PA Transition Tidbits

Updates and Events - March 2022


Employment First - January 2022 Updates & Progress Report

Pennsylvania aims to increase employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Act 36 of 2018 or the Employment First Act will provide training, education, and support services to help individuals reach their personal goals.

Employment First requires any group receiving public funding to ensure that employment is the main focus for education, training, or support services for anyone with a disability who is eligible to work.

The commonwealth is committed to making data-informed decisions with the utmost transparency in collaboration with communities impacted by the policies implemented. By putting forth this public-facing data, the commonwealth seeks to increase awareness of the statewide successes and challenges related to the competitive integrated employment of individuals with disabilities. To access these databases, please visit the Employment First Statewide Cabinet Report Dashboard and the Employment First OVR Cabinet Report Dashboard for more information.

Click here to access the Employment First - January 2022 Updates & Progress Report

ACT 158 - Statewide High School Graduation Requirements

Act 158 of 2018 (Act 158), signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf on October 24, 2018, provides alternatives to Pennsylvania's statewide requirement of attaining proficiency on the three end-of-course Keystone Exams (Algebra I, Literature, and Biology) for a student to achieve statewide graduation requirements.

For students graduating in 2023 and beyond, five pathways exist for meeting state high school graduation requirements:

  • Keystone Proficiency
  • Keystone Composite
  • Career and Technical Education (CTE) Concentrator
  • Alternative Assessment
  • Evidence-Based

Click here to read more about Act 158.

To support LEAs in implementing Act 158, an Act 158: Pathways to Graduation Toolkit was created by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and is housed in the SAS Portal.

It should be noted that there have been no changes to the graduation requirements for students with disabilities. The possibility for students to graduate on IEP goals continues to exist if the student does not meet one of the pathway requirements under Act 158. There is specific guidance for students with disabilities as well as information about waivers and special circumstances.

In addition, PDE is offering office hours to answer questions from the field:

PDE Act 158 Office Hours for Winter 2022

3PM to 4 PM--Targeted Topics (30 minutes)/Open Q&A (30 minutes)

March 2: Industry Credentials

March 9: Special Education

March 30: Technical Assistance Session for Tracking Tool

Tracking Tool Webinar – March 16th 9-10:30am

The 2022 Data Summit (March 21-23, 2022) will also offer multiple sessions on Act 158 topics.

Any questions related to Act 158, the trainings, or resources may be directed to


PA CareerLink® Offering New Online Job Skills Training! - SkillUp™ PA

SkillUp™ PA provides access to FREE online job skills training to Pennsylvanians. Courses are available on the portal and can be taken by registering for a free account on the PA CareerLink® website. SkillUp® PA helps Pennsylvanians strengthen their job skills to compete in the current employment market. The portal is a flexible, self-directed, web-based online learning service that offers over 6,000 learning modules for users who can manage their own programs and improve their skills on their time.

SkillUp™ PA has -

  • Assessments to help users identify skills gaps
  • Over 6,000 learning modules including:
    • Soft Skills
    • Communication Skills
    • MS Office and advanced MS credentials and other IT courses
    • Project Management
    • Leadership
  • 130+ Industry Recognized Credential paths
  • A self-paced easily understood user interface

To access, visit PA Career Link and either sign in or register as a new user!


Scholarships Available for Special Education Advocacy Curriculum

In partnership with Comcast NBCUniversal, The Arc is offering scholarships to receive free online access to our Special Education Advocacy Curriculum (normally a $99 value), which provides the basic information needed to navigate the special education system. Learn more and apply today!

Schools-to-Work Program Grant

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) announces the availability of approximately $2,500,000 in funding for Schools-to-Work Program (STWP) Grant awards. L&I will be launching a Schools-to-Work Program through the competitive award of grants to sponsors in partnership with schools in the commonwealth to support the establishment or enhancement of a workforce development partnership between schools, employers, organizations, or associations to create employment and training pathways. The Notice of Grant Availability (NGA) seeks applications to support this statewide initiative.

To learn more, visit the Department of Labor and Industry Site

Application Deadline: Tuesday, March 15, 2022 at 4:00 PM


Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF) has compiled a list of the top public and private funding resources for assistive technology for kids under 18 with physical disabilities – and provided a few examples of the AT these resources may cover.

Visit their website to learn more!


Mental Health Needs of Youth Employment Programs

The Surgeon General recently released an advisory report, "Protecting Young People's Mental Health," in which the devastating impacts of the pandemic and the alarming increases in mental health needs of young people are outlined. The National Youth Employment Coalition is coordinating a brief questionnaire to help understand how workforce providers are grappling with this crisis. Your input will provide insight into the youth employment field's current capacity to screen, connect, and serve youth with mental health needs. To learn more, visit the input form created by the National Youth Employment Coalition.

