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Transition to Adulthood

The transition to adulthood is an important time in every individual’s life. The path to adulthood is not always easy or straightforward for people with disabilities, and can bring up concerns within families. Several transition planning resources are available to help make the transition to adulthood for young people with disabilities as smooth as possible. 

General Transition Resources 

The Charting the LifeCourse Framework was created by individuals with disabilities and their families. It provides tools across comprehensive beliefs and values to help people with disabilities make choices about how they want to live their lives and identify supports to help them do so. 

Transition planning is a formal process for young adults with IEPs to help students with disabilities and their families make a plan for after high school. Transition planning is a right under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and begins by age 16. For more information on the process, visit Understood’s page

The Autism Society of NC has a page with resources for transitioning to adulthood. 


Independent Living Resources 

The Autism Housing Network has a national housing directory to help people with autism/IDD and their families find housing options that suit their needs. 

The Arc of the Triangle offers many supports and services across the lifespan, including community navigation, housing, and employment. 

Centers for Independent Living are community organizations designed and operated by a majority of people with disabilities to help those with disabilities develop independent living skills. Independent Living Research Utilization has a directory for finding your local center for independent living. 

The National Council on Independent Living advocates for the rights of people with disabilities as they relate to independent living at a national level. 


Employment and Higher Education Resources 

PACER’s National Parent Center on Transition and Employment has comprehensive resources for resume building, college options, laws and rights, and more. 

Think College is a national organization dedicated to improving and expanding inclusive postsecondary options for young adults with disabilities. 

TEACCH Employment Services helps people with disabilities find and maintain satisfying employment. 

TEACCH School Transition to Employment and Postsecondary Education (T-STEP) is a free program for young adults age 16-21 with autism who have or are on track to earn the Future Ready Core high school diploma. It covers goal setting, executive functioning, emotion regulation, and social skills and is offered at five community colleges across NC. 

NC DHHS Vocational Rehabilitation Services helps connect people with disabilities to employment.