Tips & Tools

All Tuesday Tips

The website of the National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes includes articles aimed at helping professionals create work-based learning opportunities, improve a student’s self-advocacy skills, plan for transition, and request testing accommodations. With the understanding that those first steps toward employment can be a challenge, the center also provides information about applying for a job and how to request an interpreter.

This week, the National Deaf Center will release a choose-your-own-adventure online game called Deafverse World One: Duel of the Bots. This innovative game can help build confidence and vital self-determination skills. It comes with resources for teachers and students, such as a Player Strategy Guide, Learning Objectives, and stickers.

Go to the National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes website and see their article "5 Ways to Go Back to School with #DeafSuccess" to access their wealth of information and resources.

Innovation and technology have opened up new avenues to self-employment. However, beginning a self-employment venture can be overwhelming.

If you have a student who has expressed interest in self-employment, please share the Self-Employment Information and Training webpage, which features handouts on self-employment and resources to support young adults considering this customized employment option.

In addition, the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community’s Center on Community Living and Careers is offering an in-depth, 2-day informational workshop delivered by Griffin Hammis in Indianapolis. At this workshop, The Road to Self-Employment on September 24-25, participants will learn about business plans, support systems, marketing, financing, and more.

This two-day workshop, sponsored by the Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities, is free, but registration is required. For more information and to register, see the Road to Self-Employment flyer.

This week we’re sharing an opportunity for free professional development through a five-part webinar series. These 90-minute webinars explore partnerships and programs for career technical education as well as best practices for developers.

Webinar 1. CTE for Students with Disabilities: A Framework for Understanding Thursday, August 29, 2019 3–4:30 pm Eastern Time

Webinar 2. Effective Partnerships: Communication, Collaboration and Professional Practice Thursday, September 19, 2019 3–4:30 pm, Eastern Time

Webinar 3. Classroom Supports: Universal Design for Learning, Differentiated Instruction Wednesday, October 16, 2019 3–4:30 pm, Eastern Time

Webinar 4. Classroom Management: Behavioral Supports, Motivation, Reflective Teaching Thursday, November 21, 2019 3–4:30 pm, Eastern Time

Webinar 5. Toward Best Practices: Programs that Work, Models Toward Success Thursday, December 19, 2019 3–4:30 pm, Eastern Time

The series is offered by Penn State University’s Workforce Education program, the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition (NTACT), and the Association for Career and Technical Education.

You can register and find more detailed information on the CTE webinar information page.

As pledged last spring, we are providing you with the long-awaited, updated Indiana Diploma Decisions. The 2019 edition is a guide and reference, published by the Indiana Secondary Transition Resource Center, featuring information on diplomas, the Certificate of Completion, graduation requirements and pathways, transition portfolios, and more.

The new edition will be a helpful guide for you as well as your students and their families. Share the link with them:

Indiana Diploma Decisions

Be sure you’re counting everything you should when you’re evaluating, monitoring, observing, and making connections for your Transition IEPs. Register now for one of six 2019 Regional Transition IEP Trainings taking place in September. The Indiana Secondary Transition Resource Center; the Indiana Department of Education, Office of Special Education; and the Indiana IEP Resource Center will collaborate to offer updates on:

  • Graduation Pathways
  • Certificate of Completion
  • Transition Portfolios
  • Transition Activities and Services
  • Creating Better Measurable Annual Goals

Join us if you are a member of an education team overseeing the quality and compliance of Transition IEPs in districts and/or cooperatives—special education directors, assistant directors, coordinators, and department chairs. Seats fill up fast for these informative, full-day trainings, so register now! We’ll be in:

  • Huntington, September 5
  • Hammond, September 13
  • Muncie, September 16
  • Indianapolis, September 17
  • New Albany, September 26
  • West Lafayette, September 30
Can’t be there in person? Connect online October 16 for our wrap up webinar. More information, registration, and the link to the webinar are on our Everything Counts! flyer.

The Indiana Secondary Transition Resource Center (INSTRC) staff would like to welcome you back to another year of Tuesday’s Transition Tips. We appreciate your feedback and are excited to work with you and support your transition efforts this school year. 

A couple of things as we gear up for the 2019-20 school year:

  • If you have a new colleague in your building, please make sure you share Tuesday's Tips with them. We want to reach all new staff, so please let them know subscribing is easy. They should send their name and email address to Lori Pierce at and explain that they would like to be added to the TT mailing list. It’s that simple.

  • This year’s Regional Transition IEP Trainings, “Everything Counts,” begin September 5 and take place throughout the month in six locations around the state. Take a look at the flyer and save the date. We’ll send you registration information next week. For those of you who can’t make it in person, we’ll also offer a webinar training option on October 16.
  • In case you have not met all of our INSTRC staff, here we are:

Check back with us every Tuesday. If you have an INSTRC request, please email us at 

Have a wonderful 2019-20 school year!

Before we let you go off to your well-earned vacations, we have a couple of transition bonuses for those of you still in your classrooms. 