Deadline for completion of this instrument is March 11, 2022.

Person Driven Planning

The PA Secondary Transition Community of Practice is seeking input from youth and adults supporting youth of transition age on knowledge of and involvement in person-driven planning practices. Please take a few moments to provide your input to the team and share within your networks as you see appropriate. The information gathered will be used for cross-agency state level goal development for the 2022-2023 school year. Your input is important! Responses will be accepted through 3/31/2022.


Big picture


Help the Pennsylvania Community on Transition learn more about how youth set goals and plan for their future. Please share this flyer with youth you know!
Youth Survey Flyer


Transition Meetings for Parents

PEAL's 21 and Able Project is hosting several parent virtual meetings and drop-in sessions in the coming months (starting March 15th!) to support empowering parents to empower their youth/young adults in transition! We have attached the flyer and the link that will lead you to the registration. 21 and Able, Powered by United Way Tickets, Multiple Dates | Eventbrite

Save the Date: 2022 PA Community of Practice Transition Conference


Don't forget to check the events calendar to stay up to date on all of the great events happening in PA and nationally related to secondary transition!

Council for Exceptional Children (CEC): Division on Career Development and Transition (DCDT) Townhalls

Division on Career Development and Transition (DCDT) Townhalls

DCDT wants to connect, engage, and provide support to our community. That is why we are offering a series of DCDT Townhall discussions, which are free to all members! We hope to connect with you on the second Tuesday of each month at 3pm EST.

  • March 8, 2022 - Transition in Practice
  • April 12, 2022 - Early Career
  • May 10, 2022 - Publications
  • June 14, 2022 - Research

Visit the DCDT website to learn more.

NOTE: These townhalls are for MEMBERS only. To learn more about how to join, visit the DCDT website.

National Technical Assistance Center on Transition: The Collaborative (NTACT:C)

The National Technical Assistance Center on Transition: The Collaborative (NTACT:C) provides information, tools, and supports to assist multiple stakeholders to provide effective services and instruction for students and out-of-school youth with disabilities.

Check out their Training Resource Library.

If you're new to transition, be sure to check out Transition 101!


Did you know that there are 29 Intermediate Units across the state of Pennsylvania? Each IU has training and consultation (TAC) staff dedicated to secondary transition. The Transition TAC across the state do AMAZING work at the local level to help local education agencies improve transition practices for students with disabilities. Each month we will feature TAC across the statewide system!



Dr. Erin Grimm

Dr. Grimm has served as the transition TAC for the 42 LEAs in Allegheny County for 10 years and has over 20 years experience in special education. She is passionate about making a difference for youth and educational professionals in the are of secondary transition.

Get in Touch with Dr. Grimm:


Phone: 412-394-4952


Transition Coordinating Council of Allegheny County

Central Region

Schuylkill Intermediate Unit (IU 29)

Doreen Milot

Schuylkill Intermediate Unit is in a rural community and operates the Maple Avenue Campus, the county’s only public school for exceptional children. The campus offers center-based programming and services to students from across Schuylkill County. Over 100 students are enrolled by the SIU’s 12 member school districts. Their mission is to collaborate with school entities, community agencies, business and government partnerships, tp serve the changing needs of education through delivery of services, improvement of current programs and implementation of new initiatives. Secondary transition consultation has always been part of that mission and Doreen has been involved with that work since 2018.

Get in Touch with Doreen:


Phone: 570-544-9131 x1258


Eastern Region

Buck's County Intermediate Unit (IU22)

Denise Harmon and Jamie Lil

The Bucks County Intermediate Unit operates as a regional educational service agency to provide cost-effective, management-efficient programs to public and private K-12 schools, school districts, and the community of Bucks County. Denise has served as a transition TAC for 9 years and Jamie has served in this role for 11 years.

Get in Touch with Denise and Jamie:

Email: and

Phone: 215-348-2940


2021 Virtual Transition Fair


This newsletter is brought to you by: The Pennsylvania Community on Transition

The Pennsylvania Community on Transition is a group of various stakeholders from across Pennsylvania who work collaboratively to ensure appropriate transition outcomes for Pennsylvania youth and young adults.

The Pennsylvania Community on Transition is a state leadership team consisting of representative from: the State Departments of Education, Health, Labor and Industry, and Human Services; Various Serving Agencies, Young Adults, Parent Organizations, Advocates, Higher Education, and Employers.

The shared vision and common goals of the Pennsylvania Community on Transition is achieved when all PA youth and young adults with disabilities:

  • Successfully transition to the role of productive and participating adult citizens
  • Are empowered to recognize their talents, strengths, and voice
  • Have equal access to resources that will promote their full participation in the communities of their choice.