Southeast Regional Center


Transition is a term used to refer to the period of time when a teenager prepares for adulthood. Teens with special needs often have extra concerns to plan for in order to transition. This can take some time, so its best to start thinking about these issues early.


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Some areas to think about include:

  • Transitioning from pediatric to adult medical care
  • Health care insurance
  • Going to college or a technical school
  • Employment, pre-employment or other community activities
  • Independent living needs
  • Recreation and socialization
  • Decision-making supports such as signed releases or guardianship
  • SSI eligibility

In the education setting, a statement of “needed transition services” must be included in all Individual Education Plans (IEPs) from the age of 16 years and older. This statement may be included in IEPs of younger students, if appropriate. There are many agencies that can help youth and their parents plan for transition.

Please visit the Websites below for more information:

Waisman Resource Center Publications

Transition publications are available for download and printing. Some helpful documents include:

Wisconsin Statewide Transition Initiative (WSTI)

The Wisconsin Statewide Transition Initiative (WSTI) is a Department of Public Instruction (DPI) state discretionary project that offers a comprehensive approach to providing transition services in the State of Wisconsin. From this Website, you will be able to access a Transition Resource Directory. This directory provides information and contacts for agencies that provide services in your county.

Wisconsin Dept of Public Instruction

This 28 page booklet from the Wisconsin Dept of Public Instruction “Opening Doors to Postsecondary Education and Training” is helpful for students considering post-secondary education. The first page includes an excellent checklist to follow from 7th grade through high school.

This 44 page booklet from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction “Opening Doors to Employment” provides help on planning for employment after school. From exploring options to discovering your own strengths and preferences, this booklet provides the tools needed to start planning. Page 5 contains a timeline that starts in the elementary years!

Department of Vocational Rehabilitation

The Department of Vocational Rehabilitation provides information on how they assist individuals with disabilities in their goals for employment. DVR offers a full array of employment services for people with disabilities. They have offices around the state with dedicated and qualified staff who can help prepare youth for the world of work. At DVR, youth play an active role in determining and achieving their employment goals.


IndependenceFirst provides information on issues of Assistive Technology, Home Modifications/Accessibility, Personal Care Attendants, Recreation for people with disabilities and more. They also have a Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) program to help people with disabilities who want to work but not risk losing their government benefits. For more information about WIPA, click here:

Supplemental Security Income

Learn about Supplemental Security Income and apply online if you are eligible.

Long-Term Care services

Many counties have begun providing long term care services through Family Care and IRIS. For more information about these programs, visit this website.

Guardianship of Adults with Developmental Disabilities in Dane County, Wisconsin

The ARC-Dane County provides information on guardianship and hosts this document which was developed to answer frequently asked questions by adults with developmental disabilities, their relatives, providers of developmental disabilities services for teens and adults, legal people, and school personnel regarding guardianship. This information is also available in Spanish.

Health Transition Wisconsin

This website has resources to assist Wisconsin youth, families, and health professionals with the transition from pediatric to adult health care.


Call Children's Resource Center-Southeast at 800-234-KIDS (5437)

Located in the Daniel M. Soref Family Resource Center at Children's Wisconsin
8915 W. Connell Court, Milwaukee, WI
Open 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday

© Southeast Regional Center 2023