Special Education: Transition Resources

Dear Northside Parents, Families, and Students,

Welcome to the NISD transition resources site.

Families experience changes many times throughout life. The better prepared one’s family is for transitions the quicker they adjust. Some transitions are complicated and unfortunately many families that have children with disabilities are usually under-informed about adult services. For those families post-secondary transition is a particularly stressful time of life. Consider that families experience three aspects of transition when a child is preparing to graduate: a bureaucratic transition from school to adult agencies, a transition in the family’s life, and a transition in the child’s growth to adulthood (Ferguson, Ferguson, & Jones, 1988).

Northside’s Special Education Department is committed to facilitating students’ growth to young adulthood through both transition planning and the delivery of transition services.  Because post-secondary transition is such a complicated effort, your support helps lay the foundation for its work which begins in elementary school and continues through middle and high school (see Table 1).  

Northside accomplishes the important work of transition planning by empowering families and providing students the tools needed to overcome many of the challenges they will face as young adults and throughout life.

I encourage you to explore the links on this page; it is never too early to begin planning for life after graduation. To illustrate this point, consider that the Department of Aging and Disabilities Services has a 10-11 year long waiting list for Home and Community-based Services (Retrieved from Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services website: http://www.dads.state.tx.us/services/interestlist/); if a family would like to consider this type of support they would need to apply when the child is eight years old or in the 3rd grade to be at the front of the list when they turn 18 or are in their senior year of high school.

Please contact your child’s special education case manager or the school’s special education department for further information.

Valerie Uriegas

Special Education Area Coordinator & NISD Transition Coordinator



Table 1. Transition Planning and Transition Services Delivery


·         Students develop self-determination

·         Student self-evaluation is emphasized

·         Post-school outcomes or goals should be consistent with the self-evaluations

·         Students should select educational experiences to fit the desired transition outcomes


·         Services and programs are based on students’ interests, preferences, and skills, with an orientation toward the future

·         Inclusion in career and technology education programs are emphasized when appropriate

·         Community-based programs are emphasized as learning environments when appropriate

·         Linkages with agencies are promoted when needed

·         Community organization should be involved

Source: A.S. Halpern (1994). The transition of youth with disabilities to adult life: A position statement of the Division on Career Development and Transition, The Council for Exceptional Children. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 17, 115-124.

Ferguson, P., Ferguson, D., & Jones, D. (1988). Generations of hope: Parental perspectives on the transition of their children with severe retardation from school to adult life. Journal of the Association of Persons with Severe Disabilities, 13, 177-187.

Upcoming Transition Events:

Palo Alto College is offering a unique opportunity for students with intellectual disabilities called Project Access.  The program is designed to support student access to post-secondary education that develops skills for gainful employment. Click here for more information including requirements and how to apply

Please explore the transition and Medicaid resources below:

The official Texas Education Agency (TEA) website for transition. 

Texas Department of Rehabilitative Services

Online College and Career Readiness Resource Center (OCCRRC)

Transition In Texas - helps parents gain a better understanding of the transition process from high school to the world of adult activities. 

Learn 421- Offers resources for Graduation and Transition Services for students receiving special education.

Texas Project First - created by parents for parents in conjunction with TEA, provides accurate and consistent information to parents and families of students with disabilities. 

Texas Parent to Parent (TxP2P) - Is an organization committed to improving the lives of Texas children who have disabilities, chronic illness, and/or special health care needs.  TxP2P empowers families to be strong advocates through parent-to parent support, resource referral, and education.  TxP2P educates professionals about the unique needs of children with the goal of improving care and opportunities.  TxP2P is dedicated to championing efforts of a diverse set of parent support groups and advocacy on behalf of the well being of children.

Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) - HHSC oversees the operations of the health and human services system, provides administrative oversight of the Texas health and human services programs, and provides direct administration of some programs.

Children's Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program

Texas Department of Family and Protective Services

Texas Department of State Health Services

Parent Center Hub - Transition planning for youths with disabilities

Think College - College options for students with disabilities

I'm Determined - The I’m Determined project, a state directed project funded by the Virginia Department of Education, focuses on providing direct instruction, models, and opportunities to practice skills associated with self-determined behavior. This project facilitates youth, especially those with disabilities to undertake a measure of control in their lives, helping to set and steer the course rather than remaining the silent passenger.

Pacer Center - Through more than 30 projects PACER provides individual assistance, workshops, publications, and other resources to help families make decision about education and other related services for their child or young adult with disabilities.