PA Transition Tidbits

Updates and Events - September 2021


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The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), Bureau of Special Education is requesting competitive integrated employment grant applications for the 2021-2022 school year.

Local Education Agencies, including school districts, intermediate units, charter schools, approved private schools and chartered schools for the deaf and the blind interested in establishing or expanding effective, competitive integrated employment programming for youth with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Grant monies will be awarded to applicants who: • Have the ability to partner with local business(es);

• Collaborate with one or more of the following: Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), county/community-based Behavioral Health, Office of Intellectual Disabilities Centers for Independent Living and other disability-specific support organizations; and

• Are establishing or have an established school-based career readiness programs. The funding for each successful grant applicant will be available from the date of the award through August 15, 2022.

• First time applicants are eligible for funding up to $30,000.

• 2020-2021 Competitive Integrated Employment grantees who received funds up to $30,000 are eligible for up to $15,000 to extend current programming.

Note: 2020-2021 Competitive Integrated Employment extension grantees who received funds up to $15,000 are not eligible to apply.

Click here for the:

Overview Webinar explaining the grant process

Request for Applications

Grant Application

Applications must be submitted by 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 31, 2021.

Introducing Transition Discoveries


Improving secondary transition practices in Pennsylvania has the potential to positively impact the post-school outcomes of transitioning youth with disabilities. During this session, participants will learn about the Transition Discoveries framework for improving secondary transition programming. The framework includes a two-year implementation progression with stakeholder surveys, action planning and implementation protocols along with online training modules and resources.

In addition, participants will learn about a grant opportunity for which selected Local Education Agencies (LEAs) will form community-based teams that will utilize the Transition Discoveries surveys with a variety of stakeholders. The results of the surveys will inform the team’s action plan to enhance their transition systems. Grant monies will be available to selected LEAs committed to implementing the Transition Discoveries framework.

Click here to register to learn about the application process:

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20-21 Competitive Integrated Employment Grantee Showcase

During the 2020-2021 school year, the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education awarded 21 LEAs grants to support the establishment or expansion of effective, school-based competitive integrated employment programming.

At the conclusion of the grant, awardees presented their efforts in two-day showcase. The playlist can be found at:

Please take some time to look at the great work happening in PA LEAs surrounding CIE!


PA Independent Living Virtual Conference: The Fight Goes on

September 14 – 16th, 2021

PA Independent Living Virtual Conference: The Fight Goes on

Please consider joining LVCIL and the Planning Committee for this unique opportunity to learn, strengthen accessibility, and connect with likeminded community members and advocates.

Please visit the conference website to view information on topics and presentations. ASL, CART, and Spanish language translation available. Keynote speakers include, Judith Heumann, Josh Blue, Senator Casey and Michael Gamel – McCormick. As a pre-conference event, we will be hosting a free community watch party of “Crip Camp” on September 13th starting at 10:00 AM.

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PA Able Webinars

Free webinar for individuals with disabilities, families and professionals.

A PA ABLE Savings Program account gives individuals with qualified disabilities (Eligible Individuals), and their families and friends a tax-free way to save for a wide range of disability-related expenses while maintaining government benefits. The state and federal tax-free investment options are offered to encourage Eligible Individuals and their families to save private funds to support health, independence, and quality of life.

To help you learn about the important features and benefits of PA ABLE, the Pennsylvania Treasury Department is hosting free webinars.

Some of the topics that we will discuss include: eligibility requirements for opening a PA ABLE account, the federal and state tax benefits of PA ABLE, and how PA ABLE account interacts with current benefits.

Employers and HR professionals can participate in an overview webinar about the PA ABLE program, learning:

  • What PA ABLE is
  • Who is eligible
  • How employees use accounts
  • How to set up payroll deduction

Offer PA ABLE Savings Program to Your Employees For FREE:

Tuesday, October 12, 2021 12:00 PM - 12:30 PM


County Connections and Post-School Supports

Video Link - County Connections and Post-School Supports (From the National Autism Conference 2021)

It is never too early to connect with your county's Mental Health and Intellectual Disability Office. They can help you make plans for services and supports after you graduate. This session will help explain how to make those connections and explain how the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) can support you. Navigating supports and services can feel overwhelming, but this session will provide you with the knowledge to find the right supports and services for you.

