Special Education Transition Resources

Special Education Resources for Students Aged 14-22

What is Transition Planning?

"Transition planning is an essential step in preparing students with disabilities to assume adult roles. Transition planning should focus on students’ future goals, empowering them to create a personal vision and identifying opportunities to help them meet their current needs as they transition into postsecondary education and training, employment, and quality adult life."

                                                    —Transition to Adult Living: An Information and Resource Guide

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 requires:

  • Transition language in the IEP at age 16
  • Measurable postsecondary goals based on age-appropriate assessments related to: training, education, employment, and, where appropriate, independent living skills
  • A summary of performance upon school exit

Programs and Resources for Students Aged 14-22

Articles about the Transition Planning Process

A Guide to Secondary Transition - "There is no one formula for a successful transition. The path through and out of high school is rarely a straight line, in great part because learning and growing are synonymous with change— changing minds, discovering new goals, altering preferences, and developing new understanding and strengths. So while transition efforts do involve a process, include a plan, and entail some very specific requirements that are defined by law, they also present puzzles to be solved and paths to be uncovered."

The Transition to Adult Life from the Special Edge Newsletter - The transition from adolescence into adulthood is often exciting—and nearly always challenging. This change can be even more challenging if you have a disability. The California Department of Education is using the latest research and best practices to lessen the challenge and to ensure a successful transition for every student in the state.

Secondary Transition Planning from the California Department of Education - Resources and guidelines to assist youth with disabilities as they transition from school to adult life, including education and training, employment and independent living.

Video for students about the Transition Process - (note this video is from Florida so for more information please visit CA Department of Vocational Services and/or Disability Rights of California.

Featured Article: “Never Empty Nesters” Benefit From More Time To Love – The Guardsman

Alternate Pathway to a High School Diploma

Alternate Pathway FAQ for Families - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

SFUSD Alternatives to High School Diploma

Exemption from District-Adopted Graduation Requirements for Students with IEPs

Prior to the beginning of grade 10, the individualized education program (IEP) team for each student with disabilities shall determine whether the student is eligible for exemption from all coursework and other requirements adopted by the Board in addition to the statewide course requirements for high school graduation, and if so, shall notify the student’s parent/guardian of the exemption.  A student with disabilities shall be eligible for the exemption, if the student’s IEP provides for both of the following requirements:  (Education Code 51225.31)

1. That the student take the alternate assessment aligned to alternate achievement standards in grade 11 as described in Education Code 60640.

2. That the student complete state standards aligned coursework to meet the statewide coursework specified in Education Code 51225.3.

The award of a high school diploma under this exemption does not change the student’s right to obtain a free appropriate public education (“FAPE”) or otherwise constitute a change in placement. 

A student who obtains an exemption shall be eligible to participate in any graduation ceremony and any school activity related to graduation in which a graduating student of similar age without disabilities would be eligible to participate. The right to participate in graduation ceremonies does not equate an exemption with a regular high school diploma. (SFUSD Board Policy 6146.1).



Ensuring All Students with Disabilities have a Pathway to a High School Diploma in California - by DREDF

AccessSFUSD - Adult Transition Program (ages 18-22)

About AccessSFUSD

AccessSFUSD is a community based program for special education students ages 18-22.  In AccessSFUSD students work on developing key skills and experiences in the community setting, and reinforce those skills with on-site functional academics.  Building independence, developing self-advocacy, utilizing public transportation, interpersonal and independent living skills, work & volunteer experiences, personal development, and functional academics allow students to become more active members in their homes and communities.   

Watch our Video  or Download our brochure for more information: Español | 中文 | Tagalog | Tiếng Việt

Access students participated in an adaptive musical in the City College DSPS program.

ACCESS students show talents, art on and off stage (ABC 7 News)

Balboa ACCESS ASL Music Video Class Videos:

ASL Music Video-Roar

ASL Music VIdeo-Feeling Good


AccessSFUSD Eligibility

  • Ages 18-22
  • Has completed 12th grade
  • On a certificate of completion track
  • Has an IEP


AccessSFUSD Mission Statement

AccessSFUSD is a community based program for students 18-22 with disabilities.  We focus on teaching functional life skills within the community setting.


San Francisco IS our campus.


We strive to help students discover their passions, unlock their potential, and become involved members of the community.  We offer an individualized program that works with each student’s goals and interests to further develop their skills, gain vocational experience, and to create self-determined individuals who are active in their community.


