IMPORTANT INFORMATION TO KNOW IF YOUR CHILD IS TURNING 18
HOW SHOULD PARENTS START PLANNING FOR TRANSITION
There are three major obstacles to effective transition planning
1. Failure to start early
2. No State offers an entitlement adult service . What to do?
3. Parents may not be educated about what services are available in
their state and local area.
According to State law, transition starts at 16 years of age. However, you may want to
look at the start of transitioning at age 14. As a parent you need to educate yourself about
what services are available in the state, how best to access these services and what
funding streams help support those services. Be sure your child’s Individualized
Education Plan (IEP) is comprehensive, functional, measurable, and contains an
individually determined transition plan for your child. The IEP should also build on
skills developed the previous year and experiences and resources needed to develop skills
for the future.
Understand that when your child reaches 18 years of age, certain considerations need to
be taken into account. Below is a list of adult services and how to access each one:
❒ When children reach 18 years of age, according to the State of WV they become
adults with full rights and responsibilities. At this time, you might want to consider if
guardianship is right for your child. There are several different types of guardianship you
can consider from full guardianship to answer for your child in case of a medical or legal
issue to partial guardianship to cover certain aspects of your child’s rights such as
medical power of attorney. You may want to consider conservator ship as well because
this would protect your child’s money interest and you would be responsible for
managing your child’s money. Before considering any option consider all possibilities.
You might want to contact an attorney that specializes in guardianship/conservator or a
certified public accountant. To apply for guardianship go to your local circuit clerk or
county clerk’s office and request a guardianship/conservatorship packet. The clerk
cannot help you complete the form but will answer any questions you may have
regarding the application process and procedure.
❒ All male citizens of the United States must register with the Selective Services
regardless of their disabilities by age 18 years of age and no later than 26 years of age.
When registering if your child has a disability please include documentation of your
child’s disability from a professional report with your Selective Service application. The
Selective Service card can be picked up at your local post office or you can apply on-line.
Remember the registration only puts your name on a list. In the event of a national
emergency and a draft would be called up then you would be contacted and could provide
information about your disability and then you would become exempt and receive an F-4
rating which would make you ineligible to serve. Young men registering on-line may
register by using the web site: www.ss.gov. Once accessing this web site go to the
registration form and enter your basic information. Within a few seconds you will
receive a Selective Service Number. Within two weeks, you will receive a Registration
Acknowledgement Card in the mail. Remember, you are not official registered until you
have received a Selective Service Number. For more information call 1-847-688-6888.
❒ Your adult child can apply for SSI benefits by the age of 18 years of age if they meet
the qualifications to apply. If your child is receiving SSI a parent should complete the
appropriate paperwork to become the representative payee if the parent has custody and
guardianship of their child. If the parent does not complete the paperwork the check will
be issued in the child’s name. You can apply by calling 1-800-772-1213. Our
representative can make an appointment for your application to be taken over the phone
or an appointment at any convenient social security office. Or you can go to the web site
www.socialsecurity.org. It will take you to the BEST (Benefit Eligibility Screening
Tool). BEST screens for Social Security and Disability SSI.
To apply for Social Security you will need the following information.
-Your child’s Social Security Number
-Your child’s birth certificate
-Your checking or savings account information, so your benefits can be directly
-A copy of your federal tax return for the past year
-Names, addresses and phone numbers of your doctors, hospitals, clinics that treated your
-Current medical records
-A summary of where you have worked for the past 15 years
AGED AND DISABLED WAIVER
The Aged and Disabled Waiver Program provides in-home and community services to
individuals 18 years of age and older who are medically and financially eligible. Medical
eligibility is determined based on an assessment by a medical professional. Financial
eligibility is based on monthly income that cannot exceed 300% of the poverty (SSI)
level and assets that cannot be valued at more than $2,000; financial eligibility
determination is made at the county WV Department of Health & Human Resource
office. Services provided in the program include Case Management, Consumer-Directed
Case Management, Homemaker (see Homemaker Selection Forms listed by county),
Transportation, and RN Assessment and Review. Services are provided by Medicaid-
enrolled providers throughout the state. These agencies are monitored for quality
assurance by Bureau of Senior Services’ staff (see Monitoring Tools). ADW recipients
are subject to Medicaid Estate Recovery
HOME OF YOUR OWN PROGRAM
❒ If a parent is exploring housing options for the future transitioning of their child into
there own apartment or home. The parent might want to contact the Home of Your Own
Program (HOYO) to apply for a transitioning program that would help prepare their child
for home ownership with a very low interest loan factoring in their child’s monthly
income. The other options would be to apply for a housing voucher by the age of 18 if
they would meet the qualifications to apply. For more information on the Home of Your
Own Program call the Arc of Harrison County at 624-3641. For more information on the
housing voucher call your local housing authority.
