A collection of resources and information to support students with disabilities and their families to successfully transition to life after high school.

Developed by Jaclyn Kotowski



Transitions is CHANGE

In life, a person experiences many changes from one stage of life to the next.  This is also referred to as transitions.  If your student is 14 years or older, your school has probably started talking about Transitions.  This is referring to the change from high school to post-secondary life aka life after high school. 

Transitions focuses on three areas: employment, education/further training, and independent living.  Students and families should start talking about their vision and goals for the future as early as possible.  This website is designed as a resource for students and their families to know what supports, services, and agencies are available in Kansas City to help make the process easier about thinking about life after high school and obstacles that may come up. The goal is to make "the first day after school exit looks no different than the last day of school" (Seamless Transition Toolkit). 

 Scales of Justice


  • IDEA

    • The Individuals with Disabilities Act ​is a federal law that requires schools to provide free and appropriate education to all students ages 3-21 who are eligible for special education.  Starting no later than 16 (some states it is 14) the school must also provide transition services and planning for students to reach post-secondary employment, education/training, and independent living goals.

    • More info here: About IDEA

  • WIOA

    • Workforce ​Innovation and Opportunity Act (2014) is a law designed to help people find employment, education, training and support services.  It also helps ensure that people are learning the skills that employers need.  There is a focus on coordinating with Vocational Rehabilitation to provide high-quality training and supports for youth with disabilities. 

    • More info here: About WIOA

  • Section 504

    • Part of the Rehabilitation Act (1973), Section 504 requires that individuals with disabilities will have same access to programs, benefits, and activities as their non-disabled peers.  The act requires schools and organizations to provide reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities (not just limited to special education, but also medical, physical, and mental conditions) of any age.  This also applies to students receiving accommodations at College or post-secondary level. 

    • ​More info here: Section 504 Facts

  • ADA

    • Americans with Disabilities Act (​1990) prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities. It ensures that people with disabilities have same opportunities and rights as everyone else in all areas of life. Employers must provide reasonable accommodations and supports for people with disabilities  to be successful in work.  Housing and transportation must also be accessible to people with disabilities. 

    • More info here: About ADA 


    • ​The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act is a law that protects the privacy of student educational records. Schools are required to receive parental consent to release information about a student's record with those who are not directly involved with the student.  At age 18 the rights under FERPA transfer to the student unless there is guardianship for the parent. 

    • More info here: About FERPA

  • Olmstead Decision

    • Supreme Court Decision (1999) ​requires that public organizations provide community-based services to people with disabilities, focusing on integration rather than isolation of people with disabilities. 

    • More info about Olmstead: About Olmstead

  • Employment First Initiative

    • National movement to increase opportunities for competitive and integrated employment and participation in community life for all people, including those with significant disabilities.  The US Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy is working to create a systemic change to address the large number of people with disabilities who are living in poverty due to not having employment.  

    • More info here: ​About Employment First