Paths to Transition Resources

The resources in this section are designed to offer support to families, teachers, and other service providers working with transition-age youth who are blind or visually impaired.

Ardis Bazyn and Sheila Styron share advice, from the student's perspective, on how to make college a successful experience. They cover a range of topics, including Choosing the Right College or University, Using Disabled Student Services, Knowing the Laws that Affect You, Training and Recruiting Readers and Drivers, Working your guide dog on campus, Auxiliary Aids and Services for Students with Disabilities, and Contacting Advocacy Organizations of the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Source: American Council of the Blind

This site provides a good overview on the effect of visual impairments on learning, types of assistive technology, and the kinds of accommodations provided at colleges. Includes a list of scholarships and grants.

Source: Affordable Colleges Online

This 185-page guide addresses the importance of self-determination, student involvement in the transition process, instruction and assessment, and much more (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader).

Source: Council for Exceptional Children

The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) offers resources on advocacy for individuals who are blind or visually impaired. 

Identifies various types of transition assessment, guidelines for conducting an assessment, and criteria for selection of assessment tools.

Source: National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center (NSTTAC)

This document helps parents prepare their children for legal majority. It explains guardianship, the transfer of rights, and considerations about graduation.

Source: National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET)

A 10-page table that illustrates evidence-based practices that support implementation of in-school predictors of post-school success.

Source: NTACT

The ARC of Massachusetts has a comprehensive webpage on Advocacy and Self-Advocacy.  While a number of the resources are specific to Massachusetts, much of the information is applicable to residents of other states as well.  

Boston Center for Independent Living (BCIL) is "a frontline civil rights organization led by people with disabilities that advocates to eliminate discrimination, isolation and segregation by providing advocacy, information and referral, peer support, skills training, and PCA services in order to enhance the independence of people with disabilities."


Career Readiness Assessments Across States: A Summary of Survey Findings by Jennifer McMurrer, Matthew Frizzell and Shelby McIntosh (2013) is a summary report describing how states are defining career readiness and which assessments states and districts are using to measure this attribute.  The report is based on a survey administered in the summer of 2013 to state directors of career and technical education (CTE) or their designees about career readiness assessments.  A total of 46 states completed the survey, counting the District of Columbia.  Also available on this site are four related papers containing additional details on the main topics covered in the summary report, including the responses of specific states, and profiles of major career and technical assessments.

An overview of visual impairments, with tips on how to succeed in college, as well as information about scholarships and assistive technology for students with visual impairments.

Source: Online Colleges

The mission of EYE Retreat is to provide an opportunity for youth with visual impairments to experience a glimpse of post secondary outcomes (employment, college, etc.)  through development of mentoring relationships, real world applications, and identification of available resources.

The 2016 EYE Retreat will be held July 23 to July 30 in Raleigh, NC. It is designed to teach students all the college success skills they will need.  In 2015, they hosted 51 students from 2 countries and 8 states.  Their mission is to provide a mock college experience for students with visual impairments to prepare them for higher education through peer mentoring and real world skills. Go to to apply.  Slots are limited. 

For more information, see:

This overview of community-based rehabilitation has links to related documents, including a matrix for designing a CBR strategy.

Source: World Health Organization (WHO)

In this 30-minute webcast, Mary Zatta describes the purpose and components of a vocational portfolio, and discusses the importance of development processes.

For more information on this topic, see this title from Perkins Publications: School to Work - Developing Transitional Portfolios for Students with Significant Disabilities

Source: Perkins School for the Blind

This 8-page brief provides an introduction to the transition process, including taking an early, long-range approach to planning, developing a comprehensive plan, an overview of participants in developing the transition plan, transferring rights at the age of majority, and putting it all together.

Source: ERIC Digest

Frequently asked questions on the housing rights of people with disabilities, and the legal responsibilities of housing providers and building and design professionals.


Educational Advocacy is a self-directed tutorial that addresses topics of educational advocacy for parents, educators, and policymakers. Continuing education credits are available.

Source: Perkins eLearning, Perkins School for the Blind

Young adults who are deafblind experience significant challenges when transitioning from school to post school outcomes in areas such as community living, employment and college and career readiness.  The newest product from the National Center on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB), Accessing the Dream: Preparing Deaf-Blind Youth for a Self-Determined Life, is a multi-media presentation capturing the purpose and energy of the annual Transition Institute. Transition Institutes are an effort by state deafblind projects in the southeast region of the country to employ best practices in transition in combination with networking and mentoring opportunities.

Effective practice tells us that good transition planning builds the capacity of young people to become confident and engaged adults. In their own words, young adults who are deafblind, families, and service providers share their perspectives on self-determination, raising expectations, and the elements of effective transition planning.


  • Introduction
  • Access
  • Student-Focused Planning
  • Student Development
  • Interagecy Collaboration
  • Program Structure
  • Family Involvement
  • Participants' Advice
  • Conclusion


Full transcript available; video is captioned and audio described.



Ensuring Excellence in Community-Based Day Supports:  A Guide for Service Providers and Staff is a 12-page publication from the Institute for Community Inclusion.  Written by ICI’s David Hoff and consultants Cori Di Biase and Genni Sasnett for the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services, this tool is a great resource for providers seeking to develop or enhance services to support community life engagement.

Sections include:

  • Introduction
  • Guiding Principles in the Design of a Successful CBDS Service
    • The Role of CBDS
    • Having the Right Values
  • Designing a CBDS Service
    • Person-Driven
    • Purposeful
    • Community-Based
    • Facilities and Location
    • Career-Driven
    • Generic (Not Disability-Specific)
    • Maximizing Time in the Community and Minimizing Time "On-Site"
    • Managing Staff: Individual Ratios
    • Scheduling:  Avoiding the Global One Size Fits All Approach
    • Staff Competencies
    • Maximizing Independence
    • Be Prepared!  Develop Procedures Before Initiating Services
  • Identifying Potential Activities
    • Here is an Outline in Identifying Potential Activities
    • Get Engaged, Get Involved
    • Effective Teaching and Learning Techniques

A review of teaching and intervention practices in transition services, with an evaluation of which practices correlate to a good transition outcome.

Source: NSTTAC