✓ U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) – HUD provides
financial support and assistance in home rental or ownership.
or visit the website at www.hud.gov
✓ Fair Housing Project: Northern WV Center for Independent Living – Information and
training to persons with disabilities on housing laws and regulations, how to assess
housing units for compliance and how to proceed if units are not in compliance.
Phone: 296-6091 or 800-834-6408
❒ Attend Transition Fairs at your child’s high school to find out about potential
THINKING ABOUT COLLEGE?
Visit the website www.larsperner.com/personal/autism
Lars Perner is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at San Diego University and was
diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at the age of 22. This website gives e-mail
addresses to nationwide universities that have experience or programs to support students
The Autism Training Center has an excellent college program for students with
Asperger’s Syndrome. For more information call: 1-800-344-5115 or go to our website
✦FUNDING SOURCES AND OTHER SUPPORTS
The emergency assistance program is used to assist individuals with families in meeting
financial crises when they are without available resources. The program is designed to
provide short-term emergency financial assistance with which eligible individuals and
families may obtain items or services needed to eliminate an emergency. Items may
include rent, utilities, food transportation or medical services. For more information
contact your local Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR)
Family Support provides a funding source for families and individuals with
developmental disabilities. This funding can be accessed twice a year for a variety of
needs. For more information on applying call your case manager or contact the
WV Family Support Program
350 Capital Street
Charleston, WV 25301
Unmet Needs Grant through the MR/DD Waiver program
A funding source accessible through your behavioral health center and service
coordinator. The unmet needs must be determined at the IPP meeting by the IPP team
and written into the IEP. Usually, this fund is a start-up funding your child’s first
apartment. The funding limit is $1,800.00. Ask your case manager for more information
or to apply.
Benefits Planning, Assistance and Outreach Program/
Understanding work options
Benefits Specialist can provide information to people with disabilities who receive Social
Security benefits and want to work. They can answer your questions about work choices
and Medicaid card benefits. They can forward you an information packet regarding your
benefits. Also, they can provide you with one-on-one assistance to ensure you maintain
the benefits you are allowed under Medicaid/SSI/Social Security guidelines.
This statewide program has three locations:
Or visit their web site at: www.cedwvu.org
Bart Stevens Special Needs Planning, LLC
Bart Stevens provides future planning options, products and services for families, friends
organizations and professionals who have or know a person with a developmental
Public Law (PL) 103-239, School to work Opportunities Act
The newest federal employment initiative was signed into law in 1994. The School to
Work Opportunities Act promotes a system containing three core elements known as
School Based Learning, Work-Based Learning and Connecting Activities. The purpose
of this act is to strengthen transitioning services for all youth, including those with
disabilities. Contact WV Department of Education: WVDE: Division of Technical and
Adult Education Services. For more information call 558-0280
Public Law (PL) 101-476, The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
This law re-authorized and expanded the discretionary programs, mandated transition
services and assistive technology services to be included in a child’s or youth’s IEP and
added autism to the list of categories of children and youth eligible for special education
and related services. For more information call: 800-642-8541
Public Law (PL) 102-367, Job Training Partnership Act of 1982 (JTPA)
The JTPA replaced the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act. The goal of the
JTPA is to train and place individuals who are economically disadvantaged in the labor
market. The Job Training Reform Amendments was signed into law in September 1992.
The amendments participate in a variety of training and employment programs. For more
information call the WV Division of Employment Security at 558-0280
✦USE INFORMATION AND REFERRAL SERVICES
❒ Statewide Information and Referral/211
211 Services connects families with important services, information or volunteer
opportunities. Just dial 211 to access social services information. This is a 24-hour a day
free service. If you cannot access 211, call 1-866-802-8559.
❒ United Way Information and Referral
An information and referral service to assist with rent, emergency housing, counseling,
health and dental care. 1-800-540-8659 (Serving Kanawha, Boone, Clay and Putnam
❒ Huntington Information and Referral Services at 528-5660 (Serving Cabell, Mason,
Wayne, and Lincoln Counties)
❒ Mountain State Centers for Independent Living (MSCIL):
MSCIL provides life-skills programs for adults with physical and developmental
❒ WV Assistive Technology (WVATS)
This program may provide free software, a loan for an augmentative device and a
Revolving Loan Program to purchase an augmentative assistant device.
