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Transition Resources

Transition Family Groups Seminar

2023-2024 Presentation Topics

Maine Township High School District 207 and Niles Township High School District 219 will once again host informational sessions/seminars monthly during the school year on the 3rd Wednesday of each month.

Topics for the 2023-2024 school year include:
Date Topic Link to Join Handouts / Recordings
 September 20th Transition: What to Expect Join Live via Zoom Presentation Recording
Enter Passcode: g.h39xS#
 October 10th Choices Fair Join In-person
Vernon Hills High School
 October 18th College Experience Programs Join Live via Zoom Presentation Recording
 November 15th Business and Education for Students in Transition BEST Fair Join In-person
Niles North High School
 December 12th Government Benefits: Social Security Join Live via Zoom  Presentation Recording
Enter Passcode: f781wq?2
 January 17th Medicaid Waiver Funding Programs  Join Live via Zoom
Fact Sheet SSI 2024
What You Need to Know About SSI?
 February 21st Trauma-Informed Care Join Live via Zoom  
Presentation Recording
 March 20th Relationships & Sexual Health Join Live via Zoom  
Presentation Recording
 April 17th  Supported Decision-Making, POA, & Guardianship Join Live via Zoom


Text Notifications
Text the word ‘FAMILY’ to 33339 to be notified about upcoming Family Group events via text!

Presentation Materials: Please note that the views and opinions expressed by the presenter are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of District 207.

Important Note about Recording of Presentations: All presentations will be recorded and shared with families to access in the future.  Please note that, if you choose to attend the live virtual event, you are consenting to be part of this recording. 

Archived Presentations and Resources: Over the past school years the Maine and Niles Special Education teams have presented on similar topics. A list of prior events with handouts is available on the links below.

2022-2023 TRANSITION PRESENTATIONS    2021-2022 Transition Presentations

2020-2021 Transition Presentations    2019-2020 Transition Presentations

Here you will find resources intended to help families as they plan for the future.  Transition services are activities that prepare students with disabilities to move from school to post-school life and are identified in the Secondary Transition plan of a student’s IEP.   The resources listed focus on four primary areas of the transition plan: 1) Employment, 2) Education, 3) Training, and 4) Independent Living.  If you have questions about any resources, please reach out to your child’s assigned case manager. 

Transition Resources
Getting Started...What are Transition Services?EmploymentEducationFinancial Planning & Legal ResourcesPara TransitDay ProgrammingHealth & WellnessPUNS

Secondary Transition Services

The following is a non-exhaustive set of activities recommended for families to consider to facilitate movement from school to life. 
Printable Version

Transition Timeline


Prioritization for Urgency of Need for Services (PUNS)


The PUNS (Prioritization for Urgency of Need for Services) is a statewide waiting list of individuals with developmental disabilities who have applied for and are awaiting, funding and services.

Understanding PUNS

Statement of Disability for Health Insurance


If you have private insurance, your child may be eligible to remain on your insurance as long as you hold the policy.

State ID


Obtain a State ID, and/or Drivers License. If appropriate fill out an application for an Illinois Person with a Disability ID Card.
New identification cards in Illinois aim to ease interactions between police and people with disabilities
Application for an Illinois Person with a Disability Identification Card

Application for PACE 
Para-Transit Services


Para-Transit is a service for individuals whose disability or health condition may prevent them from using fixed-route services.

Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS)


DRS provides funding for the work experience programs that may be available for your child at age 16+ in high school.  They may also provide support after high school.

Social Security Disability Benefits SSI (Supplemental Security Income)


A student may qualify for disability benefits once they turn 18.  They may be eligible before age 18 if the family meets the income requirements.  



Medicaid is a health care program for those with low income or limited resources.  Even if you have a primary health insurance plan, Medicaid can serve as a supplemental insurance provider and is required for any state-funded services including day programs, residential, respite, and case management services. 



Your child is considered legally competent to make their own decisions at age 18.  Guardianship is a legal option for parents or guardians to make those decisions that may be beyond their child’s ability. 

Selective Service Registration


At age 18, all males must register with the selective services whether or not they have a disability.

