Transition to Adult Life/Adult Services « Utah Parent Center
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Transition to Adult Life/Adult Services

What is in store for youth with disabilities after they leave school? What will happen to your child when they no longer receive the educational services and accommodations which have been mandated by federal law? These questions are important to all parents of youth with special needs. Even though disabilities may vary greatly in their severity or impact, the need to plan for the future is very important for all students. A transition plan is a required part of a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) and should be developed and in place by their 16th birthday.

Transition represents the process of moving from the public school setting, where services are provided to all eligible students through their IEP, to services in adult programs that might or might not be available based on varying eligibility criteria and funding sources. Families who begin planning early will have more time to identify concerns, overcome challenges or barriers that arise, and create opportunities which will help their students achieve their goals. Planning for the future early will alleviate disappointment and anxiety as their students approach adulthood.

The Utah Parent center has created a handbook, a series of information sheets, and a series of video modules that will help parents and their students plan for a successful transition from school services to adult life.


From ‘NO’ Where to ‘KNOW’ Where – Transition to Adult Life Handbook

De ‘NO’ Saber a ‘SABER’ Dónde – Una Guía Paternal Para La Transición a la Vida Adulta


The following series of information sheets will provide information to help parents and young adults understand the transition process from school to adult life and services. Click on each category for more information.

Adult Services

Information on self-advocacy, housing, recreation opportunities, service opportunities, supports for adults with disabilities, and transition from high school

Community Involvement

Ideas and resources to help facilitate involvement in the community


Information on preparing for, finding, and keeping a job

Family Resources

Ways the whole family can support the individual with a disability

General Transition Information

General Information on a wide range of topics


Rights transfer to your child as soon as he/she turns 18, unless you obtain guardianship. Learn about the different types of guardianship and the process of obtaining it.

Living Arrangements

Information on the different types of living accommodations for individuals with disabilities

Person Centered Planning

Information and hand-outs to assist parents and students in engaging in person centered planning.

Post-High Education

There are many options for higher education for individuals with disabilities. These information sheets give information to help you choose a school and be prepared to ask for accommodations to help your youth be successful.


Information on how to participate in recreation opportunities in the community


Learning how to speak up for yourself, ask for necessary accommodations, and be in control of your life is important for an individual with a disability. These information sheets will help you learn how to take charge and be part of the decision-making process.

Supported Decision Making

This guide will give you ideas on five different areas of Supported Decision Making.

“My Voice Counts” was designed and created by the Utah Advocates as Leaders, Self Advocacy Speaker’s Network.  The speakers of the network researched and wrote this guide to help self determined people think about ways in which their voices can be heard when making both simple and hard decisions.

Transition Preparation in Middle and High School

Learn what you can do while still in school to prepare for the transition to adult life.

Vocational Rehabilitation

Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) is a program that helps eligible Utah citizens living with disabilities to maintain, regain, or enter competitive employment.


The Transition to Adult Life video is available in both English and Spanish versions. The video is broken up into 4 modules, and is listed below.

MODULE 1: Changing Roles and Responsibilities; Parents and Youth Planning for the Future

MODULE 2: IEP Requirements and Developing the School Transition Plan

MODULE 3: Understanding and Accessing Adult Services

MODULE 4: Other Transition Concerns – Medical Care, Financial Planning, and Employment

SPANISH: De ‘NO’ Saber a ‘SABER’ Dónde – Una Guía Paternal Para La Transición a la Vida


Life is full of changes. Many changes will happen smoothly, and they are hardly noticed. Other changes aren’t so smooth, and require planning and preparation. high school students have dreams for their futures and what they will do. This is the beginning of adulthood and it is an exciting time, full of opportunity, decisions, and choices. The student is not alone in this process. Key supporters and resources are available, and should be utilized, to maximize the student’s opportunities.

This Transition Action Guide has been prepared to provide information to these key participants in the process of planning by teams for the transition from school to adult life for students with disabilities. In this guide you will find the requirements under the special education law for transition and principles of transition plan development. Additional sections of the guide are designed to address the unique roles, responsibilities, and expectations for each of the potential transition team members. Finally, you will find a glossary, resource information, and planning forms.

Transition Action Guide

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