Transition Services

The following is adapted from a National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities (NICHCY) publication authored by Sharon deFur, Ed.D., Assistant Professor at the School of Education, College of William and Mary. Information for obtaining a copy of the complete document is provided below.

The completion of high school is the beginning of adult life. Entitlement to public education ends, and young people and their families are faced with many options and decisions about the future. The most common choices for the future of young adults with disabilities includes pursuing vocational training or further academic education, getting a job, and living independently.

Part of transition planning involves collecting information from the community to use for both immediate and anticipated needs. However, sometimes making a "cold" phone call to get information can be intimidating. See the Transition Services Phone Interview Guide below for some ideas on how to gather information.

Transition Services Phone Interview Guide

When you are starting your search for service providers for young adults with disabilities, begin with agencies that can refer you to other organizations, such as vocational rehabilitation or an independent living center.

Name of Organization:
Name of Person with Whom You Spoke:
Phone Number:
Fax Number:
Date Contacted:

Sample Phone Script

"Hello, this is [your name]. I am a (teacher, parent, family member, administrator, coordinator) of a youth (young adult) who is [OR if you are the student, then "I am"] (exploring career options, exploring where to live after graduation, interested in a recreational program, or whatever fits the ultimate goals). I am looking for information to help in planning for my (own, son's, daughter's, family member's, student's) future. I found your organization through (another agency, the Yellow Pages, a publication) and I am interested in learning more about what services you provide (or what your organization does). Could you tell me to whom in your organization I should talk about this? Thank you.

Please tell me about your agency/organization. Who do you serve? What services do you offer?

How does one get involved with your agency/organization? Are there special eligibility or admission requirements? How does one apply?

Are there costs involved in participating in your agency or organization's programs? If so, how much are they? Do you offer any special rates?

Do you have any ideas about how your agency or organization might help meet a need such as: [Describe a "specific problem or need" that you might have. For example: youth has a visual disability and needs assistance changing buses; youth has physical disability and is interested in playing a sport; teen parent with a learning disability needs child care so that she can go to work after school; and so forth.]

Could you refer me to some other people, agencies, or organizations that might offer services to meet this need?

Do you have any written materials describing your agency (or organization)? If so, could you please send them to me, [your name] at [your address]? Thank you for speaking with me today. This information is very helpful in planning my (own, student's, son's, daughter's) future as a member of our community. Best wishes for fulfilling your agency (or organization's) mission."

deFur, S. (1999). Transition planning: A team effort. Washington, DC: National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities.

NICHCY Transition Summaries are published to highlight issues of importance to the transition needs of young people with disabilities. NICHCY also disseminates other materials and can respond to individual requests for information. For further information or assistance, or to receive a NICHCY Publications Catalog, contact NICHCY, P.O. Box 1492, Washington, DC 20013. Telephone: 1-800-695-0285 (Voice/TTY) and (202) 884-8200 (Voice/TTY). You can e-mail NICHCY ( or visit their Website (, where you will find a listing of all of NICHCY's publications.