Register to Vote


Register online, or in person or you can download registration forms and register through the mail. Below you can find information for each of the four ways to register during the standard voter registration period. Please make sure to check the specific deadline for the form you select as dates differ depending on the method of registration.
Voter Qualifications, you must be: 1) A U.S. citizen 2) At least 18 years old by the general election 3) A resident of your precinct at least 30 days before Election Day

Visit Potential Adult Service Providers


Some students may not have the skills necessary to be competitively employed after high school.  Several fee-based day programs offer vocational and social programming. It is important to visit some of these agencies before your child’s exit from high school.

Apply for Home Services

As Appropriate

Families or individuals must work with their local “Pre-Admission Screening” (PAS) Agency to first complete the “PUNS” Survey and then submit an admissions packet to the Division of Developments Disabilities for review. The PAS agency for District 207 students is Community Alternatives Unlimited. This agency will help the student and family process the paperwork. 

Contact Number: 773-867-4000

Recreation/Community Involvement


Click the link below to learn more about each category:

Center for Enriched Living | Have Dreams | M-NASR

NWSRA | NSSRASpecial Gifts Theater


Will and Trusts


As Appropriate

Start Saving for Your Child’s Current and Future Needs Whether your child is in kindergarten or transitioning to adult services, start saving now to build them a more secure future with an IL ABLE Account. An IL ABLE Account is a low-cost, tax-free way for eligible people with disabilities and their families to save and invest money to pay for expenses related to living with a disability.


What are transition services?

The IEP team must address transition services for the IEP that will be in effect when the student is 14 1/2. Transition services should include appropriate, measurable postsecondary goals that are based on age-appropriate transition assessments. The IEP team may address a particular section(s) before the age listed if the team has determined that transition assessments, goals, supports, or services should be addressed. Any area addressed should be based on the student’s needs, taking into account the student’s strengths, preferences, and interests.

In simple terms; Transition services are activities that prepare students with disabilities to move from school to post-school life. 

According to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), ‘Transition Services’ means a coordinated set of activities for a child with a disability that is designed within a results-oriented process, that is focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the child with a disability to facilitate the child’s movement from school to post-school activities, including post-secondary education, vocational education, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation. [34 CFR 300.43] 

Employment Resources

IDHS – Illinois Department of Human Services & DRS – Division of Rehabilitative Services

The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) and the Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) are the state’s lead agencies serving individuals with disabilities. ISHS and DRS work in partnership with people with disabilities and their families to assist them in making informed choices to achieve full community participation through employment, education, and independent living opportunities.  

Need more information on IDHS or DRS?

  • For assistance with contacting DRS, please contact one of the Vocational Coordinators at Maine Township HSD 207:
    East – Nicole Rodriguez; West – Sheila Mallon; South: Marty Murphy; Transition – Michelle Dwyer
  • Or contact the Arlington Heights DRS Office: Rehabilitation Services directly located at 715 West Algonquin Road, Suite A,  Arlington Heights, IL 60005, Phone: (847) 758-3483 

Autism Work Force

Preparing companies to be autism-ready and helping them hire this loyal and dedicated workforce. Complete mock interviews with skill assessment.
Contact Information: Amy Willer, Director of Recruitment (773)-575-5100 or email [email protected] 1871 N. Clybourn Ave. Suite 205, Chicago, IL 60614

JVS Chicago

We welcome and assist people from all walks of life who possess a range of experience and skill levels, as well as partner with employers looking for qualified candidates. Our talent pool of job seekers includes people from special populations such as individuals with disabilities,  young adults, and mature workers, as well as individuals who are re-entering the workforce, changing careers, and those who are just starting out on their career path.
Contact Information: 855.463.6587 or email [email protected]

Shore Inc.

This program is a partnership that brings together competent workers and area businesses.  Shore-supported employees work in a variety of industries and report high levels of job satisfaction and on-the-job longevity.

Contact Information: Seyi Adeolu at (847)581-0200 ext. 21 or [email protected]

US Department of Labor, Reasonable Accommodations Information 

JAN: Job Accommodation Network

Career One Stop

A source for career exploration, training & jobs


A consortium of counselors and special educators representing high schools in the northern suburbs of Chicago each October presents a college planning night titled CHOICES: A Post-Secondary Planning Night for Students with IEPs and 504 Plans
To learn more or find out more details, please visit

The fair will take place on Tuesday, October 10, 2023, hosted at Vernon Hills High School, 145 Lakeview Parkway, Vernon Hills, IL 60061 from 6:00-8:30 pm


Think College Site  A searchable directory that includes information on 279 college programs for students with disabilities.