We’ve updated Indiana Diploma Decisions and added it to the resources on the Indiana Secondary Transition Resource Center website. With new information on diplomas, the Certificate of Completion, requirements, graduation pathways, transition portfolios and more, the 2019 edition will be helpful for you as well as your students and their families. Share the link with them:

Indiana Diploma Decisions

We recognize that we may miss some of our transition teachers this late in the year, but we thought it important to send it out anyway, in the event that some of you may be working with students and families over the summer.  We promise to send out Indiana Diploma Decisions again in August!

And one more thing! Save the date!  Through its Benefits Information Network, the Center on Community Living and Careers trains benefits counselors around the state about issues pertaining to Social Security benefits and work incentives, health care, housing, and more. Typically, the training we do is for our certified BIN liaisons, but we also offer a 2-day, information session (non-certified) to provide teachers, school counselors, families, and others with in-depth information about SSI, SSDI, redetermination at age 18, and other benefits and work incentives. Understanding this information will help you guide transition students who are working or those who are preparing to work. 

We’re offering two information sessions this year: August 19-20 and October 14-15.  Both are in Indianapolis.  We’ll remind you in early August when Tuesday Tips resume, but in the meantime watch for registration information on our Benefits Information Training page.  Scroll down to “Social Security and Work Incentives Information Workshop.”


Have a wonderful, relaxing, fun-filled summer!   

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, we’re sharing this gem of a video from the Excelano Project at the University of Pennsylvania. Excelano is a spoken word poetry group focusing on mental health awareness and empowerment. And we certainly can’t describe them any better than they do:

“This group is about finding voice. It is dedicated to the power of the mic and using personal experience to touch the lives of audience members. It’s about breaking down barriers. It’s about holding a speaker up to life’s white noise, to find that every one of us can be heard.”

 Watch and listen to “Tomorrow Will Come Again, I Promise,and promise to share it with your students!

There’s more to successful employment than knowing the step-by-step, how-to’s of a task. It’s those “softskills” that often get shuffled to the back burner when students are facing deadlines or focusing on standardized test scores. But without interpersonal skills, teamwork, flexibility, and negotiation (to name just a few), finding success in the workplace could be tough.

Here is a list of nine activities, from the site We Are Teachers, to help students build those softskills (and have some end-of-the-year fun).  “Nine Awesome Activities That Teach Job Readiness Skills

In 2003, the National Center for Secondary Education and Transition at the University of Minnesota published a nice, simple listing of a multitude of ways to promote self-determination. It includes strategies for self-advocacy, reasonable risk-taking, problem-solving, and more. As a handout, it might be helpful for case conference meetings or transition fairs.

Take a look at “Promoting Self-Determination in Youth with Disabilities: Tips for Families and Professionals.” 

Find more tips and information on NCSET's page Self-Determination: Supporting Successful Transition.  

Members of the Indiana Cadres of Transition Leaders are meeting today in Indianapolis for their annual Capacity Building Institute. This year’s Institute, “Innovate, Integrate, Motivate” features presentations from state leaders and Indiana transition teachers.

Topics covered today will include mental health, benefits, transition portfolios, student-led IEPs, and more. To review today’s presentations and related materials, go to the Training page of the Indiana Secondary Transition Resource Center website and scroll down to “Innovate, Integrate, Motivate.”

One of several new changes Indiana is implementing for all students receiving special education services is the transition portfolio. A portfolio is a collection of information and materials related to a student’s academic and work-related activities. The new portfolios will help students share their learning characteristics, academic skills, and employability skills with postsecondary training programs or potential employers.

Last week the Indiana Department of Education’s Office of Special Education announced that it has published “Transition Portfolio Guidance” for the state’s secondary teachers.

This summer, the Office of Special Education will also be providing Transition Portfolio Regional Trainings for special education teachers, administrators, and counselors. For more information and to register for trainings in Fort Wayne, South Bend, Washington, Fishers, or Seymour, see the Transition Portfolio Regional Trainings flyer.

And one more heads up. We’re thisclose to publishing an updated version of Indiana Diploma Decisions for students, families, and teachers. Stay tuned to your Tuesday Tips!

Summer camps are a wonderful way for our students to meet new friends, explore new interests, experience independence, and participate in activities they might never be exposed to during the school year.  It can be challenging, though, to find the right camp for a student with disabilities.  Day camp, weekends, near home, robots, exotic animals, anime, music,  medical or physical supports, picky eaters, fear of the water, stargazing.  You name it; families are looking for it.

 Thankfully, our colleagues at the Indiana Resource Center for Autism publish an annual Summer Camps and Programs Guide, where parents, teachers, and counselors can find a myriad of camps that take place throughout Indiana. (The guide is not just for students with autism.) It’s listed by region and alphabetically and even includes therapeutic horseback riding programs and sensory-friendly movie theaters.

Deadlines for enrollment vary, so explore now and send the link to your families!

