Virginia Commonwealth University Center on Transition Innovations

The Center on Transition Innovations offers rich information to support your work in helping youth with disabilities achieve their full potential as they transition into adulthood.

Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR)

CPIR is a central “Hub” of information and products for the network of Parent Centers serving families of children with disabilities.

The Youth Transitions Collaborative

A powerful community of more than 45 organizations that share a common mission: to empower young people with disabilities as they enter adulthood and the world of work. Bringing together the collective resources of regional and national organizations, the Collaborative focuses on transitions related services, research, best practices and projects to help young people with disabilities build paths to independence.

The latest resource from the Collaborative is “Work Early, Work Often,” a video-based campaign that highlights the importance of work and work-based experiences in an individual’s transition to adulthood, particularly for young adults with disabilities. Three storylines, each focusing on a different subject and narrative, reflect perspectives from key audiences that are part of the transition journey. Watch the videos individually or as a series.

College Resources for Students with Disabilities Guidebook

With more adaptive technologies and progressive legislature, prospective college students with disabilities have countless resources available to make the transition to higher education less stressful. This guide was created to help these students and their families better understand the resources available to them. Key elements of the guide include:
- A comprehensive overview of the various cognitive, physical, or other types of disabilities students face while attending school
- Reviews of several technologies and advocate groups available to students who face various disabilities, such as ADD, autism and more
- Tips and resources to help students transition from college to career

Released as part of the Obama Administration’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative, a resource guide for federal programs that can make it easier for employers to hire young people.

Pathways for Youth Employment: Federal Resources for Employers: This resource guide highlights a diverse set of federal resources available to private businesses, non-profits, faith and secular community-based organizations, public agencies, tribes, labor organizations, and academic institutions that offer entry-level opportunities for youth. Featured resources include One-Stop Career Centers, Federal Bonding, YouthBuild, Registered Apprenticeship and Job Corps programs administered by the U.S. Department of Labor, and AmeriCorps grants administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Information for parents and teachers of children with special needs (and people who want to become special education teachers)

This site includes original, trustworthy content from a number of experienced special education professionals, including prominent contributors such as Tim Shriver, Chairman of the Special Olympics. Special features include:

- A guide to disability categories that are covered under IDEA
- State-by-state guides to teacher certification and master's degree programs in Special Education
- A comprehensive guide to Response to Intervention (RTI)

Meet Ben! An Introduction to Ticket to Work

This Social Security Administration video provides an easy-to-understand overview of the Ticket program for beneficiaries. In addition, the video serves as an additional resource for service providers to educate beneficiaries by explaining the key benefits of participation in Ticket to Work. Download this video and share it with your customers.

101 Noteworthy Sites on Asperger's and the Autism Spectrum

The term “autism spectrum disorder” (ASD) covers a broad range of complicated conditions that typically include difficulty with communication and socialization, learning and developmental deficits, and obsession with a narrow range of subjects. The complexity and shifting definitions of the term autism spectrum disorder and other related conditions makes this an important subject for anyone working with students or clients with these diagnoses. PhD in Special Education has compiled a list of sites broadly categorized in no set order that offer information, from scientific data to personal anecdotes, that makes it easier to understand autism spectrum disorders, Asperger’s Syndrome, and other relevant disorders.

EEOC Releases Updated Publications on Employment Rights of People with Specific Disabilities

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has released four revised publications on protection against disability discrimination in the workplace. The publications describe how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to job applicants and employees with cancer, diabetes, epilepsy and intellectual disabilities.

National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability (NCWD) for Youth

The National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth) is composed of partners with expertise in disability, education, employment and workforce development issues. NCWD/Youth is housed at the Institute for Educational Leadership in Washington, DC. The Collaborative is charged with assisting state and local workforce development systems to integrate youth with disabilities into their service strategies. Issues included:

The Person-Centered Planning Education Site Cornell University’s Employment & Disability Institute

This website of the Employment and Disability Institute at Cornell University helps users enhance their awareness of and appreciation for person-centered planning by providing an overview of the person-centered planning process, self-study courses covering the basic processes involved, a compendium of readings and activities and various downloadable resources and links. 

Disability Tax Credits and Deductions

This U.S. Department of Labor website gives details on the tax credits for small business and tax deductions for barrier removal and certain accommodations. Also, many states have state level tax credits that may be helpful to employers.

A Guide to Career-Focused Mentoring for Youth with Disabilities

"Paving the Way to Work: A Guide to Career-Focused Mentoring" was developed by the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth) specifically to address the needs of youth with disabilities during their transition from school to work.

Red Book - A Guide to Work Incentives

The Red Book serves as a general reference source about the employment-related provisions of Social Security Disability Insurance and the Supplemental Security Income Programs for educators, advocates, rehabilitation professionals and counselors serving people with disabilities.

U.S. Department of Education Releases Parent & Educator Guide on Section 504 in Public Elementary & Secondary Schools.

The Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) within the U.S. Department of Education recently released several guidance documents, including a Parent and Educator Resource Guide to Section 504 in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools (“Resource Guide to Section 504”).

Free support and useful resources to individuals and families who have been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and other disabilities.

Cerebral Palsy Group is an online resource for anyone who has been affected by cerebral palsy, birth injuries, or brain injuries - created to provide answers and all types of assistance needed to help improve the quality of life for loved ones and family members with cerebral palsy.

Cerebral Palsy Guidance (CPG) also provides resources related to Cerebral Palsy medical information, lifestyle, socio-economics, behavioral, education, human rights, culture and more (trials, case studies, personal stories, etc.).

