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Post Secondary Transition Services

Post-secondary transition is a multi-year, multi-step process for youth beginning at the age of 14. Through the use of assessment and ongoing data collection, IEP teams work collaboratively to identify post-secondary goals and outcomes for students with disabilities. The three primary categories teams should consider for each student include post-secondary training and education, post-secondary employment, and independent living. The individual is a critical component in helping guide the IEP team into anticipated outcomes. Use this site to find general information and resources in helping obtain identified outcomes. Your team’s special education case manager and district’s Transition Coordinator can provide additional assistance and resources as needed during the planning process.

Transition Planning Resources
PA Secondary Transition
Chester County Resource Guide

Post Secondary Education and Training

Post-secondary education and training refers to any education preparation required for an individual in a post-high school setting. There are many options for students with varying levels of support. Often, teams identify an employment outcome. The employment outcome will help drive decisions about the types of education and training required. Please see below for topics to consider when teams plan post-secondary education and training outcomes.

Alternatives to 2 or 4 year college experiences

Life and career studies completion programs- these programs are often designed for individuals that would require modifications or significant adaptations to the standard college curriculum. Typically, these programs are reserved for individuals with the disability category of Intellectual Disability or Autism with identified needs in adaptive and functional levels. Speak to your special education case manager for more information about appropriate programs that may be available to your student.

Autism specific programs 
Some colleges have created programs and support services specifically geared towards individuals with Autism enrolled in a college program. This attachment is a non-exhaustive list of some of those programs.

Post Secondary Employment

In March 2016, Governor Wolf signed the “Employment First” policy into office. The policy prioritized increasing competitive integrated employment opportunities for individuals with a disability. The policy further established an increased effort in funding, initiatives, hiring, and retention of all people with disabilities within the labor force (PA General Assembly, 2018).

The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) is a life-long government agency helping individuals gain and maintain employment. Support is available to students in assisting them in obtaining employment outcomes. OVR recommends that students register for OVR two years before receiving their diplomas. Get started on the process:
OVR Overview

DASD Work Experience Program

Students who are eligible through an evaluation process can participate in the DASD Work Experience Program. The work program supports our DASD students in preparing and increasing students’ vocational skills to enter competitive work experiences post-secondary. Students receive direct, explicit teaching from a special education teacher in pre-vocational training classes. They then are asked to generalize their skills out into the local community while accompanied by a DASD employee known as a Job Coach. Review community partners who support our students and initiatives for our work program.

Independent Living

There are several solutions for people with disabilities when considering supportive living options. Teams should identify the level of support needed and discuss the living options most appropriate. Families should consider funding options, including but not limited to government-funded waiver options and privately established special needs trusts. Community agencies are required when seeking independent living support and funding. Review the resources below as it pertains to independent living solutions.

Resources for Independent Living

Community Agencies

  • Chester County Mental Health/ Intellectual Development Disabilities (MH/DD) Office
    • Process- call the office and request an intake process to begin to determine eligibility. If found eligible, a service provider can be selected.
    • MH/IDD Website
  • The ARC of Chester County

Funding Considerations

Funding is necessary to help secure financial means to provide independent living services to individuals with disabilities. Families should consider supplemental social security information such as SSI, waiver options for funding, and special needs trust.

Post Secondary Funding Considerations
Waiver Information

Transition Program

DASD Transition Program aims to establish a continuation of educational experiences for qualified students with disabilities ages 18-21. Our Transition Program focuses on all areas of transitional preparation, including post-secondary education, employment, independent living, recreation and leisure, community engagement, and community navigation. Experiences occur in both authenticated and contrived situations. Students generalize their acquired daily living skills at our Transition home, a three-bedroom house located adjacent to Downingtown West High School. In addition, students partner with local community organizations to participate in our DASD Work Experience Program. Students have ongoing instruction and related services regarding their transition plans, travel training opportunities, and community outreach efforts.

The goal of the Transition Program is to prepare students for identified transition outcomes. The program mirrors adult living solutions to ease students into transitioning to their subsequent placement. Staff work closely with community agencies, adult service providers, and transition teams to help identify, plan, and execute transition plans for students when they leave the school system and enter adult servicing. Upon completing the program, students will have obtained the acquired skills to meet the outcomes identified in their individualized transition plans, established connections with community agencies, and networking relationships with community supports to take the following steps in education, employment, and independent living.