All About Transition Services in Oregon

Download a copy of the Transition Resource Handbook

ODDS Statewide Employment First Coordinator Acacia McGuire Anderson writes:

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) states that transition planning must begin at age 16. However, transition planning may begin as early as 14 years of age. The sooner we start transition planning, the better for the young person so they can connect to ODDS (Office of Developmental Disabilities Services) and VR (Vocational Rehabilitation) services and begin the process of exploring career options and skills needed to be successful in the workforce.

In Oregon, we have Transition Network Facilitators (TNFs) who provide outreach, technical assistance, and training opportunities for educators, individuals and families, and collaborate with VR counselors, providers and DD case management entities (such as Brokerages and CDDPs/counties). The TNFs are also launching a podcast series in January aimed at providing information and resources to educators, individuals and families throughout Oregon.

There is a website with a wide variety of resources: This includes the Transition Resource Handbook, a map of TNFs by region, and much more.

A list of the ODDS regional specialists, VR I/DD counselors, TNFs and Pre-ETS Specialists is on the Employment First Training web page:

There are upcoming trainings where educators, as well as VR staff and DD providers and case managers, can learn more about transition planning. These include the Oregon Statewide Transition Conference, happening March 7-8, 2019, in Eugene. In addition, ODE, ODDS and VR collaborate to put on regional trainings throughout the state.

If you have any questions regarding transition planning beginning as early as age 14, or any questions regarding transition services in general, email: Thank you for all your efforts as we strive to support people with I/DD to live and work in their communities.




SAVE THE DATE: 11.22.11 Portland Public Schools Adult Transition Resource Fair

SAVE THE DATE: 11/22/11. Announcing the 2nd Annual Portland Public Schools Transition Resource Fair. Please join us as we partner with dozens of organizations to help bring you a resource fair for transition-aged individuals and their families. Please pass this on to your networks. We look forward to seeing you at the fair!

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011
12 noon to 7pm

Community Transition Center at Green Thumb

6801 SE 60th Avenue (just south of Duke)

Travel Tip: Bus #19 runs on Duke Street

The resource fair is for transition aged youth (14 – 21), families, special educators, professionals and transition specialists in Multnomah County. You’ll learn about resources and services available throughout the community. It’s an opportunity to make connections, ask questions and explore opportunities.

Exhibitors and Speakers include:

Oregon RISE
211 Info
IEP Partners
Safety Zone
SPEAC Advisory Council
Oregon First
Disability Compass
Disability Rights Oregon
Autism Society of Oregon
SEPTAP (Special Education PTA of Portland)

Brokerages (Independence Northwest, Community Pathways, UCP Connections, Inclusion Inc., Mentor Oregon)
Multnomah County Aging and Disability Services
Social Security Administration
Multnomah County Housing

Portland Community College: Culinary Program
Portland Community College: Skills Center
Portland Community College: Disability Services

Trips Inc.
Portland Parks and Rec
Vibe Dance Troupe
Off the Couch
Club Impact

Ticket to Work Program
Vocational Rehabilitation
Portland Habilitation Center (PHC)
CTP Vocational Training
DePaul Project Search

Full Life
Art from the Heart
Project Grow (info only)
On the Move Community Integration
Independent Living Program (The Inn)


– Community Transition Program
– Transition Requirements
– Aging and Disability Services
– Social Security Benefits
– Brokerage Basics
– Parent Panel
– Student Panel
– Work Incentives

Please join us! And pass this on to anyone you believe might be interested. We look forward to seeing you at the fair.

Facebook event link:

Materials for Print/Sharing:

Russian Transition Fair Flyer 
English Transition Fair Flyer
Vietnamese Transition Fair Flyer
Spanish Transition Fair Flyer

Multnomah County Transition Resource Fair – April 9th in Portland

Reynolds School District in collaboration with Multnomah County School Districts presents the 2010 Multnomah County Transition Resource Fair.

Time – 10am – 6pm on April 9th, 2010

Place: Four Corners, Reynolds School District
14513 SE Stark Street, Portland, OR  97233

Independence Northwest will be sharing a table with several other metro area brokerages.

The fair will include resources on jobs, self-determination, health care, housing and training available to individuals living in Multnomah County and receiving (or preparing to receive) high school transition services.

For questions, please contact Shirley Burns (503.328.0428) or Shannon Selby (503.328.0423), the co-chairs of the 2010 Transition Resource Fair.

Emerging Leaders Northwest

emergingleadersnwEmerging Leaders Northwest is a community, web-based information and guidance center for young adults with disabilities. The organization provides ways to develop leadership skills through workshops and trainings, mentorships and internships and an interactive website. ELN works closely with yound adults with disabilities between the ages of 13 and 30.

ELN provides a wide variety of trainings including:

  • Your Education and How to Succeed
  • Solving the Employment Puzzle
  • Healthy Lifestyles
  • Disability Culture and Family
  • Person Centered Planning

ELN currently has internships available through: Portland Development Commission, City of Portland, PacifiCorp, State of Oregon, McMenamins, PGE, Care Medical and OHSU.