For those of you with students who are soon headed off to the wonderful world of work (and wages), today’s tip comes with a couple of different resources.

  1. Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation asks eligible job seekers (VR refers to them as “participants”) to choose an employment provider that can support students with a number of different work-related services. You’ll find the employment providers in your area here, on a document VR refers to as “the pick list.” But, to help students and their families select the provider that’s right for them, they’ll need to make a few phone calls and ask a few questions. A Roadmap to Choosing an Employment Provider,” from the Center on Community Living and Careers (CCLC), can guide students as they ask those questions and compare providers.
  2. What if your student wants to start her/his own business? For those students, CCLC is offering The “ABCs of Self-Employment,” a FREE information session designed to help students and adults with disabilities learn more about starting and running a business. Entrepreneurs with disabilities who are successfully managing self-employment will talk to attendees and their supporters about how they’ve made it work. The program is sponsored by the Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities.

South Bend will be hosting the next “ABCs of Self-Employment” on April 24 at the Hilton Garden Inn and Gillespie Conference Center. Can’t make it to the South Bend session? CCLC will also be offering the sessions in New Albany and Indianapolis later in the year. For more information and to register for the April 24 session, see the “ABCs of Self-Employment” registration flyer.

We would like to point out that the sun is actually shining today—over the whole state of Indiana. It’s been a while.

Since many of you are off cavorting for spring break—you are cavorting, right?--Tuesday Tips and the team at the Indiana Secondary Transition Resource Center is taking the week off.

We’ll return next week with more tips, strategies, and resources.
Rest, relax, have fun, and soak up some sun!

Who am I? What do I want? How do I get there?

Those are the three questions that form the basis for “Map It!: What Comes Next?” a free, online module designed for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. The Map It! Training modules and curriculum are funded by the Department of Education and administered by the National Association of the Deaf.

In addition to facilitator guides and print resources that you can download, Map It!: What Comes Next? uses several videos that are signed in ASL with spoken English. The Map It! curriculum also includes student self-assessments and guiding questions to help students identify their goals and strategies to reach them.

Explore Map It! What Comes Next? Meanwhile, we’ll also add Map It! to the Transition Resources on the INSTRC website, so that you’ll also be able to find it there.

A few months ago, we shared a series of employment videos from the toolbox of Charting the LifeCourse, a compendium of resources from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Institute for Human Development. For families looking at all of life’s choices—housing, work, leisure, relationships, advocacy—the UMKC Institute has another tool: Exploring Life Possibilities.

The Exploring Life Possibilities chart helps individuals and families look at and compare choices in each of the life domains. The chart “sorts” these options into more traditional supports, and newer, innovative approaches so that families and professionals can begin researching what might be available and doable now or in the near future.

You'll find the Exploring Life Possibilities chart and more LifeCourse tools on the LifeCourse Resources page.

The Pathways Research and Training Center provides webinars, resources, and trainings related to postsecondary education, adult services, and transition to adulthood. Their latest updates include a series of videos on key concepts and skills for working with transition-aged youth and young adults who have mental health needs.

Each video brief is accompanied by questions and resources for further learning.
The videos focus on working with youth from various backgrounds and beliefs. They also include information about supporting young people as they form adult relationships, collaborating with peer support providers, and supporting youth advocacy.

Visit the Pathways Transition Video Briefs Series to see the videos. And check out the Pathways Research and Training Center website for more information.

The latest “Inspiring Possibilities” newsletter from the Pacer Center, features lots of tips, insights, and inspiration for students planning to attend college or a university.

Information for students and families in this edition include:

  • How to communicate with colleges under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

  • A chart showing 20 strategies to help students prepare for life in college (e.g., bank accounts, drama and improv classes, public transportation)
  • Footing the bill--ABLE Accounts, VR, scholarships, and the FAFSA

For more information on Indiana colleges with postsecondary transition programs for students with disabilities, check out the resources available from the Indiana Postsecondary Education Coalition at Think College Indiana.

Math test on Tuesday. Civil War paper due Thursday morning. Therapy appointment Tuesday afternoon. Ask Mom about permission slip. Sophomore class rally on Friday. Practice for concert. Talk to Mrs. Owen about missed assignment.

Taking on the tasks of time management and organization is an important step in the development of every adolescent. It’s tougher, though, for many of our students who may have executive function challenges that make it hard to initiate, follow through, or process the steps of organization. Here’s a fun video from neuropsychologist Laurie Cestnick on what executive function challenges “look like” and how they impact students and adults. Here’s another one: “Executive Functioning: A Day in the Life.”

There are a number of tech and tools now available to help us organize and keep track of what’s happening when and where. One size does not fit all, however. Teens in transition should be working with their support teams to discover what works for them, set organization goals, and develop scheduling and organization routines.

Resources you can explore:

“Tech Talk: Tools and Resources to Help your Teen with Organization,” video from
“The Eight Best Notetaking Apps to Use in 2019,” post from The Balance Small Business
“Best Time-Management Apps for Students,” list includes Trello, Pomodoro, Remember the Milk, Coach Me and more!

