PA Transition Tidbits

Updates and Events - March 2023


Situational Analysis

Looking for a tool to help a student with a disability make decisions about which types of jobs and work environments they may enjoy?

Situational Analysis a form of environmental assessment which is completed in REAL employment and community situations. The student and job coach are able to learn about the “reality” of the work environment including: task skill requirements, variety of tasks and activities on the job, social skill requirements, formality and rigidity of the work environment vs. informality, pace of activity, amount of personal interaction, and ultimately the comfort level of the job seeker with different environments.

Considerations that must be made include:

  • Where the assessment will take place?
  • How long the assessment will occur?
  • How many assessments will be completed?
  • Who will be completing the assessment?
  • How the assessment data will be reviewed?

Take a look at a sample situational assessment tool that you can use to gather transition assessment data on students you work with!


Student Participation in The IEP

Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA, 2004), local education agencies must demonstrate "evidence that the student was invited to the IEP team meeting where transition services were discussed". In Pennsylvania, Chapter 14 requirements extend that requirement down to students who will turn 14 during the duration of their annual IEP, where transition services were discussed.

It is important to note that student participation in the IEP planning process and meeting are important; however, participation is not required. It is recommended that every effort be made to empower students to participate meaningfully in the IEP meeting.

The picture to the right highlights different ways students may be involved in their IEP team meeting.

Interested in Learning More about Postsecondary Options for Students with Intellectual Disability?



Executive Producers: Jan Bechtel, Ann Marie Licata, Thomas Neuville

Hundreds of colleges across the U.S. are opening doors to higher education for students with intellectual disability. The 36-minute film “Opening Doors to College” shows how students like Curtis, Janet, Fudia, and Missy are leading this inclusion revolution as they immerse themselves in classes, residential life, extracurricular activities, and the entire college experience at Millersville and Temple Universities.

Learn more by watching the video below or by visiting the website:

Opening Doors to College


Nominations Needed: Katie Smith Youth Leadership Award

The Pennsylvania Youth Leadership Network is proud to announce a new award to recognize youth and young adults with disabilities who are leaders in their communities! This award is inspired by the late Katie Smith, who was a fierce champion for disability rights and youth voice. Katie dedicated much of her life to empowering young people to see themselves as leaders and make positive change in the world. We hope this award with uphold that legacy and continue to support a new generation of youth leaders!

Please use this form to nominate a young person age 14-26 from Pennsylvania whom you feel has made a positive difference in their community or beyond (YES, you can nominate yourself! YES, you can nominate more than 1 person!). Please keep in mind, leadership does not always involve being the person in charge or the loudest person in the room. More often than not, leadership is shown through the little ways we care for each other and lift each other up! We'd like to challenge you to think outside the box!

Who can be nominated:

- Youth or young adult from Pennsylvania

- Self disclosed disability or health care need

- Age 14-26

- Has demonstrated leadership skills in their community or beyond

What's next:

- Selected youth leader(s) will be informed Spring 2023 and will be invited to attend the Pennsylvania Community on Transition Conference taking place August 9th and 10th in State College, PA (all expenses paid)

- Selected youth leader(s) will also be acknowledged at the conference by PYLN youth and other Pennsylvania leaders with a monetary award


If you need help with this form or have questions, please reach out to Erin Weierbach at

Youth Council Members Needed

The PEAL Center has a new opportunity for transition-aged youth to incorporate their voice into the work we do at PEAL and across Pennsylvania.

Youth will work directly with the youth team at PEAL to do things such as a town hall, presentations, tip sheets, attend conferences (i.e., PA Secondary Transition Conference), develop community partnerships, and more.

Council members will be paid for their participation, including travel expenses to conferences and speaker compensation.

To apply, they must be:

-Be transition-age 14 years old or older

-Live in Pennsylvania

-Have mental health, medical, or disability diagnosis

Please apply or share with any young person you know who is looking to develop leadership skills or wants to be more involved in advocating for young people like themselves.

The application is located here:

Applications will close on March 15, 2023.

If you have any questions or if anyone needs assistance to apply, you can contact Khaleya Spence or call/text (267)-427-2721.


PA Supporting Families Innovation Spotlight: Supporting the person and the family toward Competitive Integrated Employment

PA's Regional Collaboratives and other interested parties are invited to hear about an exciting innovation for supporting families in PA! The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation has received a federal grant to help people transition from subminimum wage to competitive integrated employment. Supporting the person and the family and use of Charting the LifeCourse framework are key elements in the grant design. Join us to learn about supporting the family and using LifeCourse help to change what's possible. Thinking differently leads us to plan and engage differently.

