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REAL Transition Partners

Formally REACH For Transition

Resources for Employment, Access, Community Living, and Hope.

REAL logo

REAL Transition Partners is jointly managed by SPAN Parent Advocacy Network (NJ), Federation for Children with Special Needs (MA), and New York State Transition Partners (INCLUDEnyc, Parent Network of WNY, Starbridge). Providing information, training and technical assistance, and support to youth and young adults with disabilities and their families.

New York State Transition Partners
Federation For Children with Special Needs

Transition Services

REAL provides a variety of innovative and responsive services, support, and information that enables youth and young adults with disabilities and their families to:

  • access information about the Rehabilitation Act (RA)
  • navigate multiple programs and service systems
  • actively participate in the development of useful, relevant, and meaningful plans for independence
  • collaborate with transition professionals as leaders to help youth impacted by disability achieve their goals

These services:

  • are designed with and involve diverse youth/young adults with disabilities and their families
  • highlight the region’s strengths and collaborative spirit, and evolve as needs and contexts change
  • occur through a regional Community of Practice that enhances participating Parent Center capacity, reach, and partnerships around transition and adult service systems


Resources & Materials

Family Guide to Transition Services in New Jersey

SPAN is pleased to provide you with this Family Guide to Transition Services in New Jersey. By providing one cohesive document on the transition process, services, and supports, we hope to make the journey easier for everyone. Transition can be a complicated time—this guide can answer your questions and make transition a successful period for youth/young adults with disabilities and their families.

The guide is available for free in PDF format. If you would like printed copies in either language, you can order them for a fee.

Family Guide Image

Disability & Sexuality

A 4-part Series

Don’t have time to watch all 4 of the Sexuality webinars? Watch this video summary of the 4-part series instead (sign-in required).

You can also check out (1) a PDF of the presentation slides, (2) suggested accompanying books, and (3) synopses of the 4 full webinars:

Suggested Books:
Taking Care of Myself: A Hygiene, Puberty and Personal Curriculum for Young People with Autism by Mary Wrobel
Sexuality and Relationship Education for Children and Adolescent with Autism Spectrum Disorders by Davida Hartman
Teaching Children with Down Syndrome about Their Bodies, Boundaries, and Sexuality by Terri Couwenhoven

Sexual health is an important part of growing up. However, it can be a very overwhelming and confusing time. This webinar will give you a synopsis of the SPAN Parent Advocacy Network’s four-part series on Sexuality and Disability.  

Part 1 – Building Healthy Relationships
  Objective: 1) Healthy relationships lie in having strong self-awareness and self-respect. 2) Identify the characteristics of healthy and unhealthy relationships. 3) Understanding the importance of continually developing self-confidence and resilience.

Part 2 – Navigating Sexuality  Objective: 1) Find useful ways to teach about sexuality, rather than ignore or dismiss sexual feelings. 2) Learn how to teach fundamental skills to aid in managing sexual feelings and support relationship development.

Part 3 – Abuse Prevention & Empowerment  Objective: 1) Understand risk factors that contribute to the prevalence of sexual abuse. 2) Explain two ways that people with I/DD are impacted by a history of sexual trauma and other forms of abuse. 3) Define Trauma Focused Care. 4) Identify 3 benefits for taking an interdisciplinary approach ns supporting people with I/DD.

Part 4 – Understanding Gender, Sexuality, and Disability  |  Objective 1) What does gender mean. 2) What does sexuality mean. 3) People with disability are sexual beings. 4) Fostering a welcoming and affirming environment.

Train the Trainer Series

The following archived webinars are geared various transition related topics for professionals or groups that are looking to present the topics.

* Closed captions are available in both English and Spanish. Para subtítulos en español, hay que seleccionar el ícono o ruedita de configuración y cambiar “Subtitles/CC” de “English” a “Spanish.”