To save you some time searching for good transition information you can trust, we want to point you in the direction of the Zarrow Center for Learning Enrichment, at the University of Oklahoma. We’ll give you a few examples here, and then you can go explore.

The center’s ChoiceMaker Self-Determination Curriculum consists of three strands, addressing education, employment, and personal objectives. Use the “Choosing Goals” and “Taking Action” modules in general education or special education classrooms. Students learning about their IEP would benefit from the “Self-Directed IEP” module. Students and teachers can use the ChoiceMaker assessment to measure self-determination skills and evaluate opportunities at school to exercise these skills.

The AIR Self-Determination Assessment and the ARC Self-Determination Scale are two more self-determination assessments you’ll find on the Zarrow site. AIR focuses on capacity and opportunity. ARC measures students’ strengths, weaknesses, and involvement in educational planning.

The Transition Assessment & Goal Generator (TAGG) is an online transition assessment for youth with disabilities, their families, and professionals. The TAGG provides graphic profiles, present level of performance statement, lists of strengths and needs, and suggested IEP annual transition goals.
Find more information about these and other transition assessments and resources, visit The Zarrow Center website. 

The National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability’s online tool, “Transition Truths: An Overview of Transition Systems” can serve as an introduction to transition for youth and families. The online information page offers a basic explanation of the various systems with which students with disabilities and their families often interact.

The Transition Truths Overview describes 11 different systems (e.g., developmental disabilities, Social Security, postsecondary education, workforce development), outlining how the system works, what people and places are a part of the system, policies and programs related to the system, and eligibility for programs and services. Students, families, and educators will find the information informative and helpful in transition planning.

Combining the NCWD tool with a transition timeline or checklist might also be a plus. Here’s one example from our colleagues at the Indiana Resource Center for Autism.

Transition planning is an individualized, cyclical process. With each twist and turn of the cycle, we’re helping a student through self-exploration—discovering the things they like as well as the things they don’t like—so that they can look at their postsecondary goals with more awareness. Sometimes that means sticking with the path they’re on, sometimes it means exploring a side path, and sometimes it means choosing a completely new path. Transition services and activities are key to helping students engage in that self-exploration.

To help you understand where services and activities fit into the planning process and how you can use them for different types of students, the Indiana Secondary Transition Resource Center has created: “Transition Services and Activities: Making the Connection.” This new 17-page guide contains detailed examples for six different students, each with charts depicting the student’s postsecondary goals and transition services and activities as well as appropriate assessments that inform her/his goals. The guide also includes links to assessments and a page of additional transition resources.

Read “Transition Services and Activities: Making the Connection.” And, of course, we’ve uploaded the guide to the INSTRC website. You can find it by typing “Transition Services and Activities” into the Resource search bar, or we’ve also included under our Resource Collections tab, in the New Administrators and Professionals New to Transition collections.

Transition teachers, other professionals, and families have been clamoring for more information on guardianship issues and Supported Decision Making, a team-based approach that gives individuals with disabilities more independence and control over their lives. Using the Supported Decision-Making process, individuals create a support network of people they know and trust to help them make their own decisions. You may have read last year about Indiana self-advocate Jamie Beck who transitioned from full guardianship to the Supported Decision Making alternative.

Our colleagues at IN*Source are hosting a webinar on Tuesday, February 5, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Eastern Time. The webinar, "What to Know About Supported Decision Making and Other Options for Adulthood" will feature a presentation from Melissa Keyes, legal director of Indiana Disability Rights (IDR). Register at Supported Decision Making and Other Options.  

Need more information on Supported Decision Making? Check out IDR’s Supported Decision Making Family Fact Sheet. Or, if you need more information on the basics of guardianship and the full spectrum of options, see the IDR webpage Guardianship in Indiana.

Our INSTRC website resources include several different websites that feature career videos. For your convenience, there’s a Career Videos page under the Resource Collections tab on the INSTRC website. Just go to the Resource Collections tab on the INSTRC website and scroll to “Career Videos” or use this link:  

Middle school teachers: Need to inspire some fun career exploration for your 6th to 8th graders? Try the many videos on Virginia Career View’s Unusual Occupations page, where your soon-to-be job seekers can learn about acoustical engineers, hippotherapists, or shark tank cleaners. Video scavenger hunt, anyone?

Welcome back to a new year!

The Indiana Secondary Transition Resource Center has a new general mailbox. You can now reach us at  

Please use this email to send us information requests, feedback, basic questions, and requests for technical assistance. An INSTRC staff member will respond to your questions.

We’ve got your back. Tell us what you need (other than more than 24 hours in a day; we can’t help you with that one)!

From the staff of the Indiana Secondary Transition Resource Center to all of you, peace and joy!

Take some time this season to revel in snuggly blankets, the aroma of orange and cinnamon, cookies baking, after-dinner card games, puppy dog tails, soft candlelight, carols from a choir, ribbons and bows, and smiles that light up a room.

