Transition Years (14-21)

“Greet all people with a smile.”
Ethics of the Fathers 3:16

The transition years are pivotal for planning your life. During this time, you can design a plan for academic and non-academic courses, other learning experiences, employment and community living. The goals of transition planning are to help you understand your disability and to determine your future. One way transition does this is by connecting you to teachers and other caring adults, support services, and experiences that build skills and help reach your goals. Transition is based on values, priorities and culture, and is focused on your interests, preferences and needs.

Transition planning should begin at the age 14. While this may seem early, it can take months or years to complete the transition process. Below are important questions to consider with your support system:

  • What kind of work do I want to do?
  • Will additional education or training be necessary?
  • Where do I want to live?
  • How could I live independently?
  • What transportation options do I have access to?
  • How will I obtain and transition to adult health care and what will that mean?

It isn't enough to simply be aware that you need guidance to transition successfully from high school to the next phase of young adulthood; concrete action steps must be taken to guide and prepare you for college, a career and independent living.

Obtain an identification card:
As you transition to adulthood, it is important to obtain a State Identification Card even if you are not planning to get a driver’s license. Without a photo identification card you may find it difficult to access services at banking institutions, government agencies, and transportation centers such as train stations and airports.

Click here to receive more information on obtaining an identification card from the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA). Please make sure to review the MVA website including application guidelines prior to applying for an identification card as certain documentation and proof of identity will be required.

The first step in planning for a successful transition is developing a transition plan. For more information about transitional planning, click here.

The Transitions Planning Timeline Checklist, created by The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore’s Disabilities Task Force for the Baltimore Jewish Abilities Alliance, is a great resource for navigating transitions.