Train the Trainer: Starting and Sustaining a Youth Advisory Board
A 3-part series presented in collaboration with Family Voices and National Center for Families/Professional Partnerships

More Information

Useful Links & Websites

Administration for Community Living |  Helping people with disabilities and older adults live at home and participate in communities with the supports they need

Rehabilitation Act |  Defines and explains the Rehabilitation Act, which replaced the Vocational Rehabilitation Act

Rehabilitation Services Administration |  Provides leadership and resources to assist state and other agencies in providing vocational rehabilitation (VR) and other services to individuals with disabilities to maximize their employment, independence and integration into the community and the competitive labor market.

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act |  WIOA is designed to strengthen and improve the nation’s public workforce development system by helping Americans with barriers to employment, including individuals with disabilities, achieve high quality careers and helping employers hire and retain skilled workers.

Summary of NJ’s Medicaid Managed Care Changes |  Questions and answers on the different ways to initiate the Medicaid eligibility process

SPAN’s Youth Empowerment Page |  Access resources on self-advocacy and the youth leadership voice

Being a Healthy Adult: How to Advocate for Your Health and Healthcare  |  Developed by the Boggs Center — A guide for young adults that includes frequently asked questions and a series of activities to use to become an effective advocate, especially when you have special health care needs. PDFs and MP3 audio files available in English and Spanish.

Transition Tip Sheets for Teens   |  English / Spanish
These fact sheets, in English and Spanish, provide useful tips for teens with special needs and their parents on transition processes and resources.

My Health Passport  |  Teens with special needs can use this form to share important information (including medical history, medications, allergies, how the youth communicates, how they deal with pain, medical procedures, etc.) with medical care providers when they visit a doctor’s office or clinic, or stay in a hospital. Two-sided PDF in English and Spanish.

Transition to Adult Healthcare: NJ Action BlueprintDeveloped by the Boggs Center University Center of Excellence on Developmental Disabilities in collaboration with the NJ Developmental Disabilities Transition to Health Care Forum (including SPAN and other members of NJ’s Community of Care Consortium for CYSHCN) — Provides an overview of the barriers and recommendations to achieve patient-centered medical care for emerging adults with disabilities.

Understanding NJ Children System of Care and How it Serves Children (under 21) |  PerformCare connects young people and their families statewide to the care they need to be well.

Division Developmental Disabilities and Services for Adults (21 and over) |  DDD provides public funding for services that assist New Jersey adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, age 21 and older, to live as independently as possible.

Healthcare Financing Fact Sheet Series  |  A multilingual series of one-page fact sheets on NJ resources to finance needed healthcare for children with special needs, including Medicaid, NJ Family Care, Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund, etc.: English / Korean / Portuguese / Russian / Spanish

Healthcare Advocacy Across the Lifespan: What Parents of Children with Disabilities Need to Know |  This guide summarizes information on education, health, human services, early intervention, and other agencies that help children with special healthcare needs and their families.

Self-Determination & Supported Decision-Making |  Information about shared/supported decision-making options in place of guardianship

National Gateway to Self-Determination  |  A clearinghouse for resources, training, and information on promoting self-determination

Working with Adult Allies  |  Webinar from the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN) explores how youth self-advocates and adult allies can collaborate effectively

Sharing Your Story for a Public Policy Purpose  |  Webinar from the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN) explains how to use personal stories for advocacy in different situations

Participating in Advisory Groups  |  Webinar from the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN) on what youth self-advocates need to know in order to serve on boards and other groups

Leadership is a Journey: A Series for Youth Self-Advocates  |  Webinar series from National Center for Family/Professional Partnerships (NCFPP) in collaboration with the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, Kids As Self-Advocates, and Youth MOVE supports the identification of leadership as a journey and support understanding and learning in key leadership development area

Starting and Sustaining a Youth Advisory Board Series  |  Webinar series for organizations that seek to develop a youth advisory board


What Our Families Say

Parents, youth, young adults, and professionals all need information, training, and support to make effective transition to a meaningful and productive life a reality. By combining resources and learning from each other, the nine Parent Center partners in this project will make a real difference for youth and young adults who are differently-abled in the Northeast US.

Contact Us


Dawn Monaco

Project Director

US Department of Education Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services–Rehabilitation Services Administration (US DOE OSERS RSA). The contents of this website were developed in part under a grant from the US Department of Education, #H235F140009. However, the contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the US Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. Project Officer, Tara Jordan.