Happy Holidays!

As in past years, the Indiana Secondary Transition Resource Center (INSTRC) conducted regional trainings for transition teachers and administrators in September to talk about updates to the Transition IEP process. Hundreds of Indiana teachers who attended the trainings also learned about strategies for moving their Transition IEPs from compliance to the level of quality.

For those of you who could not attend one of the trainings, INSTRC’s Joni Schmalzried and Project Success’ Ashley Quick co-presented an abbreviated wrap-up webinar in October that touched on many of the issues discussed at the in-person trainings.

Need a refresher? Watch “Collaborative Transition Planning: From Process to Practice.”

A number of events and programs occurring in our schools can be good transition activities for your students. The key to capitalizing on these larger, group activities for a particular student is to understand 1) the individual needs of that student, and 2) how the activity can help the student move toward his/her goal. If you’re finding it challenging, documenting and describing these large, group events as individual activities, this tip is for you.

This short presentation we’ve recorded on YouTube walks you through the best practice process of moving from thinking about the “big picture” event to focusing on what each student needs and will gain from participating in a larger scale opportunity. Take a look and see how it might apply to your students or your school.  

DON’T FORGET: When you are writing a transition service and activity, think about whether or not there will be an outcome that you can capture and use as part of next year’s age-appropriate transition assessment. That’s what brings the authentic experience full circle for students and helps them continue to make informed decisions about their future.

With today’s tip, we want to introduce you to Michelle Oja, the new education specialist at the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) within the Office of Special Education. Michelle will be overseeing transition-related services across the state. She’ll be out and about, meeting many of you, as she gets to know Indiana, our Cadres of Transition Leaders, and the amazing things we are doing for transition-aged students.

In addition to overseeing transition planning (Indicator 13), Michelle will be involved with the Certificate of Completion, career technical education, and Choice Schools.

A little background: She graduated from Nazareth College of Rochester with her bachelor’s degree in English and Inclusive Education and her master’s degree in Adolescent Education. Michelle recently moved from Virginia to Indiana. Before coming to the IDOE, she was a special education teacher, working with high school and middle school students for the past ten years. Michelle is excited to begin working with Indiana teachers and administrators to support students with IEPs as they transition from school to adult life.

You can reach Michelle at 317-232-9065 or 

After our Tuesday Tip introducing you to Indiana Career Explorer, we had several questions from our readers. We contacted the Indiana Field Trainer to get some clarification and direction for those of you who have had difficulty setting up student accounts.

Anyone can set up a sample student account to see the tools and resources available to students. Our contact recommends the following to create a middle or high school student sample account:

  1. When you are asked to type in the first three letters of a school name, type in “tra” and select “training use only.”
  2. Change the birthdate and graduation year to reflect that of the appropriate grade student, but you can use your own email address as a username.

On a broader scale, school employees can contact Client Engagement to identify the site manager for their district (the person who can set up an administrative account). Each school has an assigned site manager even if they don’t use the system. Contact Client Engagement at: 877-999-6227.

There are trainings available to schools, both online and in person. If you are interested in staff training, please contact Mary Pouch at

We hope this helps with clarifying how to get started exploring Indiana Career Explorer. Let us know or contact Mary if you have additional questions!

The Workforce Innovation Technical Assistance Center has teamed up with George Washington University to create “Explore Work,” a new online training for teens with disabilities. The course lets users delve into career planning, first work experiences, school beyond high school, workplace readiness, and self-advocacy.

“Explore Work’s” modules include strength-finder activities, career scavenger hunts, independent living challenges, videos, and more. Users have the option of guided or self-guided learning. Guided instruction allows students to save and track their progress and provides certificates for each completed module.

Ready to explore? "Explore Work"

Adversity, trauma, and stress can negatively affect the social, emotional, and cognitive development of teens and young adults. Adults often identify or mislabel students experiencing these issues as having behavior, discipline, and/or learning issues in school. The Indiana School Mental Health Initiative (ISMHI), a project of the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community at Indiana University, works alongside school districts and their community partners to provide resources, training, and advocacy to promote the social, emotional, behavioral, mental, and physical health of Indiana’s school-age children. ISHMI’s goal is to increase school engagement and improve educational and life outcomes.

Through the ISMHI website LookUp Indiana, you can search by city name or zip code to find mental health providers, shelters, social service organizations, and support groups in your area. Take a look at some of LookUp’s resources, below, and then bookmark the website!

Common Language—a listing of frequently used, education-related mental health terminology and references.

School Mental Health Resources—links to professional organizations; frameworks; workshops, trainings, and assemblies; school-based health centers; mental health intervention registries; and more.

General Information—more information about the ISHMI’s vision, mission, goals, and staff.

The PACER Center provides support to young adults with disabilities and families who are making decisions about education and services. Many mobile apps can support students as they work towards self-determination and independence in postsecondary education, job training, employment, and independent living. The PACER Center’s resource, "The Path to Independence: Mobile Apps to Support Transition-Age Youth," provides a list of free or low-cost apps reviewed by parents and professionals.