✦School to Work Programs
Only exist at the local level. School to Work Programs were federally funded several
years ago but lost their funds. Some counties across WV still practice the School to
Work model with collaboration from the Chamber of Commerce, such as Cabell and
Mason County. For more information: Robert McClain, Career Technology Center at
✦STATEWIDE RESOURCES AND SUPPORTS
WV Autism Training Center
Dr. Barbara Becker-Cottrill, Director
One Marshall Drive
Huntington, WV 25755
696-2332 (in area)
1-800-344-5115 (out of area)
The WV Autism Training Center can provide to our registered families the following to
assist with transitioning from high school
✓Informational packets of transitioning through adulthood
✓Access to our lending library with various books on preparing for transitioning from
school to the community
✓Assistance to individuals transitioning from high school while participating in the
Positive Behavior Support Program (PBS)
Web site: www.marshall.edu/coe/atc
✓Information on the Marshall College Program for Students with High Functioning
Autism contact Mark Ellison at 696-2332 or 800-344-5115
Coordinator for School Transitioning Services
Office of Special Education
WV Department of Education
1900 Kanawha Blvd. East
Building 6, Room 243
Charleston, WV 25305
Web site: http://wvde.state.wv.us/ose/
The Arc’s mission is to seek full citizenship for all persons with mental retardation and
other developmental disabilities through advocacy, community support, education,
prevention, intervention and inclusion.
♦Targeted case management
♦Personal care services
Local Chapters are:
The Arc of Harrison County (Home of Your Own Program) 624-3641
The Arc of Three Rivers 344-3403
The Arc of Marion County 366-3213
The Arc of Lewis and Upshur County 472-1463
Center for Excellence and Disabilities (CED)
955 Hartman Run Road
Morgantown, WV 26505
This program assists West Virginians of all ages with developmental and other
disabilities, family members and the agencies that support them in reaching self-
determination, productivity, independence and inclusion in society. Ced has a fine arts
program for artist with challenges.
Web site: www.wvu.ced
WV Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS)
What is the WV Division of Rehabilitation Services? They are a group of dedicated
people whose primary goal is to help people with disabilities to prepare for, find, and
keep jobs and/or to live independently. A person may be found eligible for services
depending upon his or her individual needs. You will be helped to make informed
choices of services, service providers and possible vocational opportunities. You and
your assigned counselor will decide upon an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE).
An IPE is a written record of the services you will receive and will include vocational
goals, what services will be provided and the dates expected to receive the services. If a
problem does exist with your services, always contact the re-habilitation counselor for
resolution. For more information on DRS services contact 211 for a phone number in
your area or contact the following branch offices in your area.
Ona 743-7496 (Cabell Midland High School)
Huntington 528-6511 (District Office)
Huntington 528-6511 (Huntington High School)
Marshall University 696-2394
Martinsburg 267-0005 (District Office)
Point Pleasant 675-0867
WV Division of Rehabilitation in Institute (DRS)
They can provide job training and job certification on side. Some job training programs
include: auto repair, food prep and housekeeping. To access this service you must apply
through your local Division of Rehabilitation Services and be assigned a counselor to
access this program. For more information call: 766-4600
Lori Hatch, President
1305 National Road
Wheeling, WV 26003-5780
Web site: www.easterseal.com
Once an individual turns 18 years of age the only service provided by the Easter Seals
Program is rehabilitative services and certain cases will be monitored after the referral is
made by a physician. The services can continue only if a referral is made by the
physician and renewed after one year.
✦Legal Aid Society
The Legal Aid Society provides free legal assistance and information to individual with
disabilities and their families. They can provide free legal representation in fighting for
your rights to keep services or maintain fair housing.
697-2070 or 1-800-642-8279
Mental Health Association in the Greater Kanawha Valley, Inc.
Ellen Ward, Executive Directory
One United Way Square
Charleston, WV 25301
Mental Health Association provides the following services:
♦Education and Advocacy
♦Referral services to other mental health agencies
♦Refer to individuals for counseling
♦Provides informational literature
♦No fee for any services
Web site: www.mha-kanawha.org
NAIMI of West Virginia
“Stateside voice on mental illness”
PO Box 2706
Charleston, WV 253330
This is a statewide family organization that provides education, advocacy and support to
families and individuals with mental illness and autism. The service is free.