For more information check out their website at and contact Chuck Davis at 503.494.3281 for more information.

Special Education Law & Advocacy Training Conference Presenting Pete Wright of Wrightslaw

October 29, 2009, Ambridge Event Center in Portland, OR
1333 NE Martin Luther King Blvd. Portland, OR 97232

The Center is located 2 blocks North of the Portland Convention Center. Some parking spaces available at Ambridge. If full, there are many parking lots conveniently located. Also very convenient to the Max Line and TriMet. Map it

Program Description

One-day special education law and advocacy programs focus on four areas:

  • special education law, rights and responsibilities
  • tests and measurements to measure progress & regression
  • introduction to tactics & strategies for effective advocacy

Wrightslaw programs are designed to meet the needs of parents, educators, health care providers, advocates and attorneys who represent children with disabilities regarding special education. The program is not disability specific.

Download brochure for more information. Register online >>

High School Transition Resources

IDEA Website – This site was created to provide a “one-stop shop” for resources related to IDEA and its implementing regulations, released on August 3, 2006. It is a “living” website and will change and grow as resources and information become available. When fully implemented, the site will provide searchable versions of IDEA and the regulations, access to cross-referenced content from other laws (e.g., the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), etc.), video clips on selected topics, topic briefs on selected regulations, links to OSEP’s Technical Assistance and Dissemination (TA&D) Network and a Q&A Corner where you can submit questions, and a variety of other information sources.

Oregon Department of Education

ORPTI – Oregon Parent Training and Information Center
Oregon PTI’s mission is to educate and support parents, families and professionals in building partnerships that meet the needs of children and youth with the full range of disabilities ages birth through twenty six. Oregon PTI provides programs and services throughout the state.

Transition Toolbox Newsletter – The Oregon Department of Education and Transition Specialist Jackie Burr invites you to receive the monthly Transition Toolbox! This brief newsletter is designed to facilitate communication and connections statewide with transition specialists, parents and students interested in issues relative to the transition of students with disabilities to college, post secondary education and employment opportunities.

Sibling Support Project – The Sibling Support Project is a national effort dedicated to the life-long concerns of brothers and sisters of people who have special health, developmental, or mental health concerns.We believe that disabilities, illness, and mental health issues affect the lives of all family members.  Consequently, we want to increase the peer support and information opportunities for brothers and sisters of people with special needs and to increase parents’ and providers’ understanding of sibling issues.

Oregon Parental Information and Resource Center – The Oregon Parental Information and Resource Center (OR PIRC) provides resources, information, and skills to educators and parents throughout Oregon, with a focus on Hispanic and low-income families, to create meaningful school-family partnerships for youth success.

Technical Assistance Alliance for Parents Centers – Each state is home to at least one parent center. Parent centers serve families of children and young adults from birth to age 22 with all disabilities: physical, cognitive, emotional, and learning. They help families obtain appropriate education and services for their children with disabilities; work to improve education results for all children; train and inform parents and professionals on a variety of topics; resolve problems between families and schools or other agencies; and connect children with disabilities to community resources that address their needs.

Wrightslaw – Excellent resource for parents and individuals with disabilities still in school! Parents, educators, advocates, and attorneys come to Wrightslaw for accurate, reliable information about special education law, education law, and advocacy for children with disabilities. Begin your search for information in the Advocacy Libraries and Law Libraries. You will find thousands of articles, cases, and free resources about dozens of topics.

Independence Northwest Demographics

Some quick stats on Independence Northwest’s current customer base. Independence Northwest serves 450 adults with disabilities across Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties.

Multnomah – 61% of our customer base
Clackamas – 23% of our customer base
Washington – 16% of our customer base

  • 65% of our customer base is under the age of 30
  • 35% of our customers are between 18 and 21
  • 57% of our customers are male; 43% are female
  • Over 20% of our customers fall on the Autism Spectrum
  • 6% of our customers experience Down Syndrome; another 6% experience Cerebral Palsy;
  • 5% of our customers experience Epilepsy; another 5% experience FAS or Drug-Affected Disorders
  • 7% of our customers are exclusively non-English speaking

2009 Building Futures Conference – October 26 & 27

OrPTI (Oregon Parent Training and Information Center) presents the 2009 Building Futures Conference this October.

Building Futures is for anyone who has an interest in supporting individuals with disabilities as they transition from school to life. This includes Secondary Educators, Post Secondary Educators, Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors, Special Educators, therapists, counselors, service providers, job developers, and other rehabilitation specialists, and especially secondary students with disabilities and their families. Throughout the two-day event there will be presentations by regional and national experts on issues surrounding secondary transition and assistive technology. Check out the agenda here.

Scholarship information can be found here.

Guardianship Handbook from DRO

Disability Rights Oregon has published updates to its Guardianship Handbook. For a comprehensive look at the issue of guardianship, check out this helpful guide.

