PA Transition Tidbits

Updates and Events - May 2023


Supported Decision Making

What is Supported Decision-Making?

Supported Decision-Making (SDM) allows individuals with disabilities to make choices about their own lives with support from a team of people they choose. Individuals with disabilities choose people they know and trust to be part of a support network to help with decision-making.

Supported Decision-Making is an alternative to guardianship. Instead of having a guardian make a decision for the person with the disability, Supported Decision-Making allows the person with the disability to make his or her own decisions.

Check out this recorded webinar sponsored by The PEAL Center as Robert Lodge, Staff attorney at Disability Rights Pennsylvania, explores alternatives to guardianships, and why this should be the last option.

Exploring the Life Domains: Supported Decision-Making

The LifeCourse Nexus Training and Technical Assistance Center explains that supported decision making is about helping people, regardless of age or ability, make their own decisions by using a variety of integrated supports, including other people they trust, technology, community supports, or paid supports. The supports might help a person understand issues/choices, ask questions, receive explanations in a way that works for them, communicate their own decisions to others, or build their own decision-making skills. Just because someone has a certain disability or diagnosis, or is experiencing memory or other challenges related to aging or dementia, doesn’t mean they cannot express preferences or make choices and decisions, with help as needed.

Several tools are offered through the LifeCourse Framework to help a person, family, or a professional explore areas where any person might need decision making support, plan for what it looks like and how it can happen, and seek out the needed supports.

Tool for Exploring Decision Making Supports

Trajectory for Supported Decision-Making

Integrated Support Star for Supported Decision-Making

National Resource Center for Supported Decision Making

The National Resource Center for Supported Decision-Making (NRC-SDM) builds on and extends the work of Quality Trust’s Jenny Hatch Justice Project by bringing together vast and varied partners to ensure that input is obtained from all relevant stakeholder groups including older adults, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), family members, advocates, professionals and providers. The NRC-SDM partners bring nationally recognized expertise and leadership on SDM, representing the interests of and receiving input from thousands of older adults and people with I/DD. They have applied SDM in groundbreaking legal cases, developed evidence-based outcome measures, successfully advocated for changes in law, policy and practice to increase self-determination and demonstrated SDM to be a valid, less-restrictive alternative to guardianship.


  • Resources
  • Tools
  • State Level Information
  • Shared Stories
  • Newsletter & Webinars
  • Jenny Hutch Justice Project


How Engaged are Your Students in Campus Life?

Date & Time

May 2, 2023 02:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)


Trying new things and meeting new people are some of the most important parts of college. Ways to engage on campus are as broad and varied as students’ interests and diversity across communities. When students engage outside the classroom, they discover something new about themselves whether it is by joining clubs, interning or working, attending special events, or even just hanging out in the cafeteria.

Engagement outside the classroom helps students: • Develop ideas • Identify with a community • Establish life-long friendships • Meet role models and informal mentors • Uncover hidden talents • Learn new skills • Obtain employment For students with intellectual disabilities participation in social activities doesn’t always come easy. During this webinar, our presenters will use the community life engagement guideposts as a framework to facilitate campus community engagement for Monique, a fictitious student.

This event is hosted by Think College's National Coordinating Center at the Institute for Community Inclusion/UMass Boston. For more information about this webinar, contact Sheila at or visit ThinkCollege.Net.

Register here!

Supporting Students with Disabilities in Career & Technical Education

TransCen 2 Part Course

Career and Technical Education (CTE) programming supports the development of foundational professional and technical skills to achieve employment in specific career pathways. CTE is open to every student and is a resource to align students’ aptitudes and interests with postsecondary goals; however, how does this work when students have physical, learning, emotional, and/or cognitive challenges that may conflict with the skill requirements of different CTE courses? There are strategies to assist educators' ability to problem-solve by creating accessible programming options for students with different challenges. This two-part series will discuss how professionals can advocate at the state, local, and school levels for improved access as well as identify appropriate accommodations, supports, promising practices, and alternative options to maintain the integrity of CTE programming while differentiating learning.

Part 1: Understanding CTE to Support Students with Disabilities

Cost: $35

Date: Friday, May 12th, 1 to 2:30 p.m. ET

The first part of this two-part webinar series will provide participants a deeper understanding of CTE and how to have informed, effective conversations to support students' success in participating in career exploration and opportunities. Participants will learn:

  • The requirements to have an approved CTE program
  • How a system of collaboration between CTE, Special Education, and Vocational Rehabilitation can provide more opportunities for students with disabilities
  • Different resources to support identifying career pathways for students
  • What questions to ask when determining placement in career exploration opportunities and CTE programs
  • The significance of accommodations versus modifications in CTE programming and career planning

Part 2, Effective Supports in CTE Programming

Date: Friday, May 19th, 1 to 2:30 p.m. ET

Cost $35

The second part of this two part webinar series will challenge participants to think outside the box to develop effective, differentiated approaches to support students with disabilities in career exploration opportunities and CTE programming. Participants will learn:

  • The significance of accommodations versus modifications in CTE programming and career planning
  • The importance of work-based learning
  • The importance of professional skills in preparing students with disabilities for career success
  • Models which effectively develop skills to help students learn how to obtain, keep, and be promoted in a chosen career field

Abriendo Caminos Exitosos

Jóvenes, familias y profesionales, ven y únanse a nosotros el 16 de mayo de 9am a 4pm a aprender y dialogar sobre cómo abogar por sí mismo y/o por los jóvenes. Vamos a dialogar y aprender de auto-abogados, los directores del estado y otros expertos en una variedad de tópicos. Tópicos tal como, creando comunidades, apoyando las voces de los jóvenes, consejos sobre motivar a los jóvenes, servicios clínicos y escuelas, auto-abogacía, e independencia estarán presente.

Enlace de registro

This conference is only in Spanish / Esta conferencia es solo en español

Cuándo: 16 del mayo de 2023 (9:00 a.m.)

Unpacking & Rethinking Guardianship for Disabled People

Mid-Atlantic ADA Center

May 24, 2023 2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. EST

Guardianship impacts at least 1.3 million disabled people in the United States. In recent years, the topic has received more widespread attention, in part due to the #FreeBritney movement and experience of Britney Spears.

Participants will leave this webinar with a better understanding of what guardianship is, whom it impacts, how restrictive guardianships can impact reproductive health decision-making, and less restrictive alternatives happening at the state level.

Register here to attend!

Transition Services & Contemporary Mental Health Related Issues and Approaches

Hosted by:

National Technical Assistance Center on Transition: The Collaborative

June 8

2 - 3 PM (Eastern)

This webinar is the second in a series exploring issues that can impact the mental health of individuals who have reached the developmental period associated with transition services. The content of this specific presentation will include a discussion of topics to include anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, and self-harm; school violence; social media; partnering with families; and supporting friends secondary to their own mental health.

Use this link to register!

Save the Date

The PA Secondary Transition Community of Practice will be holding its annual conference, Our Voice, Our Plan, Our Future, on August 9 & 10, 2023 at the Penn Stater Conference Center.

Registration and youth/family scholarship applications will be available in May, 2023.

Check here later this month to find registration information.


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

Are you looking to learn more information about transition?

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!


Are you looking for transition events across PA?

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.