PA Transition Tidbits

Updates and Events - September 2022


YOUth Leadership Panel

During day 2 of the PA Secondary Transition Conference, youth and young adults stole the show and shared what they've learned about being a leader. The panel offered advice to other young people in the audience and talked about how the adults in the room and online can be supportive allies and help young people achieve big things.

The panel of youth and young adults was coordinated and moderated by Zoe Small, Youth Leadership Coordinator for the PEAL Center and governing board member of the Pennsylvania Youth Leadership Network (PYLN).

To learn more about how you can foster leadership skills in youth and young adults, visit the Transition Discoveries framework.

AYPF Posts Blog: Make No Choice Without Youth Voice

The American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF) released a blog which describes how youth engagement in decision-making, especially about issues that directly affect young people’s lives, has benefits not only for the young person, but also for institutions, systems, and society at large. Click here to visit the full blog.

Transition Activities and Services for Justice-Involved Youth and Young Adults with Disabilities

This resource released by the Center for Advancing Policy on Employment for Youth (CAPE[1]Youth) provides an overview of state policymakers' comprehensive strategies to better support justice-involved youth and young adults with disabilities (Y&YADs) in their transitions to the workforce or postsecondary education. These considerations were identified during a roundtable discussion with practitioners, policymakers, and individuals with lived experience hosted by the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy and the White House Office of Public Engagement. CAPE-Youth is drafting two detailed research briefs that will expand upon these policy considerations to support justice-involved Y&YADs during their education, employment, and more transitions.

Transition Activities and Services for Justice-Involved Youth and Young Adults with Disabilities (


Transition Assessment

During a cyclical monitoring for continuous improvement, a monitor will look for evidence that the measurable postsecondary goal(s) were based on an age appropriate transition assessment.

What is Transition Assessment?

Transition assessment is "the ongoing process of collecting data on the student’s needs, preferences, and interests as they relate to the demands of current and future working, educational, living, personal, and social environments” (Sitlington & Payne, 2004).

What is the purpose of Transition Assessments?

“Transition assessments should gather information in four broad areas: (a) academic performance, (b) self-determination, (c) career interests and skills, and (d) adaptive behavior and independent living (Walker, Kortering, Fowler, Rowe, & Bethune, 2013).

Neubert and Leconte (2013) suggested transition assessment information is further strengthened when it includes both skills and aptitudes a student has and skills needed to be successful in the next environment are examined. The information gathered should inform the IEP team’s decisions about post-school goals.

Transition assessments:

•provide information useful in career counseling;

•help students choose an appropriate course of study;

•allow ongoing assessment of performance in coursework and community experiences;

•help determine appropriate instructional settings; and

•assist with determining necessary accommodations, supports, and services.”

What is meant by "age appropriate"?

By ‘age-appropriate,’ the expectation is that assessments used are gathering information during the CURRENT school year to inform post-school decisions and gather information on the student’s preferences, interests, needs, and strengths relevant to adult life. "Age appropriate” means a student’s chronological, rather than developmental age (Wehmeyer, 2002).

For resources to support transition assessment practices, visit the assessment tools on the PA Secondary Transition website.


Age Appropriate Transition Assessment Toolkit

Developed by the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition (NTACT), now the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition: The Collaborative (NtACT:C), this toolkit gives information on the following:

  • What is transition assessment?
  • Why conduct transition assessments?
  • How do I select instruments and methods?
  • How do I conduct age appropriate transition assessment?
  • Emerging issues
  • Sample Instruments
  • Planning tools
  • Timelines
  • References

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!


Transition Discoveries: Designing Pathways to Competitive Integrated Emplmoyment

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), Bureau of Special Education is requesting applications from Local Education Agencies (LEAs) and Approved Private Schools (APS) interested in using the Transition Discoveries framework and Quality Indicators survey to create evidence-based systems that improve competitive integrated employment outcomes for transition-aged youth with disabilities.

Through the use of the Transition Discoveries framework, school communities will co-design opportunities for youth, families, and stakeholders to build on their knowledge, skills, and relationships to prepare youth for life after high school. By utilizing the framework, school communities are empowered to identify transition practices and design new approaches that help youth with disabilities better reach their goals.

The purpose of the Transition Discoveries: Designing Pathways to Competitive Integrated Employment grant is to:

  1. Build a team to create and support engagement in the collection, review, and analysis of survey data to develop a customized approach to the transition planning process to improve inclusive transition services and supports for students with disabilities.
  2. Empower youth, families, educators, and community members to serve as meaningful partners in the design and delivery of transition planning and systemic implementation of transition services.
  3. Utilize available resources and supports to improve and increase cross agency collaboration.

LEAs and APSs, including career and technical centers, charters schools, cyber charter schools, intermediate units, and school districts, are eligible to apply. Grant monies will be awarded to applicants with a full complement of Transition Change Agent Team members and who have evaluated and described their readiness to successfully implement Transition Discoveries and all required activities.

Funding of up to $45,000 over the two-year grant period will be available for each successful applicant from the date of the award through August 15, 2024.