Current AccessSFUSD Program Sites

  • AccessSFUSD: The Arc
  • AccessSFUSD: Bay Street
  • AccessSFUSD: Balboa
  • AccessSFUSD: Burton
  • AccessSFUSD: Galileo
  • AccessSFUSD: Lowell
  • AccessSFUSD: Mission
  • AccessSFUSD: O’Connell
  • AccessSFUSD: Marshall
  • AccessSFUSD: Wallenberg
  • AccessSFUSD: Project Search*


*AccessSFUSD: Project Search is a one year intensive internship at Kaiser Hospital eligible to qualified students in their final year of their AccessSFUSD program




California Department of Rehabilitation

California Department of Rehabilitation - Employment and Independent Living for Californians with Disabilities since 1963

Get to Know California's Department of Rehabilitation (video)

How to Get Started with DOR

The California Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) is here to help you. We work with people who have disabilities to help them get jobs, develop or promote in their current jobs, live on their own, and enjoy a life equal to others.

Our staff will work with you based on your specific hopes and needs. You are the most important person in this process. We will help you build a plan to improve your job and personal life. To help you reach your goals will require some work from you too. We will coach you all along the way.

We may be able to help you with:

  • Disability and benefits programs
  • Job search and interview skills
  • Job training and tools
  • College and textbooks
  • Disability equipment
  • Support services like childcare or transportation
  • Connecting you with other people or groups that may be able to help you


We will always respect you and your opinions. We will help you to understand the various options available to you as we work toward your goals.

Please click "Continue the Getting Started Process" to begin. We just need a little bit of information from you. We will have the right person contact you to answer your questions.

Thank you.

College and University Resources

The Think College Inclusive Higher Education Network is launching the “Think Higher. Think College.” campaign to build awareness and expand access to college for students with intellectual disability. The campaign will increase knowledge of inclusive college options, share information about the benefits and outcomes of students with intellectual disability attending college, and offer people ways to spread the message: “Think Higher. Think College.”

Checkout this Transition Program Guide from Parents Helping Parents. Explore transition resources with over 50 webinars in different languages to ease the transition to adulthood.

Did you know that there are 317 postsecondary education programs for students with intellectual disability? Use this ThinkCollege map and resources to help provide families with options.

College Disability Programs:

City College Disabled Students Programs and Services

San Francisco State Disability Programs

Cal State East Bay - College Link Program

UC Berkeley Disabled Students' Program

UC Davis Student Disability Center  

Paul K Longmore Institute on Disability

UC Irvine Disability Services Center

University of Arizona SALT Center

California State University Services for Students with Disabilities: Every CSU campus has services to support students with certifiable disabilities. Be sure to contact your campus as early as possible to learn more about the ways your campus can help you succeed.

DREAM: Disability Rights, Education, Activism, and Mentoring: Sponsored by the National Center for College Students with Disabilities (NCCSD) and the Institute on Community Integration at the University of Minnesota and AHEAD


Students with Disabilities Preparing for Postsecondary Education: Know Your Rights and Responsibilities from the US Department of Education Office of Civil Rights

Job Assistance Guide for People with Disabilities from ASU Thunderbird School of Global Management

12 Questions to Ask About a College’s Disability Services

College scholarships for Students with Disabilities 

College Accommodation Request Preparation Form

Why You Should Register for Disability Accommodations at College

How Do Students Get Disability Accommodations at College?

Encourage College-Bound Students with Disabilities to Register for Accommodations

Students With Disabilities Urge Smoother Transition to College


Looking for more information?

Visit the SFUSD Office of Counseling and Post-Secondary Success webpage for information and resources about getting ready for high school, graduating from an SFUSD high school, exploring your options beyond high school, and more.

Self Advocacy and Student Led IEPs!

Your IEP Meeting: A Great Place to Practice SelfAdvocacy Skills from Pacer Center

Self-advocacy is a key step in becoming an adult. It means looking out for yourself, telling others what you need, and knowing how to take responsibility. No one is born knowing these skills. Self-advocacy skills are needed over a lifetime, and everyone has to learn them. Here is some great information that can start you on your way!

Student-led IEPs from CADRE

Student-led Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) allow students with disabilities to take a meaningful role in the special education planning process. Students who actively participate throughout the IEP and/or transition planning process are more likely to be engaged in school and successfully achieve their goals.

4 Ways Students Can Take an Active Role in Their IEP Meetings from EdSource

Students are the primary stakeholder in their individualized education program, and they can play a role in annual meetings from an early age.

