Transition to Adulthood

Key Transition Resources

School Districts

A school district-designated Transition Coordinator assists the IEP team with the Transition plan. The district is responsible for contracting with community agencies that need to be involved in the student’s Transition plan – for example, for job or career exploration, job training, etc.

The Transition plan identifies the responsibilities of each participating agency and the family. The plan must specify which member of the IEP team is responsible for coordination and communication with community agencies.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education publishes a Secondary Transition Resource Directory for state and local contacts, including PaTTAN (Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network), Intermediate Unit consultants, State Leadership Team members, and school district contacts.

Resource Contact Information

Intermediate Units

Intermediate Units are regional educational service agencies that are part of public education in Pennsylvania.  
The Intermediate Units that serve Allegheny County are:

Pittsburgh-Mt. Oliver Intermediate Unit (IU 2)
Serves Pittsburgh Public Schools
Allegheny Intermediate Unit 3 (IU 3)
Serves children in Allegheny County outside of the city of Pittsburgh

County Agencies

Allegheny County Department of Human Services
Office of Intellectual Disability (OID)

In 2010, the Office of Mental Retardation/Developmental Disabilities became the Office of Intellectual Disability (OID).  Every person registered for OID services receives Supports Coordination. There are three Supports Coordination Organizations (SCOs) in Allegheny County to choose from:  Mon Valley Supports Coordination, FamilyLinks, and Staunton Clinic. There is currently a waiting list for Medicaid waivers that fund services beyond Supports Coordination. Waiver funding is based on urgency of need, not length of time on the waiting list.

For more information about Medicaid waivers, see Public Benefits/Legal Issues in this section of the Guide AND Medicaid Waivers in the Medical Insurance and Public Benefits section of the Guide.

Allegheny County Department of Human Services
Office of Behavioral Health (OBH)

The Office of Behavioral Health is responsible for providing Allegheny County residents with a coordinated, community-focused system of high quality and cost-effective mental health and substance abuse services.  OBH contracts for and monitors approximately 150 community-based agencies, which provide an array of services.  Under certain conditions, OBH may also provide, on a restricted and limited basis, behavioral health medication.  OBH contracts with Community Care Behavioral Health and Allegheny HealthChoices, Inc. for operation and oversight of the Medicaid behavioral health managed care services.

Community Organizations

ARC of Greater Pittsburgh

Formerly ARC Allegheny, ACHIEVA is Western Pennsylvania's largest provider of comprehensive services and supports for children and adults with disabilities and their families. The ARC of Greater Pittsburgh (a component of ACHIEVA serving Allegheny, Westmoreland, Lawrence and Beaver counties) provides advocacy and vocational supports to transitioning students.
ABOARD's Autism Connection of PA
Provides services to families touched by autism from diagnosis through adulthood.
Autism Speaks
Offers a Transition-to-Adulthood toolkit
Blind and Vision Rehabilitation Services of Pittsburgh (BVRS)
Provides rehabilitation and job training that enables people with vision loss to become as independent as possible in all areas of their lives.
Center for Hearing & Deaf Services, Inc.
Mission is to provide a diverse and affordable program of quality diagnostic, rehabilitative and supportive services that address problems experienced by children and adults who are deaf or hard of hearing and to serve as an information and referral source.
Mental Health America-Allegheny County
Provides programs and services that support the health of mind and body, and works to eliminate the stigma of mental illness and addiction.

State Agencies

Bureau of Autism Services Adult Programs
The agency mission is to help adults with autism spectrum disorder participate in their communities in the way they want to through services based on their identified needs.
PaTTAN (Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network)
Supports the efforts and initiatives of the Bureau of Special Education of the Pennsylvania Department of Education to build the capacity of local educational agencies to serve students who receive special education services.
Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), Pittsburgh District
Provides vocational rehabilitation services to help adults with disabilities prepare for, obtain, or maintain employment.  Individualized services are provided both directly and through a network of approved vendors. OVR counselors, during a face-to-face interview, assist the client in selecting vocational goals, services and service providers.  An Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE), which outlines a vocational objective, services, providers and responsibilities, is developed.

Transition Coordinators in school districts can connect students to OVR two years prior to graduation. The OVR counselor works with the student and school to identify suitable work goals and work readiness activities that can take place during high school.  Before a student graduates, the OVR counselor can develop an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) to arrange for additional training, education, services pr placements beyond high school to achieve the student’s work goals.

OVR’s Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services
Assists individuals who are blind or visually impaired to gain the skills necessary to live and work independently in their communities