This two-year grant opportunity will require LEA or APS Implementation Teams to:

  • Form a Transition Change Agent Team.
  • Utilize Transition Discoveries tools and protocols to collect data from youth, families, and community partners.
  • Identify up to four priorities from the Transition Discoveries Quality Indicators data.
  • Participate in asynchronous and synchronous professional development.
  • Develop and implement a community action plan.

The application is posted on the Secondary Transition webpage of the PaTTAN website.

Applications must be received by Monday, September 12, 2022, at 3:00 PM.

For questions regarding the Transition Discoveries: Designing Pathways to Competitive Integrated Employment grant contact your reginal intermediate unit transition TAC or PaTTAN consultant.


Research Opportunity: Elementary Self- and Career-Awareness Study

Future Quest Island-Explorations (FQI-E) is a free online game-based curriculum that promotes college and career awareness, SEL, and self-concept for 3rd to 5th graders. FQI-E is universally designed and accessible to students with disabilities; it uses the evidence-based possible selves framework to help all students understand themselves, set goals, and plan expansive futures.

Program developers are currently enrolling schools in a study to test the effectiveness of FQI-E and get recommendations for program improvements. Participating educators receive early access to the game, coaching on using it in the classroom, and a gift card.

Study participation involves helping distribute and collect parent consent forms (electronic and/or paper), administering 20 minute electronic student pre- and post-surveys, implementing the curriculum (6-10 hours, self-paced), and potentially participating in a focus group.

Interested? Fill out this form to learn more. The study and the Future Quest Island - Explorations program are funded through a grant from the Office of Special Education Programs. Receive preliminary access to the materials & a gift card!


What LEAs Need to Know About The Secondary Transition Cyclical Monitoring Schoology Course


Thursday September 15, 2022 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM - Webinar

Target Audience (see attached Penn Link below for identified LEAS )

Staff from LEAs identified through the Bureau of Special Education (Penn*Link) including special education administrators, building principals, transition coordinators, special education teachers, speech language therapists, school counselors, school psychologists, career tech ed staff, and other LEA staff involved in secondary programming.


In response to the accountability requirements under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004 (IDEA) Part B State Performance Plan, a focus is the development of compliant and individualized secondary transition programming for students with disabilities.

During this webinar, local education agencies (LEAs) will learn of the requirements for completing the "Preparing for Cyclical Monitoring: A Focus on Secondary Transition Planning and IEP Development" online course. The presenters will discuss how to organize staff to complete the seven modules that focus on the steps in the transition planning process as they relate to the Indicator 13 requirements in the Cyclical Monitoring for Continuous Improvement (CMCI). In addition to the supports within the course, a discussion regarding the sustained professional development available via PaTTAN and Intermediate Units to identified local educational agencies (LEAs) based on IEP pre-reviews using the Pennsylvania Indicator 13 checklist and/or identified coaching needs will also take place.

Register Here

The Nuts and Bolts of Job Coaching


Course opens Monday, October 10, 2022 and runs through Monday, December 05, 2022 - Online

This self-paced five module online course provides participants with relevant information regarding the role of a Job Coach to support students in community-based work settings.


At the end of this training, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the responsibilities and competencies needed to support transition-aged students build work-related skills in community-based settings
  • Identify relevant Labor Laws and implications when supporting students in employment settings
  • Apply and implement strategies to provide community-based employment education to students with disabilities
  • Reflect on personal skills and practices to identify strengths and areas for growth

Target Audience

Paraprofessionals, other support staff, teachers, transition coordinators, special education directors, or anyone interested in this topic.


Pursuing Equity at the Intersection of Language, Culture and Disability - Stakeholder & Family Engagement

When: Sep 7, 2022 01:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

This free webinar series will focus on elevating equity in opportunity and achievement for students with disabilities or who may have disabilities and who are English learners.

NCSI welcomes all interested State Education Agency staff, Local Education Agency staff, parents and family organizations, state-level or national TA or professional development providers, representatives from institutions of higher education, education partners and any interested parties.

Conversations are organized around NCSI's four systems elements: data literacy, stakeholder engagement, research-informed practices, and systems coherence.

Click here to register!

Creating Content: How to engage youth and families


Sep 19, 2022 02:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

During this fun and engaging session, Katy Albert will train you on the best practices of social media engagement and creating social media content that will captivate and activate state youth and families. The session will include a Q&A with Erin Thomson,
Youth Advocate for Change committee member and Communications Consultant.

The webinar has the following objectives:
1. Educate attendees on best practices for social media content.
2. Showcase how social media content can be created to engage with, educate, and activate followers.
3. Empower attendees to get the most out of their efforts on social media.

Presenters: Katy Albert, VP, Blender Inc. and Erin Thomson, Youth Advocate for Change committee member and Communications Consultant

Click Here to Register!

Family Leadership Conference




Family Voices, the Center for Parent Information and Resources @ SPAN, and the Regional Parent TA Centers are hosting a national family leadership conference, Moving Forward: Embracing Change and Transformation.

The conference will bring together a diverse community of family and youth leaders, representatives from Parent Centers, Family-to-Family Health Information Centers, Family Voices Affiliate Organizations, and other professional partners and stakeholders from across the country.

Together we will learn from each other, share resources and expertise, explore ways to improve supports to families, learn new strategies for managing nonprofits, and increase capacity for families to partner in health and educational systems change.

Click here to register!


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!

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.