Oakton Community College

Des Plaines, IL

Access and Disability Resource Center – Oakton Community College provides equal access to education for all students. Students with documented disabilities, as defined by the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, are eligible for services. Accommodations are individual in nature and are decided on a case-by-case basis. If you are a student with a documented disability and have the ability to perform college-level work, Oakton can help you succeed.
Contact Information: 847-635-1759 

Triton Community College

River Grove, IL

Center for Access and Accommodative Services – The mission of CAAS is to provide campus accessibility and accommodations that foster the development of student’s abilities, preparing them to work to their fullest potential.

The CAAS can assess your needs as a student, make academic accommodations, coordinate access services, and provide advocacy referral services. Students with medical, physical, sensory, or learning disabilities who are participating in academic and continuing education programs at Triton can benefit from CAAS. 
Contact Information: (708) 456-0300, Ext. 3854 or 3917

Career Skills Institute at Harper

Palatine, IL

The Career Skills Institute provides an educational program for students with mild cognitive disabilities, ages 18 and above, that assesses and strengthens basic employability skills and helps students develop a realistic career plan.  The Career Skills Institute’s students benefit from the opportunity to: develop academic, vocational, and social skills; learn appropriate work behavior develop career-related interests, and receive an honest assessment of their career potentials and the continuing support they will require in the
Contact Information: Linda Hoek at 847-925-6000 ext. 2076 or email [email protected]

P.A.C.E. at National Louis University

Chicago, IL

Path to Academics, Community, and Employment (P.A.C.E) is a three-year, post-secondary certificate program designed to meet the transitional needs of young adults with multiple intellectual, learning, and developmental disabilities.
Contact Information:  312.261.3770 or email [email protected]

 ELSA at Elmhurst College

Elmhurst, IL

The Elmhurst Learning and Success Academy (ELSA) is a four-year, post-secondary certificate program for young adults, ages 18-28, with differing abilities.  ELSA is an on-campus program following the academic calendar of the College. You may take courses in the fall, January, spring, and summer terms, and may attend on a full-time or part-time basis.  Elmhurst College provides an inclusive environment with opportunities for students to interact with their peers in various activities. Students are able to participate in clubs, organizations, events, and other activities on campus along with their degree-seeking peers.
Contact Information: (630) 617-3752

Shepherds College

Union Grove, WI

A three-year post-secondary educational program for individuals with intellectual disabilities.  Appropriate Independence is the guiding philosophy of Shepherds College. It is defined as supported self-sufficiency aligned with each individual’s strengths and guided by Christian values. Occupational programming includes horticulture, culinary arts, and technology.
Contact Information: 262.878.5620 or email [email protected]

Bethesda College

Mequon, WI

Bethesda College of Applied Learning is a unique and exciting, two-year post-secondary certificate program designed to meet the higher education goals of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  Located on the campus of Concordia University Wisconsin, students enrolled in Bethesda College live on campus in integrated residence halls and learn from a curriculum that centers on formal instruction in the areas of academics, career preparation, adult living skills and campus/community life.
Contact Information: Kristine Leonard at 920-262-6529 or email [email protected].

REACH at the University of Iowa

Iowa City, IA

The University of Iowa REACH Program is a transition certificate program for college students with disabilities, such as autism, intellectual disabilities, and learning disabilities.  UI REACH provides a Big Ten college experience and empowers young adults to become independent community members. Coursework, campus life, and career experiences prepare students to reach their full potential. UI REACH also offers alumni events. 
Contact Information: (319) 384-2127 or email [email protected]




Guardianship Fact sheet



10 minute video on Alternatives to Guardianship

Shared via the Indiana Secondary Transition Resource Center Tuesday’s Transition Tips (created for middle and high school transition teachers and other transition professionals.)