Web site: www.namiwv.org
Regional ADA Technology Assistance Agency
ADA and IT Information Center for the Mid-Atlantic Region
451 Hungerford Drive, Suite 607
Rockville, MD 20850
A statewide resource on information and technical assistance about the five titles of the
Americans with Disabilities Act. The 5 laws will be reviewed by calling the above listed
number. This information cannot be accessed from their web site.
State Vocational Rehabilitation Agency
Janice Holland, Interim Director
Division of Rehabilitation
State Capitol Complex
PO Box 50890
Charleston, WV 25305
Web site: www.wvdrs.org
1207 Quarrier Street, 4th Floor
Charleston, WV 25301
Web site: www.wvadvocates.org
Provides the following programs for adults:
PADD: Must have a developmental disability that has appeared before the age of 22
years. This program works at solving problems for people with disabilities.
CAP: Helps individuals who have applied for or are getting services from the state
Division of Rehabilitation Services, A Center for Independent Living, supported
employment programs and other programs funding under the federal Rehabilitation Act.
PAIR: This program helps individuals get the devices and assistive technology services
PABSS: This program helps individuals who receive SSI and Disability Insurance Social
Security (SSDI) benefits break down the barrier to employment.
CAP: Client Assistance Program (Sue Edwards, Regional Advocate). This program
works with adult clients who have had issues with getting services or acquiring housing.
West Virginia Parent Training and Information
This statewide organization provides information, training and materials on:
guardianship, Section 504 and ADA, transitioning and transition issues such as
independent living, employment, assistive technology, accessing services such as
rehabilitation, MR/DD Waiver, post-secondary education and vocational education. The
services are free. For more information call 800-281-1436 or visit the web site at
Web Sites for more Information on Adults with Autism
Even the Emperor does wear clothes, should it be everyone’s goal to see that? Planning
for a fulfilling life/Lars Persen
Information about wills, estate planning, developing a circle of support and alternatives to
form, legal guardianship
Helping Your Child to Help Him/Her Self: Beginning with Advocacy
This website features good information on self-advocacy
Autism Art Work
A web site for artists with autism
Adults with autism
A complete on-line list of autism facts and resources
MAAP for autism and asperger’s syndrome
Publications and Information
Positive Behavioral Intervention and Support
Positive Behavioral Support and Curriculum
Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Positive Behavior Support
Information on improving support with individuals with disabilities
❒Employment support for individuals with disabilities
✦Books are available through the Autism Training Center’s lending library. To access
our lending library go on-line to our website at www.marshall.edu/coe/atc and click on
library for a list of books. If you want a book sent to you, get the name of the book and
call 800-344-5115 to request the book be sent to you. After receiving the books you will
have up to two weeks to receive the materials, then once done, send it back in the self-
addressed envelope it came in. No postage fee due.
Life Beyond the Classroom: Transitioning Strategies for Young People with
Paul H. Brookes Publishing Company (2001) 3rd Ed.
The Transition Handbook: Strategies High School Teachers Use That Work
Hughes, C., & Carter, E.
Paul H. Brookes Publishing Company (2000)
Transition Education: Services for Adolescent with Disabilities
Sitlington, P. L. Clark, G. H. , & Kolstore, O.P.
Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon (2000)
✦What is Supported Employment
Ten Easy Steps
How do I access supported employment services through a behavioral
health center that provides job coaches?
The first step to transitioning from school to community is the written IEP
(Individualized Education Plan). Transition age starts at 16 years old. The IEP should
identify goals developed by the MDET (Multi-Disciplinary Team). The goals should
include school, community and if applicable (home). The plan should identify service
that assists your child/adult in living in the community successfully. The transition
process should address ways to facilitate overall adult adjustments by addressing
educations, as well as, a vocational program with regard to the family, emotional, social
and daily living needs. The next steps should involve developing transition goals and
action statements written into the IEP and apply through the Division of Rehabilitation
Services (DRS) for services.
The following life goals should be included in the IEP
✓ team should have a long-range vision
✓ The focus should be on a career/job
✓ The focus should be on personal goals: higher education, technical training or linking
to adult services.
✓ The team should discuss living accommodations and transportation
✓ Assess for any assistive devices needed
Who should attend?
✓The focus person
✓Special, regular or vocational counselors
✓School counselor (if needed)
✓Adult service providers
✓Liaison from college (if needed)
What is a job assessment?
