonprofit organization offering scholarship opportunities for flight and aviation career training for people ages 18 and up with physical disabilities. Past recipients have included wheelchair users, wounded veterans, and people with a variety of congenital birth defects or who have lost limbs. You can learn more about eligibility requirements, application deadlines, what scholarships will cover and more by reading Able Flight’s frequently asked questions.

    Able Flight also offers three different scholarships programs:

    • The Full Flight Training Scholarship for people who wish to earn a Sport Pilot certificate.
    • The Return to Flight Scholarship for someone who becomes disabled after already having earned a pilot’s license.
    • The Career Training Scholarship allows an individual to earn an FAA-issued Repairman Certificate (Light Sport Aircraft) with Maintenance Rating, an FAA Dispatcher License, or for training to qualify for a career in the use of drones for commercial purposes. This scholarship can pay for academic expenses for an aviation career with committee approval.
  • Achieving Independence and Mobility Center for Independent Living (AIM-CIL)

    Achieving Independence and Mobility Center for Independent Living (AIM-CIL) provides training, peer support, information and referrals, community development and advocacy services to help individuals with disabilities participate in all aspects of family, social and community life. AIM-CIL serves residents with disabilities and their families in DuPage, Kane and Kendall counties. 

    Other AIM-CIL programs include:

    • Assistive Technology Program – Individuals/families can apply to receive up to $500 for an authorized device(s). Only one device per person/per household.
    • Educational Scholarship Program – Students can get up to $1,000 for college or trade school registration/application/lab fees, books and/or class tuition. Only one scholarship per student/household. Please refer AIM-CIL’s website for specific requirements and deadline dates.
  • Advocating for LGBTQ Students With Disabilities

    Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) students with disabilities face unique challenges as a result of their disability status and potential bias related to their sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression. Educators, counselors, parents/guardians and other adult allies play an important role in ensuring the safety, inclusion and well-being of these students.

    This Human Rights Campaign Foundation guide provides educators and parents/guardians an overview of the rights of LGBTQ students with disabilities as well as actionable recommendations on how to best support them.

  • 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.

  • American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) Internship Programs

    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:

  • Bilingual Parents Video Library

    The Illinois Resource Center has put together a library of videos for bilingual parents with videos in French, Tagalog, Urdu, Arabic, Polish, Spanish and English.

    Each video showcases subjects and information relevant to parents, caretakers and community members, such as the role of Bilingual Parent Advisory Committees, financial aid for college, tenant rights, multilingual student rights and more.

  • Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation

    The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is a nonprofit dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by advancing innovative research and improving quality of life for individuals and families impacted by paralysis.

    The website includes the ability to search by zip code or location to find local resources and organizations that support people living with paralysis at www.christopherreeve.org/get-support/resources-in-your-area.

  • College Illinois! 529 Prepaid Tuition Program

    The College Illinois! Prepaid Tuition Program was established in 1997 to help make college a reality for Illinois families. College Illinois! helps to lock in the cost of college by allowing Illinois families to prepay for future tuition at today’s plan rates.