The Eleanor and Charles Garrett Center on Transition and Disability Studies at Sam Houston State University
The Eleanor and Charles Garrett Center on Transition and Disability Studies at Sam Houston State University provides information, professional development, training, and resources on transition and other special education topics to university preservice teachers, practicing educators from early childhood special education through 18+ programs, students with disabilities, their families, state agencies, and the community.
Locate your LEA Transition and Employment Designee (TED) on this website by entering the name of your school district in the box labeled, “Enter the LEA name” and clicking “search.”
IDEA Manual 2018: A Guide for Parents and Students About Special Education Services in Texas
IDEA Manual 2018: Una Guía para Padres y Estudiantes Sobre Servicios de Educación Especial en Texas
Notice of Transfer of Rights: Model Form with Information and Resources
Aviso de Transferencia de Derechos: Formulario de Modelo con Información y Recursos
Parents, you are present in your child's life before, during, and after public schooling, whereas your child's teachers are only involved for a short time. Because of this, you have a very important role during your child’s transition process. When you have a good understanding of transition, you are better able to support your child in developing and implementing a plan to achieve their goals after high school. Although the transition period is an exciting time in your child's life, it is also a time when you may have many questions and concerns about your child's future, including:
The good news is there are people and organizations to help you and your child with the transition to adult life. For example, every school district in Texas is required to have a Transition and Employment Designee, known as a TED. The TED oversees the transition program at their district or charter school. You can locate the TED for your school district or charter school at the Legal Framework site linked in the sidebar.
Transfer of Rights
When your child turns 18 years old, the state of Texas recognizes the 18-year-old as an adult with the right to be the educational decision-maker in their ARD meeting. You will be provided information about this transfer of rights at the first ARD meeting held once the student is 17 years old and again at the first ARD meeting when the student is 18 years old. More information about the transfer of rights can be found in the sidebar.
Self-determination means making things happen in your own life,
instead of others doing things for you.
A big part of success in life is knowing yourself, knowing what you want, and creating a plan to achieve it. This knowing yourself, what you want, and how to achieve it is known as self-determination. Self-determination is very important to everyone, but especially to those who have disabilities. People with disabilities who are high levels of self-determination achieve better adult outcomes. Right now, you and your child’s teachers ensure that your child gets the help they need to be successful in school, but once your child graduates from school, things change. Help is available, but in order to receive this help, your child will need to prove they are eligible for help and that they need the help to be successful as an adult. Adulthood is when self-determination really comes in handy. Explore the links below to learn more about self-determination and how you can help your child develop it.
The 2BSD provides information and resources for self-determination, using an action model for self-determination. You can use this website to learn about the concept of self-determination. Additionally, on the Resources section there is a “Self-determination Supports for Parents Scale” you can use to assess your own self-determination as a parent.
Disability History Museum
The Disability History Museum is an online museum that can be used to learn about how disability has been experienced in the past and present. An understanding of disability history can help you with your advocacy now and in the future.
Disability Rights Texas
Disability Rights Texas helps people with disabilities understand and exercise their rights under the law, ensuring their full and equal participation in society.
The I’m Determined project, a state-directed project funded by the Virginia Department of Education, focuses on providing direct instruction, models, and opportunities to practice skills associated with self-determined behavior. This link directs to the Parent Resources section of the site, but there is a lot of good information in other parts of the site, too.
PACER Center: Self-determination
This website provides information and resources on self-determination for parents of children and youth with disabilities.
Texas Project FIRST: What is Self-determination?
This page from Texas Project FIRST (created for parents by parents) examines self-determination and what parents need to know. The homepage also has many other informational resources.
University of Kansas Beach Center on Disability: Self-determination
The Beach Center on Disability focuses research, training, and advocacy on promoting abilities of people of all ages who experience disability, to assure a self-determined, goal-driven, and self-selected quality of life within communities where everyone lives. The Families and Self-Determination sections of the website provide resources such as the “Beach Center Family Research Toolkit” and “A Parent’s Guide to the Self-Determined Learning Model for Early Elementary Students.”
For many careers, additional education or training after high school is a requirement. Education after high school is called postsecondary education and includes trade schools, community colleges, and universities. If your child’s desired career does not require postsecondary education, it is likely they will need additional training beyond high school. Some examples of training include on-the-job training or an apprenticeship.
The Office of Disability Services is the office at the postsecondary educational institution that can provide accommodations, academic adjustments, and auxiliary aids and services to students who have temporary or permanent health impairments, physical limitations, psychological disorders, or learning disabilities. It is important for parents to encourage their students to visit the Office of Disability Services during college visits and to register with the Office of Disability Services once they are admitted. The name of the Office of Disability Services may vary; other names include Student Accessibility Services, Disability Services Office, Student Disability Services, Disability Services, and Student Accessible Services.