What is vocational planning?
The Division of Rehabilitation can complete a basic vocational assessment then the
individual is assigned a rehabilitation counselor. The job assessment and vocational
planning is completed by the following ways:
✓ Standard Job Assessment Test (a computer program test)
✓ IPP Meeting and establishing goals and strategies for potential
✓ Asking the individual what type of work they would prefer to do
✓ Observation through job shadowing with a job coach.
What input should the parents bring?
The parents can evaluate the student’s interests and motivations to work. The parents can
describe the current supports systems available to the student after exiting high school.
They can share and keep records of any assessment, educational achievement, volunteer
sites, clubs accessed and general interest to determine their child’s job potential.
What input does the Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor bring to the
IEP or IPP meetings?
A Re-habilitation counselor should provide information about vocational rehabilitation
eligibility requirements and services. They can make a referral and assess the student to
determine qualification for vocational rehabilitation and support. They can assist in
documenting the student’s ability and skills for transitioning purposes. They can provide
an on-going follow-up to monitor and support the consumers programs. They can assess
the student’s career interests and vocational skills. The re-habilitation counselor can find
funding to further job training or education.
What outcomes should supported employment services achieve?
Supported employment services should achieve the following outcomes:
✓ opportunity to earn equitable wages and other employment related
✓ Development of new skills, increased community participation and enhance self-esteem
✓ The purpose of supported employment is to increase consumer empowerment and have
a better quality of life.
✓ The type of supported employment needs and job modifications depends upon the
What are the basic components of supported employment?
As defined by Public Law 99-506, the Rehabilitation Act of 1992, supported employment
is “Competent employment in an integrated setting with ongoing support services for
individuals with the most severe disabilities. Simply stated, supported employment is a
term used for supports and assistance that a person with a significant disability may
receive to get and keep a job in the community. This assistance is geared toward helping
the person to work in the community by:
✓ Locating and developing job opportunities
✓ Providing skills training or accommodations on the job
✓ Keeping in touch with the employee and employer throughout the training
✓ Provide direct job assistance when and if needed.
✓ Resume development
✓ Completion of employment application
✓ Interview assistance
✓ Linking with other community resources
What if I need any job accommodation or have a transportation issue?
Transportation: This may limit an individual’s access to community and employment.
Many rural communities may not have access to public transportation. The key factor
would be for the person working to seek available transportation through family, friends,
church or co-workers. There may be alternative transportation solutions such as TTA or
Dial-A-Ride. If not the individual could seek transportation from civic groups or other
community supports. For example, one student who worked with a Vocational Project,
took a taxi each day to work at a reduced fare. The driver went by his house and job site
each day on his regular route and was willing to work out a deal with the individual.
The Transportation Remuneration Incentive Program (TRIP) will end effectively on June
30th, 2006 due to budget restraints. There are some organizations that provide
transportation in larger cities and bill Medicaid. These businesses only transport
Medicaid recipients to therapies, doctors and hospital and bill Medicaid. For more
information, contact 211, or call your case manager to see if this is available in your area.
Job Accommodations: If a job accommodation is needed to perform the job duties the
job coach will work with the individual and employer to secure any necessary
modifications according to the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). One job
accommodation may include extra break times and the use of visual schedules, deciding
this would be up to the job coach through observation and according to the IEP or IPP.
Always Explore Your Options!
How do job coaches find potential employers?
What types of jobs are available in WV?
What are the salary rates?
-Many job coaches do a lot of cold calling (calling various businesses and asking them to
become a potential employer), they also direct contact with other agencies and other job
-Many supported employment positions include the following available jobs:
Data Entry, janitorial services, hotel maintenance, housekeeping, newspaper routes,
warehouse employee, retail services, fast food workers, packaging for local companies,
pricing merchandise, computer data entry and billing.
-The average salary range for paid employment is $6.25- $8.00 per hour without health
insurance but with other benefits including paid sick leave, paid holidays and paid
If you feel that your rights have been violated contact the Office of Civil Rights
1-215-656-8586 (for education)
1-202-514-1412 (Department of Justice/law enforcement)
1-202-663-4900 (Equal Employment Opportunity)
Adventure Pursuit, Inc. Adventure Pursuit is located in the Parkersburg area. This
program specializing in accessible water sports and recreation, Kayaking and canoe trips,
rock climbing, repelling, hiking, camping and bike riding.