The document categorizes apps into the following topics:

  • Exploring College and Career Pathways
  • Finding and Getting a Job
  • Vocational Support
  • Independent Living Skills
  • Executive Functioning
  • Reading, Writing, and Note-taking Supports

Visit the PACER Center website and The Path to Independence: Mobile Apps to Support Transition-Age Youth for more information.

In case you missed it, the August 2018 edition of the INvision newsletter, from the Indiana Division of Disability and Rehabilitative Services (DDRS), included a link to the LifeCourse “Daily Life and Employment” planning guide.

Developed by Missouri Family to Family, in partnership with Show Me Careers, the guide contains easy-to-use activities and resources so that students can begin to chart their course toward their employment vision. Take a look at “Charting the LifeCourse: Daily Life and Employment” here.

As a companion to the guide, the University of Missouri-Kansas City Institute for Human Development also developed “Charting the LifeCourse: Daily Life and Employment,” six short video modules that introduce students and their supporters to “questions to ask, things to do, and resources that can help lead them to a job, career, volunteering, college or continuing education, and ultimately, the lives they want.”

Some of you may be familiar with this site, but others may not. Indiana Career Explorer is an online education and career planning system currently used by many school districts and WorkOne centers across the state.

This interactive site allows the job seeker (student or adult) to take interest inventories, explore occupations, write resumes, research employers, prepare for job interviews, develop a portfolio, and much more.

Check it out at and see how it might support the students you work with as they prepare for employment and further education/training beyond high school.

Whether they’re voting for the first time, may have voted in a previous election, or won’t vote for another year or two, you can help your students learn this important independent living skill before they cast a ballot. Election Day is November 6, 2018, but absentee voting begins October 10.


Indiana Voter Portal—includes links to voter registration, verifying voter status, locating polling place, voting hours, sample ballots.

Application for Absentee Voting (Note: Local Election Board must receive the application at least 8 days prior to the election. People with disabilities are eligible to vote via absentee ballot.)

Information About Assistance at the Polls for Voters with Disabilities

Information About Photo I.D.s on Election Day

Videos About Voter Registration—brief videos from Indiana Disability Rights on voting and the registration process.

“Your Vote Is Your Voice”—a 54-page guide to voting from the Indiana Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities. (Note: In Indiana, a voter who has a legal guardian may still cast a ballot; this is not the case in all states.)

Our final Regional Transition IEP Training wrapped up yesterday in Jasper, IN. We send our appreciation to Carmel, Bloomington, Indianapolis, Hammond, Huntington, and Jasper for hosting us and our thanks to all of you who were able to attend.

If you did not have the opportunity to get to a Regional Training this year, but would like to know the updates on the Certificate of Completion, Pre-ETS, Transition Portfolios, and more, you still have a chance! We’ll have an abbreviated, webinar version of the training on Thursday, October 11, 2018, from 1-2:30 p.m., Eastern Time. And yes, the webinar is FREE!

To connect to the webinar on the day of the training, just click on the link: 
Or by phone: Dial: +1-646-558-8656 (US Toll) or +1-669-900-6833 (US Toll)
Webinar ID: 153 571 300

The Office of Special Education at the Indiana Department of Education has asked us to pass along a job opening announcement. The department is looking for a Special Education Specialist. For more information and instructions on how to apply, go to:  

Many of you have been asking about Indiana Diploma Decisions, the guide for teachers and families from the Indiana Secondary Transition Resource Center, originally published in 2015. Because of the extent of the changes to the Certificate of Completion, graduation pathways, and diploma options, the guide was in need of an update, so you won’t find it among our resources on the INSTRC website. We’ve taken it down while INSTRC and DOE staff work on a new model.

It may take us some time, so please be patient. In the meantime, we recognize that teachers and special education departments around the state need resources. Here’s a compilation of information from DOE that may help. Print and post!

We promise: You’ll be the first to know when Indiana Diploma Decisions is back online!

Graduation Pathways (includes link to High School Diploma resources):
Graduation Requirements/Flowchart 2019-2022 
Coffee Talk Video/Certification of Completion
FAQs Certificate of Completion 

More updates! Last week it was fact sheets from Indiana VR. This week, we want to give you a brand new shiny “Indiana Transition IEP Rubric.”

This new edition of the rubric will be your go-to guide as you create quality, compliant Transition IEPs for your students this year. It features examples of written statements that illustrate quality, compliance, or non-compliance for each part of the IEP. Screenshots show you where to find and enter new information in the Indiana IEP (IIEP). Resources at the end of the rubric include everything from a video on authentic assessments to a resource collection for writing quality IEPs.

You can find the new rubric on the INSTRC website as a resource. Just type “Transition IEP Rubric,” or just “Indiana Rubric” or even just “Rubric” in the INSTRC resource search bar.

