All Tuesday Tips

Transition Planning for Students Who Are Deaf

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.

Charting the LifeCourse: Exploring Life Possibilities

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.

Working with Students with Mental Health Challenges

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.

Postsecondary Education Planning

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.

Helping Students Stay on Top of It All

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!

Self-Determination Assessments from the Zarrow Center

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. 

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:  

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?