March 8, 2023

1 - 2:30 pm

Register Here

Get to Know Your School Counselor: Improving Collaboration to Support College and Career Readiness for Youth with Disabilities

This NTACT:C webinar will focus on the nature of college and career readiness supports among youth with IEPs, on 504 plans, and without disabilities using the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2012 data. These supports could be delivered by either school counselors or transition specialists, and as such, we will focus on practical strategies for improving collaboration between transition specialists and school counselors in order to support youth with disabilities and ensure their inclusion in schoolwide college and career readiness efforts.

March 9

2 - 3 PM (Eastern)

Register Here

PEAL Center's 21 and Able Series

PEAL is offering 21 and Able virtual sessions to help youth, parents, guardians and family members empower young adults with disabilities transition smoothly from the last day of high school to the first day of adult life by increasing education, employment, housing and independent living and other opportunities

PEAL Center’s 21 and Able Project, Powered by United Way helps young adults with disabilities transition smoothly from the last day of high school to the first day of adult life by increasing employment, housing opportunities and other support.

PEAL works with families:

  1. Providing drop in sessions for support and information, training and individual support for transition.
  2. Connecting families, especially for young adults with the most significant disabilities and complex needs to the community supports and services they need.

Use this link to register!

Adult Care and Transition Team (ACTT) at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is hosting a spring Siblings Support Group

On Wednesday, March 15th from 7-8:30 PM, ACTT will be hosting a Zoom workshop designed for persons aged 18 and up who have a sibling with an intellectual or developmental disability (IDD) to discuss the process of transitioning to adult care services (whether they be medical, legal, financial, service-based, etc.).

ACTT will be giving an overview of the domains to consider in a person's transition to adulthood and the role a sibling can play. This workshop will be led by fellow siblings and there will be discussion and debriefing of the session. ACTT is looking forward to this event which they hope will be a communal experience and safe space for siblings to come together and learn more about how to support and empower their sibling into adulthood!

Here is the link for the EventBrite page where interested siblings may RSVP.

Please contact Matthew Eiman with any questions: | 814-327-5737

Transition Services & Contemporary Mental Health Related Issues & Approaches - Part 2

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. This presentation will focus on 1) the provision of background and contextual information, 2) delineating some risk factors for transition professionals to be aware of, and 3) sharing some suggested practices and resources regarding these contemporary mental health related issues.

March 31

2 - 3 PM (Eastern)

Register Here

Health Matters: Supporting Children & Youth with Disabilities


A one-day conference for parents and professionals, with a unique leadership strand for youth. PEAL offers this event at no cost! Event is focused on families living in Adams, Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Fulton, Huntington, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Northampton, Perry, and York Counties, but all are welcome to attend.

Where: Wyndham Lancaster Resort and Convention Center (2300 Lincoln Hwy East, Lancaster, PA 17602)

When: March 23, 2023 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Lunch will be provided. Details will be sent after registration.

In Person Registration Link

Youth Registration Link

Virtual Option Link


A one-day conference for parents and professionals, with a unique leadership strand for youth. PEAL offers this event at no cost! Event is focused on families living in Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Fayetteville, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Somerset, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties, but all are welcome to attend.

Where: Pittsburgh (Rodef Shalom Congregation, 4905 Fifth Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213)

When: April 20, 2023, 9:00am -3:30pm.

Lunch will be provided. Details will be sent after registration.

In Person Register Here

Youth Register Here


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!


ASERT (Autism Services, Education, Resources and Training)

ASERT (Autism Services, Education, Resources and Training) is a partnership of medical centers, centers of autism research and services, universities, and other providers involved in the treatment and care of individuals of all ages with autism and their families. ASERT was developed to bring together resources locally, regionally, and statewide.

ASERT Mission

Innovate, collaborate, and lead to improve access to quality services, data, and information; to provide support, training and education in best practices; and to facilitate the connection between individuals with autism, developmental disabilities, and special populations, families and key stakeholders at local, state, and national levels.

Key Initiatives:

  • Support the autism community throughout PA
  • Educate individuals with autism and their families, professionals, and community members
  • Measure data, needs, and change
  • Connect local, regional, and statewide resources
  • Build resources, programs, and innovative projects

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!

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.