More Self-Advocacy Resources

Transition Partnership Program: TPP

The Transition Partnership Program (TPP) is a cooperative program between SFUSD and the Department of Rehabilitation that prepares high school students for employment. These students must meet certain criteria to be eligible for DOR services. The program is limited to 40 new students a year.

On completion of schooling the student will be referred by DOR to a vendor for employment services. These services consist of but are not limited to pre-employment training, resume development, job coach and competitive employment.

TPP Steps for Enrollment

All students must first meet the Department of Rehabilitation eligibility requirements before being enrolled. The students are referred to the TPP specialist to assist in determining eligibility.

See Steps:

  1. The teacher reads the eligibility requirements.
  2. The teacher identifies a student that is significantly impacted by a disability and will need help obtaining competitive employment.
  3. The teacher and TPP specialist sets an appointment time to meet with the student and give DOR application/DOR referral form.
  4. The student completes the DOR application/DOR referral with parents, teacher and or TPP specialist.
  5. The teacher and TPP specialist obtain required documents (current IEP/w signatures, psycho-educational evaluation/assessment with signatures, therapist contact info, other stakeholders' info).
  6. The TPP specialist reviews the materials and turns them into a DOR counselor.
  7. The TPP specialist and DOR counselor coordinate a DOR intake date.
  8. The TPP student is travel trained to the DOR downtown office for intake.
  9. The DOR counselor determines the eligibility.
  10. The TPP specialist begins to meet with the student for pre-employment training on a regular basis.
  11. The DOR counselor creates an Individual Plan of Employment (IPE) for the TPP student.
  12. When the TPP student is 4-6 months out from exiting high school, the DOR counselor will begin job development and placement services
  13. The TPP specialist determines if TPP student is exiting SFUSD or returning.
  14. The TPP student exits SFUSD by graduating or acquiring a Certificate of Completion
  15. As of June 30th of each year, all non-returning students are exited from direct TPP services from the SFUSD.
  16. From this point forward TPP students are responsible for maintaining contact with their DOR counselors.



SFUSD students may qualify for Department of Rehabilitation pre-employment services by showing documentation of significant impact on there ability to get employed. The DOR counselor will review all the appropriate documentation to determine if a student is eligible. If found eligible the student will receive an acceptance letter and begin meeting with their TPP specialist for pre-employment training.


The ability to move from place to place.

  • Wheelchair, prosthesis, orthosis, mobility training, mobility aid and/or service dog to move from place to place.
  • Personal assistance to move from place to place.
  • Assistance to use public transportation, read maps or signpost to move from place to place.
  • The individual is limited in terms of distance and /or terrain that can be traveled.
  • Other serious limitations in terms of employment outcome.


The ability to use, give and /or receive information.

  • Rehabilitation technology that includes, but is not limited to, and augmentative speech device, screen reading software, hearing aid, TTY or assistive listening device to use, give and/or receive verbal/auditory information.
  • Interpreter to use, give and/or receive verbal/auditory information.
  • Low vision aids to use, give and/or receive visual information.
  • Braille/tactile labels and/or a brailler to use, give and/or receive visual information.
  • Rehabilitation technology including, but not limited to, screen reading software to use, give and/or receive visual information.
  • Other serious limitations in terms of employment outcome.

Self Care

The ability to plan and/or perform activities of daily living.

  • Personal assistance services to plan and/or perform activities of daily living.
  • Rehabilitation technology to plan and/or perform activities of daily living.
  • Specialized training to independently plan and/perform activities of daily living.
  • Other serious limitations in terms of employment outcome.

Interpersonal Skills

The ability to establish and/or maintain appropriate interactions with others.

  • Specialized training and/or personal assistance services to establish and/or maintain appropriate interactions with co-workers, supervisors, etc.
  • Prescribed medication to establish and/or maintain appropriate interaction with co-workers, supervisors, etc.
  • Other serious limitations in terms of employment outcome.

Work Skills

The ability to learn and/or perform work functions.

  • Job coach to learn and/or perform work functions.
  • Specialized training and/or personal assistance services to learn and/or perform work functions.
  • Rehabilitation technology to learn and/or perform work functions.
  • Rehabilitation technology to plan, problem solve, and/or organize work functions.
  • Personal assistance services to plan, problem solve and/or organize work functions.
  • Specialized training to plan, problem solve and/or organize work functions.
  • Job Coach to plan, problem solve and/or organize work functions.
  • Other serious limitations in terms of employment outcome.