Tuesday Transition Tip Website:



Presented by: Amy Handler Kasallis, Attorney at Law

Law Office of Amy Handler Kasallis | 500 Lake Cook Road Suite #350 Deerfield, IL 60015 | (773) 370-1856


What exactly is Guardianship? Guardianship is a legal relationship, created by a court, where a Guardian is appointed to act as a surrogate decision maker for a disabled individual. A Guardian can be a person, an agency, or an institution (but NOT the agency or institution providing residential services).

Two main elements of any Guardianship proceeding

  1. A Judicial determination regarding the extent of the legal incapacity of the disabled person;
  2. The selection of an appropriate Guardian.

Who may act as a Guardian?

  • Any person at least 18 years of age who is not of unsound mind, has not been convicted of a serious crime, and is acceptable to the court.
  • Illinois law creates no preference as to whom is appointed guardian for an adult with a disability.
  • Rather than the degree of relationship to the disabled person, the criterion used in selecting a guardian is the prospective guardian’s capability of providing an active and suitable program of guardianship.
Para Transit and Transportation Services information is provided to the Maine 207 community from the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) Group.  To learn more about supporting adults and people with disabilities on accessible Metra, Pace, and CTA buses and trains with public transit options and traveling independently check out the helpful documents shared from one of our monthly transition resource presentations. Handouts RTA Webinar- Pace Paratransit, Wednesday, September 15th, 6:30
RTA Ready to Ride Again
RTA Presentation Handouts 2021
How to Apply for Ride-Free Permits
How to Apply for Reduced Fare Permits
RTA Maine Niles Presentation Flyer 9-15-21





With two locations in the suburban Chicago area, CHOICE allows clients to choose their own areas of interest while utilizing community-based opportunities for employment, volunteering, socializing and leisure activities. By empowering clients to become involved in their local communities, they flourish as individuals, business people, and neighbors.
Contact Information: Emily Fencl at [email protected] or (847) 653-6630




PURSUIT is designed to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities 21 years and older throughout the year through four core elements: Recreation & Leisure, Skills & Self Advocacy, Community Integration, and Health & Wellness

Contact Information: Liz Thomas at (847) 392-2848 or email [email protected]



The REACH Adult Day Program at the Center for Enriched Living, is a year-round day program for adults who want to learn new skills, connect with the community, grow, achieve personal success and THRIVE!

Contact Information: (847) 315-9920



Enriched Lifestyles for Adults (ELA) is a year-round day program for individuals with disabilities who are 22 years of age and older. As a collaborative effort between Northern Suburban Special Recreation Association (NSSRA) and The Center for Enriched Living (The Center), ELA presents the best resources these two organizations have to offer. NSSRA and The Center each bring nearly 50 years of experience in serving people with disabilities to this exciting collaboration. ELA was created to enhance the quality of life and offer well-rounded daytime program options for adults with disabilities while providing a flexible schedule for families.

Contact Information: Becca Zajler at (847) 509-9400 x6823 or [email protected]


Avenues to Independence provides a variety of flexible day programming options located in the northwest suburbs and Chicago. These include contract packaging jobs, community employment, workforce training, computer training, art programming, and entrepreneurial opportunities.



Contact information: (847) 869-6610


Turning Point Behavioral Health Care Center is an outpatient mental health center with a mission to provide solid support, when you need it most. We provide expert, affordable and compassionate care to people during some of the most difficult times of their lives.

Contact Information: 847-933-0051


Our multi-disciplinary experts have served the health and psychosocial needs of thousands of teens and adults with Down syndrome since our nationally recognized Adult Down Syndrome Center opened in 1992. Our mission is to enhance their lives by providing comprehensive, holistic, community-based care and services using a team approach.

Contact Information: (847) 318-2303

Prioritization for Urgency of Need for Services (PUNS)

Description: PUNS (Prioritization for Urgency of Need for Services) is a statewide database that records information about individuals with developmental disabilities who are potentially in need of services. The State uses the data to select individuals for services as funding becomes available, to develop proposals and materials for budgeting, and to plan for future needs.

Understanding PUNS English (pdf)

Understanding PUNS – Spanish (pdf)

Understanding PUNS – Tagalog (pdf)

Understanding PUNS – Korean (pdf)

Understanding PUNS – Hindi (pdf)

Understanding PUNS – Chinese (pdf)