Need a quick look at the requirements for a Transition IEP? Review the Indicator 13 Checklist, which provides you with the specific compliance questions used when reviewing Transition IEPs. You’ll find those same questions in the rubric along with supporting information, examples, and resources.

New programs, processes, and policy changes bring updates (something along the lines of “Change is the only constant”). Today, those updates come from Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation Services.
With VR’s order of selection and its implementation of Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) in schools around the state, the agency wanted to update teachers and administrators about VR applications, eligibility, and referrals for transitioning students.

As a result, VR worked with staff at both the Center on Community Living and Careers and our own Indiana Secondary Transition Resource Center to update the “Working with Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation” fact sheet series:

Download and share! Print copies of the Students and Families fact sheet to use at family information nights or transition fairs, hand them out during case conferences, or send the link to students/families in transition.

All three “Working with VR” fact sheets are now available on the Indiana IEP (IIEP) system under the documents section. We’ve also uploaded them to the INSTRC website as resources. You can find them whenever you need them by typing “Indiana VR,” or “Working with Indiana VR,” or just “VR” in the INSTRC resource search bar. You’ll also find them on INSTRC in Resource Collections, under the “New Administrators” and “Professionals New to Transition” tabs.

It is hard to believe that the Indiana Cadres of Transition Leaders have been going strong for seven years! In 2011, Indiana formed seven regional cadres of leaders in the field of transition to build capacity across the state and address regional secondary transition needs. Cadre members meet regularly (typically once a month or every other month) to discuss, plan, learn, and provide supports. Many cadres work on products to support their regions and the state. Some examples of Cadre-driven work include the Transition Assessment Matrix; Case Conference Cue Card; parent information brochures; and videos to support teachers, students, and families.

Each year brings new ideas and new challenges that Cadre members work on through a team approach. Each Cadre has one or two facilitators, along with a support person from the Indiana Secondary Transition Resource Center team. Cadres are also supported by the Indiana Department of Education.

Interested in joining a Cadre? We hope you are! Not sure which Cadre your school district is in? You can find a map of Cadre boundaries and a listing of currently participating districts on the following website: 

Once you’ve located your Cadre, please email one of the facilitators below to learn more about meeting dates and activities. 

Registration is still open for September 2018 Regional Transition Trainings. Training kicks off in Carmel and continues in Indianapolis, Bloomington, Huntington, Hammond, and Jasper. Click on the link for more information and to reserve your seat!

The Indiana Secondary Transition Resource Center (INSTRC) joins forces next month with other member organizations that make up the Indiana Resource Network to offer you a twist on our annual Regional Transition IEP Trainings. This September, during “Collaborative Transition Planning: From Process to Practice” we will collectively present information and updates on:

  • The Aligned Transition Process
  • Transition Portfolio
  • Certificate of Completion
  • Specially Designed Instruction
  • Standards & Content Connectors
  • Aligning Measurable Annual Goals

See the 2018 Regional Trainings registration flyer for dates and locations.

Road trip!: We’ll be in six locations throughout the state next month—Carmel, Indianapolis, Bloomington, Huntington, Hammond, and Jasper. For those of you who can’t join us in person, we’ll also offer an abbreviated version of the training in an online webinar October 11.

Register now; seats are filling fast! Please limit your team’s attendance to no more than three people. See you soon!

The Indiana Secondary Transition Resource Center (INSTRC) staff would like to welcome you back to another year of Tuesday’s Transition Tips. We are excited to have another year to work with all of you and support your transition efforts.

A couple of things as we gear up for the 2018-19 school year:

        • If you have a new colleague in your building, make sure that you let them know about Tuesday's Tips. To subscribe, email Lori Pierce at, explain that you’d like to be added to the TT mailing list, and give her your name and email.
        • This year’s Regional Transition IEP Trainings begin September 4 and take place throughout the month and in various locations around the state. Register soon! Seats are filling up.
        • In case you have not met all of our INSTRC staff, here we are:

      * Judith Gross: Director of the Center on Community Living and Careers
    • * Mary Held: Project Coordinator
    • * Mike Nevins: Research Associate
    • * Wendy Ritz: Research Associate
    • * Joni Schmalzried: Project Coordinator

  • We are all here to help you in any way we can. If you have an INSTRC request, please email Joni at 
  • Keep your eyes out for some favorite resource updates. 
  • The Transition IEP Rubric is in the final stages of revision and will be ready for your use soon.
  • Transition Services & Activities Manual is also in the revision stage and should be ready by October.
  • and there will be more!


    Have a wonderful 2018-19 school year!

Tuesday’s Transition Tips is floating in a relaxing pool, with a tall lemonade, a page-turning novel, and lots of time to kill. Okay, maybe not. But you definitely should!

While you’re taking your well-deserved summer vacay, we’ll get to work on some new resources and updated materials. Vocational Rehabilitation is helping us with some new information fact sheets, we have several Transition IEP trainings we’re hoping to overhaul, and we want to redo our diploma decision guides.