Explore the following links to learn more about postsecondary education and training.
College Autism Network
The College Autism Network (CAN) seeks to improve access to and success in postsecondary education for college students who have autism. As a parent of a student with autism who is planning to go to college, CAN’s “Support for College Students on the Autism Spectrum” and “Fast Facts” documents may be of benefit to you.
Connections for Academic Success and Employment
The Connections for Academic Success and Employment (CASE) program helps students with autism and other developmental disabilities at Texas Tech University and South Plains College in West Texas graduate and find competitive employment after graduation. CASE is for students who can meet the university’s academic entrance requirements, but because of their autism or other developmental disability need assistance in developing skills for independent living, social connections, and employment after graduation.
National Center for College Students with Disabilities
The National Center for College Students with Disabilities (NCCSD) provides information about disability and postsecondary education. On the NCCSD website, you can find a searchable clearinghouse and resource library and a listing of scholarships for students with disabilities, among other resources and information.
Texas Workforce Solutions-Vocational Rehabilitation Services
Texas Workforce Solutions-Vocational Rehabilitation Services serves youth and students with disabilities to help prepare them for postsecondary education and employment opportunities. Services are based on specific eligibility criteria and student need.
Think College is a national organization dedicated to developing, expanding, and improving inclusive higher education options for people with an intellectual disability. One of the best features of this website is its listing of all postsecondary programs for students with an intellectual disability in the United States.
For many people, employment is a big part of their life. It is important for students to learn about their interests, strengths, and needs so they can be prepared for a career that will be fulfilling to them.
Job Accommodation Network
The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is a source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues.
Texas Workforce Commission
Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) is the state agency responsible for overseeing and providing workforce development services to employers and job seekers of Texas. One of the major functions of this agency is to provide services for people with disabilities to obtain training and employment.
Texas Workforce Commission-Vocational Rehabilitation Services
Texas Workforce Commission-Vocational Rehabilitation Services serves youth and students with disabilities to help prepare them for postsecondary education and employment opportunities. Services are based on specific eligibility criteria and student need.
What can YOU do?
The Campaign for Disability Employment (CDE) is a collaborative effort among several disability and business organizations to change attitudes about disability and employment. Under the “Where to Learn More” tab of this website are resources for job seekers and employees with disabilities.
Independent living services help people with disabilities achieve greater independence in the home and community. Many programs for people with disabilities require documentation of disability and services may be limited, so it is important for families to understand these community supports and how to work with them to receive needed services. The sites below will help families know what services are available to help their child become an active part of their community.
The PACER Center works to enhance the quality of life of individuals with disabilities by providing information to students and their families. On this website, you can find information about your child transitioning to life after high school.
Texas Health and Human Services: Disability
The disability section of the Texas Health and Humans Services website has a lot of information pertaining to people who have disabilities, including information about federal programs such as Medicaid, Social Security, and Supplemental Security Income. There is also information about programs and services for specific disabilities such as brain injury, autism, visual impairments, hearing impairments, intellectual disability, and medical or physical disabilities.
Texas Health and Human Services: Independent Living Services
Independent living services are provided by centers for independent living (CILs), which are located throughout the state. CILs are not residential living centers. CILs help people with disabilities achieve greater independence in their homes and communities by providing information and referrals, skills training, goals counseling, advocacy training, and transition services. This website has links to all the CILs in Texas and describes who is eligible for independent living services and the type of services available.
Texas Health and Human Services: Local Intellectual and Developmental Disability Authority
The Local Intellectual and Developmental Disability Authority (LIDDA) provides services and supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and enrolls eligible individuals into Medicaid programs. On this website, you can find detailed information about the services provided by LIDDAs.
Texas Health and Human Services: Local Mental Health Authorities/Local Behavioral Health Authorities
Community mental health services are provided through Local Mental Health Authorities/Local Behavioral Health Authorities (LMHA/LBHA), also referred to as community mental health centers. The LMHAs/LBHAs provide services to a specific geographic area of the state, called the local service area. You can find contact information for all the community mental health centers in Texas on this website.
Texas Parent to Parent
Texas Parent to Parent (TxP2P) is committed to improving the lives of Texas children who have disabilities, chronic illness, and/or special health care needs. TxP2P empowers families to be strong advocates through parent-to-parent support, resource referral, and education.
The Arc of Texas
The Arc of Texas promotes, protects, and advocates for the human rights and self-determination of Texans with intellectual and developmental disabilities. On this website you will find information and resources to help you understand alternatives to guardianship and supported decision-making and how your child can work with a disability.
Your Texas Benefits
This website has information about state benefit programs that help people with and without disabilities who have little or no money get access to basic needs such as food, health care, and support services.
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