Tips

All Tuesday Tips

Transition Truths: An Overview of Transition Systems

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 Services and Activities: New Guide!

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.

Supported Decision Making and Guardianship

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.

The Career Videos Collection

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: https://instrc.indiana.edu/resource-collections/career-videos.html  

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?

Talk to Us!


Welcome back to a new year!

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

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)!

It's the Most Wonderful Time

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!

'Collaborative Transition Planning From Process to Practice'

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.”

Transition Services and Activities Capturing the Big Picture

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. https://youtu.be/0Q5GsTEdnIk  

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.

Welcome Michelle Oja

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 moja@doe.in.gov 

Indiana Career Explorer: More Information

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 pouchm@kuder.com

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!