Presenters: Stacy Nonnemacher, Angela Fortney, and Andrea Layton, from the Office of Developmental Programs

RENEW - (Resilience, Empowerment, and Natural Supports for Education and Work)

RENEW (Resilience, Empowerment, and Natural Supports for Education and Work) is a structured school-to-career transition planning and individualized wraparound process for youth with emotional and behavioral challenges. Developed in 1996 by staff at the Institute on Disability (IOD), RENEW is being provided by schools, community mental health centers, community-based providers, and IOD staff members to youth. The model focuses on supporting each youth to design and pursue a plan for the transition from school to adult life. RENEW has substantially increased the high school completion, employment, and post-secondary education participation rates among our most vulnerable youth.

In Pennsylvania, most every intermediate unit has one or more RENEW ToTs (Trainers of Training) who are supported by PaTTAN. This 2021-2022 school year, LEAs may reach out to their IU to connect with thier local RENEW ToT and gain an overview. If RENEW is a fit, then the LEA would move into training with the aim of implementing RENEW. LEAs may also reach out to their regional PaTTAN RENEW State Trainer (East - Dr. Kristen Starosta, | Central - Karen Deery, | West - Dr. Sielke Caparelli,

Learn more about LEA training requirements by clicking here. To supplement intermediate units, PaTTAN will be hosting the RENEW Facilitator Training on Oct 26, Oct 27 and January 7. A registration code will be required to ensure that the LEA has connected with thier local RENEW ToT. Registration will be opening soon.

Youth Engagement Transition Initiative (YETI) Outreach Meeting for Students, Youth and Young Adults

The National Technical Center on Transition: the Collaborative (NTACT:C) is in the process of establishing the Youth Engagement Transition Initiative (YETI); a national youth engagement and leadership advisory group. The purpose of (YETI) is to:

  • Include youth voices in directing and supporting the work of NTACT:C
  • Honor the lived experiences of our ultimate consumers Give young people the opportunity to develop and enhance leadership skills
  • Allow NTACT:C to genuinely engage the perspectives of people with disabilities and be informed by those perspectives
  • Provide a model to state and local teams regarding effective youth engagement strategies and activities.

To learn more about YETI, contact Michael Stoehr

NTACT:C. YETI recruitment meeting will be held on September 15th at 1 pm EST.

Register Here

Entrepreneurial Skills Training for Youth

Brought to you by Workforce GPS, this training helps youth develop the skills associated with entrepreneurship and the gig economy, such as the ability to take initiative, creatively seek out and identify business opportunities, develop budgets and forecast resource needs, understand various options for acquiring capital and the trade-offs associated with each option, and communicate effectively and market oneself and one’s ideas.

Training resources include:

  • webcasts
  • guides for program development
  • program examples
  • supplemental resources and curriculum

National Parent Center on Transition and Employment

The Center provides a variety of information and resources on transition planning in middle and high school, post-secondary education, employment, and community living for young people with disabilities.

Apprenticeship Resources

The Center for Advancing Policy on Employment for Youth posted a new apprenticeship web page. The page offers examples of inclusive apprenticeships in states and resources to expand diversity and inclusion in apprenticeship, such as recently published briefs from the Apprenticeship Inclusion Model.

Visit the Center for Advancing Policy on Employment for Youth apprenticeship web page

Apprenticeship for All Podcast

The Partnership on Inclusive Apprenticeship posted a podcast on "The Future of Work: How the Tech Industry is Addressing the Skills Gap and Building a Diverse 21st Century Workforce." In this episode, Jackie Black, director of membership for the Consumer Technology Association, discusses the technology industry's commitment to building a diverse, equitable, inclusive and accessible workforce. She also shares information about how CTA's Future of Work initiatives, including the Apprenticeship Coalition and 21st Century Workforce Council, are preparing people for the jobs of the future.

Listen to "How the Tech Industry is Addressing the Skills Gap and Building a Diverse 21st Century Workforce"

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.