Work Tolerance

The ability to sustain the required level of work function.

  • Adjusted work schedule to meet continuing medical treatment and/or medical needs.
  • Variable work schedule for medical appointments or medical needs.
  • Prescribed medication to sustain required levels of work functions.
  • The individual is restricted from working in certain work environments which may include, but are not limited to, cold heat, noise.
  • Other serious limitations in terms of employment outcome.


Participants in the Transition Partnership Program may receive some of the following services and activities based on individual need. The TPP Specialist will work with the TPP students individually, in group settings, pull-outs, and at work sites.

See More:

  • Open an email account
  • Sign up for Workability1
  • Meet Department of Rehabilitation counselor
  • Complete DOR Individual Plan of Employment (IPE)
  • Learn the steps to email resume
  • Mock interviews
  • Practice job applications
  • Draft resume, cover letters, and thank you notes for after interviews
  • Complete a career assessment through the Career Locker
  • Open a banking account
  • Make a sample monthly/yearly budget
  • Use of agenda/technology (cell phone, laptop etc) to keep track of assignments and appointments
  • Memorize social security number
  • Interest inventories
  • Learn co-workers names
  • Take public transportation to internship
  • Take public transportation to DOR
  • Use of video modeling to teach appropriate work skills/attitudes/behaviors/personal relationships
  • Job shadowing activity related to the area of interest
  • Volunteer community work experience
  • Paid community work experience
  • Learn self advocacy

Community Partners


TPP/PS/WAI Coordinator

Robin Lewis-Hampton

📞 Phone: 415-695-5872

email: lewisr@sfusd.edu


TPP/POWS Specialist

Rachel Moore

📞 Phone: 415-707-9307 

email: Moorer2@sfusd.edu

WorkAbility - training program for special education students ages 14-22

WorkAbility is a training program for special education students ages 14-22 designed to promote career awareness and exploration while students complete their secondary education program. 

WorkAbility provides students with opportunities for job shadowing, paid and non-paid work experience, and ongoing support and guidance from vocational personnel.


Interested candidates, please contact:

WorkAbility I Office

45 Conkling St. - Room 202

San Francisco, CA 94124

Phone: 415/695-2428


Career Resources


Bridges from School to Work

A recognized leader in youth opportunity programs. Our intensive hands-on approach helps young adults with disabilities find meaningful jobs during and after they complete high school. We match youth with businesses seeking capable entry-level workers and provide the training, mentoring, and long-term support they need to thrive. 

University of Washington Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology Center

The DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) Center is dedicated to empowering people with disabilities through technology and education. It promotes awareness and accessibility—in both the classroom and the workplace—to maximize the potential of individuals with disabilities and make our communities more vibrant, diverse, and inclusive.

DiverseAbility: More companies hiring employees with autism

Introducing Google Cloud’s Autism Career Program 

Disability Inclusion at Microsoft

Autism @ Work Employer Roundtable

Stanford Autism Center & SF Autism Society Conference Resources

For resources from all presentations, visit the conference webpage!

Creating Special Needs Housing with a Family Partnership LLC

Anna Wang, Friends of Children with Special Needs


Addressing Medical and Health-Related Issues in Adults with Autism

David Traver, MD


Creating Homes for Adults with Developmental Disabilities

Dana Hooper, Life Services Alternatives


Tips and Tools for Oral Care, at Home and in the Chair

Inge Henderson, SLP


Regional Center Services: Understanding the New California Vendor Rate Model

Mark Jackson, Consultant



What Does it Mean to Be ‘Person-centered’?

Trudy Grable


A Person-Centered Approach to Special Needs Trusts

Stephen Dale, Dale Law Firm


See more videos from Stephen Dale here: https://dalelawfirm.com/educational-videos/

California State Benefits and Resources for Developmentally Disabled Adults

Myra Galt, Galt Advocacy

Video: https://youtu.be/0dBeERD1flQ

Seven Years In: Santa Cruz’s Coastal Haven Pocket Neighborhood and Common Roots Farm Today

Heidi Cartan, Coastal Haven


(Spanish) — Protecting Loved Ones with Disabilities through Conservatorship, Supported Decisionmaking and Other Alternatives

Jeanette Martinez, Special Needs Law Group



Self Determination and SARC – An Introduction

Evan Gilliland, SARC


Options for Living Outside the Family Home (focus on ILS/SLS models)

Dennise Jauregui, Housing Choices


This page was last updated on March 21, 2024