Guided Group Discovery Resources: Introduction and Course, Participant Workbook, and Facilitator Guide

The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), and the LEAD Center have released resources for Guided Group Discovery. Guided Group Discovery materials include a Facilitator Manual, an accompanying PowerPoint slide deck (Introduction and Course), and a Participant Workbook. The purpose of Guided Group Discovery is to lay the foundation for competitive integrated employment as a Universal Design that can benefit all job seekers. For some people, Guided Group Discovery leads to Customized Employment. For everyone, the process assists job seekers in identifying employment that would be a good fit both for them and an employer.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law that makes available a free appropriate public education to eligible children with disabilities throughout the nation and ensures special education and related services to those children.

The IDEA governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education, and related services to more than 6.5 million eligible infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities.

New Curriculum on Transportation Education and Travel Instruction

Easter Seals Project ACTION has released a new curriculum to provide educators; transition, human services and transit professionals; families; and others with strategies for integrating transportation content, including travel instruction, into the educational experience for students, including those with disabilities. It is expected that educators can use this curriculum to reduce transportation challenges and improve transition outcomes for students with disabilities. Improving Accessible Transportation Access and Choice for Students has nine, interactive, self-paced learning modules. Learners may download and customize the curriculum materials to align with academic content, instructional activities and unique learning opportunities available in their settings.

Integrated Employment Toolkit

This online toolkit from the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy's (ODEP) includes discussion guides and answers to frequently-asked-questions for people looking for jobs, employers, community employment agencies and others. Integrated employment places both youth and adults in regular jobs in their communities, along with any needed supports, so they can earn a decent wage. In an integrated employment setting, most of the employees are not persons with disabilities.

Institute for Community Inclusion

This is a publication of the Working Solutions project at the Institute for Community Inclusion, funded by the U.S. Department of Education.
Issues included:

The Transition Coalition

The Transition Coalition provides online information, support and professional development on topics focusing on the transition from school to adult life for youth.

The Myths & Realities of Hiring People with Disabilities

Many businesses ask, and are concerned about the cost of hiring someone with a disability to work in their company. There are many misconceptions on this issue and this fact sheet, compiled by Virginia Commonwealth University, provides information about the realities of hiring someone with a disability.

ODEP Fact Sheets on Disclosure of Disability

The U.S. Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) has developed three fact sheets on disclosure to assist service providers and youth with disabilities transitioning from high school to a post-secondary setting or the workplace. The fact sheets provide valuable information and resources to help youth make an informed personal decision about the need for disclosing disability.

  1. The Why, When, What, and How of Disclosure in an Academic Setting, After High School
  2. Youth, Disclosure, and the Workplace: Why, When, What, and How
  3. Advising Youth with Disabilities on Disclosure: Tips for Service Providers

NICHCY’s All About the IEP Pages

This guide provides links to information about IEPs with suggestions for developing them, the ins-and-outs of IEP meetings, and other resources on the "crown jewel" of special education.

Post-School Outcome Data: Making Connections Across Indicators to Improve Post-School Outcomes

The National Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities, in partnership with the National Post-School Outcomes Center, has created an online guide, "Making Connections Across Indicators to Improve Post-School Outcomes: Early State Efforts." Prepared by Cathy Hammond, Ph.D., and Loujeania Williams Bost, Ph.D., the guide provides information on six states that have begun to display, analyze and apply data across Part B Indicators 1, 2, 13 and 14.

DOL's Office of Disability Employment Policy Releases New Soft Skills Curriculum for Young Workers

The U.S. Department of Labor has released "Skills to Pay the Bills: Mastering Soft Skills for Workplace Success," a collection of career development exercises and activities to help sharpen the communication and other "soft skills" of young workers, including those with disabilities. The curriculum covers communication, networking, enthusiasm and attitude, teamwork, problem-solving, critical thinking and professionalism. It was based on a survey of businesses to figure out the most important skills for young workers.

YouthRules! Preparing the 21st Century Workforce

Learn about state and federal laws that govern youth in the workforce.

CareerOneStop is an informational website sponsored by the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration

Find information about careers, industries, wages, job descriptions, training and education.

ODEP Releases Videos Designed to Assist Youth With Disabilities in their Job Search

This series of videos addresses various topics that will help young people with disabilities navigate the job search process. The videos star young professionals that either have disabilities themselves or work with college students with disabilities and are intended to provide real-life information and personal experiences.

Going to Work: A Guide to Social Security Benefits And Employment for Young People with Disabilities

This booklet from the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI), provides basic information about Social Security disability and health benefit programs, discusses what happens to Social Security disability and health benefits when a young person goes to work and explains how to maximize a young person's options when he or she goes to work.

ODEP's Disability Employment Resource for Employers (Reference Guide)

To meet the need for a comprehensive, portable and easy to understand guide for employers who want to recruit, hire, and retain employees with disabilities, the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) has released its new Four-Step Reference Guide, covering topics such as Incentives and ROI, Recruiting, Interviewing and Hiring.

How to Get Scholarships and Grants for Students with Disabilities available via

This guide is part of the College Student Financial Planning Series. Particularly helpful sections are the lists of scholarships (listed by disability) and explanations of loan forgiveness and discharge options for those who acquired a disability after graduation.

Financial Resources and Discounts for Students With Disabilities

College can be both an extremely fun and stressful time of life for anyone, and for those who have disabilities it can add a bit of additional financial and mental stress to the equation. This helpful guide provides various financial resources, discounts and savings opportunities, and travel tips for students with disabilities.