Meanwhile, we’ve archived presentations from this year’s Cadre Leaders’ Capacity Building Institute, “Digging Deeper” on the training page of the INSTRC website. Find information on mental health, transition in rural and urban areas, Pre-ETS, and more. The INSTRC training page is at  

Tips will begin again in September, but until then and as always, find the help you need on the Indiana Secondary Transition Resource Center (INSTRC) website, and look through previous tips by clicking the "View all tips" button, below.

Rest, relax, have fun, and we’ll expect a full “What I Did on my Summer Vacation” report in the fall!

As we wind down the school year, we know you are already thinking about 2018-19. Don’t forget to access the many available resources offered across the state to support the professionals who, in turn, support our transition-aged students.

  •  This site is the IDOE’s Certificate of Completion Resource site.  Please remember that the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are updated on a regular basis.  Have a question?  Check there first to see if it has already been addressed. It is a wonderful living document.
  •  Project Success continues to provide resources on their website that address Content Connectors and high expectations for students with disabilities. They have several summer trainings that would be well worth your time.
  •  The Indiana IEP Resource Center has resources to support teachers not only with the IIEP System, but with professional learning in the areas of goal writing, LRE, and more.
  • Last but not least…keep your eyes out for some great fall resources from those of us here at Indiana Secondary Transition Resource Center:  Look for more information on upcoming supports from INSTRC in next week’s TT.

 Have an Authentic Assessment you would like to share? If so, please submit it with this form to Joni Schmalzried at You will not only receive recognition for your work, but will be providing support for your colleagues around the state. 

The National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes has a new online, interactive game to help students develop self-advocacy skills. In “Deafverse,” students who are deaf or hard of hearing can test out their responses to a variety of situations, conflicts, and challenges in “parallel universe” environments. In “Duel of the Bots,” for example, they’ll problem solve and make decisions about situations involving missing interpreters, broken CapTel devices, and bullies. The game is available in both English and ASL.

Find out more information, watch the trailer, and play Deafverse here:  

A number of events and programs occurring in our schools can be good transition activities for your students. The key to capitalizing on these larger, group activities for a particular student is to understand 1) the individual needs of that student and 2) how the activity can help the student move toward his/her goal. If you’re finding it challenging, documenting and describing these large, group events as individual activities, this tip is for you.  

This short presentation we’ve recorded on YouTube walks you through the best practice process of moving from thinking about the “big picture” event to focusing on what each student needs and will gain from participating in a larger scale opportunity. Take a look and see how it might apply to your students or your school.

DON’T FORGET: When you are writing a transition service and activity, think about whether or not there will be an outcome that you can capture and use as part of next year’s age-appropriate transition assessment. That’s what brings the authentic experience full circle for students and helps them continue to make informed decisions about their future.

In addition to transition planning for employment and postsecondary education, students with disabilities and their families often need to plan for their future health care. The Center for Youth and Adults with Chronic Conditions (CYACC) is a state-funded clinic that helps Indiana youth, ages 11 to 22 with chronic health conditions, as they transition from pediatric to adult health care.

During an initial on-site evaluation, a CYACC team, which includes a social worker, a nurse and a doctor, works with families and students to look at strengths, current services, and future goals and needs. The team then follows up with recommendations to the family and an individualized transition plan to help families connect with appropriate resources and providers in their area. Individuals and families can self-refer, or a doctor can refer them to CYACC. Services are billed through insurance.

Topics discussed during a CYACC evaluation can include:

  • Independent living
  • Healthcare financing
  • Medical home/primary and subspecialty care
  • Health habits
  • Self-management
  • Mental health
  • Decision making
  • Education/employment
  • Family/caregiver support
  • Socialization
  • Transportation

Located on the fourth floor of the Sandra Eskenazi Outpatient Care Center in Indianapolis, CYACC is designed to guide young people with special health care needs toward a successful adult life.

For more information about CYACC and their services: 

Students with disabilities planning to attend college or a university must weigh a number of factors to find the right program and supports. Beyond finances, there’s housing, transportation, academic and peer tutoring, work experiences, career planning and internships, physical accessibility, and course design.

To help you help your students with their postsecondary exploration we’ve added a page in the Resource Collections section of the INSTRC website. “Postsecondary Education” offers links to articles about apps for college students, Is College for You? in English and Spanish, charts depicting the differences between college and high school, information for college students who are deaf-blind, and more. Take a look at INSTRC’s new collected “Postsecondary Education” resource page.

The page also includes a direct link to the Center on Community Living and Careers’ webpage listing the Indiana transition and postsecondary programs for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities, also known as the TPSID programs. You can navigate to the page from the INSTRC Resource Collections page, or visit now at:   

And one last resource. Need authentic assessments for students with a postsecondary education goal? On the INSTRC Transition Matrix you’ll find both the “College Planning Worksheet” and an “On-Campus Visit Reflection” page, where students can document what they discovered after a campus tour.