From the introduction:

The purpose of this Handbook is to provide general information to individuals regarding their rights and protections under the law regarding guardianship. A guardian may be appointed for an adult person only as is necessary to promote and protect the well-being of the protected person. A guardianship for an adult person must be designed to encourage the development of maximum self-reliance and independence of the protected person and may be ordered only to the extent necessitated by the person’s actual mental and physical limitations. ORS 125.300(1).

Under Oregon law, a judge can appoint an adult to make important decisions about the care and well-being of another person. This is called a protective proceeding. In a protective proceeding, a judge can appoint a guardian, a conservator or both. In an emergency, a judge can appoint a temporary guardian, a temporary conservator or both. A judge may order action be taken on behalf of an adult without appointment of a guardian or conservator. This is called a protective order.

Any adult can file a petition in court to have a guardian appointed for another person. Separate laws cover protective proceedings for adults and children. This Handbook is about adults only.

Summer/Fall Transition and IEP Trainings Announced

OrPTI (Oregon Parent Training and Information Center) has published its late summer/fall schedule on their website. There are many great training opportunities coming up to ready you and your family for the 09/10 school year. via OrPTI

August 18 & 25, 2009 IEP Partner training from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the Swindells Center, 830 NE 47th Ave, Portland, Oregon 97213. For more information contact Karen Ripplinger at 1-888-505-2673 Ext. 212 or Email:

August 26, 2009 “Behaviors and the IEP” from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM at the Willamina Elementary, 1100 Oaken Hills Drive, Willamina, OR 97396.  For information, or to register contact Leah Skipworth at

September 5, 2009 “Advocacy: Supporting Your Child in Special Education” from 1:30 to 3:30 PM at the Hood River Library, 502 State Street, Hood River, OR 97031.  For information or to register, please contact Victoria Haight at 503-510-2289, or email

September 9, 2009 “Bullying: Is Your Child a Target?” from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at the Beaverton Library, Meeting Room B, 12375 SW 5th Street, Beaverton, OR 97005. For information or to register, please contact Victoria Haight at 503-510-2289, or email

September 22, 2009 “EI/ECSE What do these mean?” from 6:30 to 8:00 PM at the NW Regional ESD, 5825 NE Ray Circle, Hillsboro, OR 97126.  For information or to register, please contact Victoria Haight at 503-510-2289, or email

October 3, 2009 “What Parents Need to Know about the IEP” from 1:30 to 3:30 PM at the Hood River Library, 502 State Street, Hood River, OR 97031.  For information or to register, please contact Victoria Haight at 503-510-2289, or email

October 10, 2009 “Saturday Sessions: A Day of Learning” This event is designed for parents of children with disabilities to help you learn to successfully navigate special education and prepare your child for the future.  There will be different concurrent sessions for you to choose from.  The event will be at the Becky Johnson Community Center in Redmond from 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM.  Registration is required.  Contact Danielle Bethell at 888-505-2673 ext 105 or email

October 13, 2009 “Anxiety and Related Disorders” from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at the Beaverton Library, Meeting Room B, 12375 SW 5th Street, Beaverton, OR 97005. For information or to register, please contact Victoria Haight at 503-510-2289, or email

October 21, 2009 “Understanding Aspergers Syndrome” from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at the Beaverton Library, Meeting Room A, 12375 SW 5th Street, Beaverton, OR 97005. For information or to register, please contact Victoria Haight at 503-510-2289, or email

October 26 & 27, 2009 “Building Futures: Statewide Secondary Transition Conference” will be at the Salem Conference Center.

November 7, 2009 “Can You Hear Me Now? Communicating Effectively with your IEP Team” from 1:30 to 3:30 PM at the Hood River Library, 502 State Street, Hood River, OR 97031.  For information or to register, please contact Victoria Haight at 503-510-2289, or email

November 19, 2009 “Understanding ADHD” from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at the Beaverton Library, Meeting Room B, 12375 SW 5th Street, Beaverton, OR 97005. For information or to register, please contact Victoria Haight at 503-510-2289, or email

Washington County Resource Fair

Washington County Developmental Disabilities Services presents its annual Resource Fair. This is an opportunity to folks to lear more about services available and network with agencies serving Washington County. In 2007, over 50 exhibitors and 1,000 families and individuals attended the resource fair.

WHEN: Thursday, October 16th from 11am to 4pm

WHERE: Cedar Hills Crossing Mall – 3205 SW Cedar Hills Boulevard in Beaverton

Independence Northwest will be presenting along with MENTOR and SDRI.

BROKERAGE NEWS: The 10% Increase

This spring, the Department of Human Services announced its intention to increase (in most cases) the amount of money Customers of Support Services can receive. Starting October 1st, 2008, the majority of Brokerage Customers statewide will see a 10% increase in the amount of money they have available to them. This amount will be prorated, depending on when you plan begins. (For example, if your plan year is December through November, you will receive an increase starting in the month of October and it will prorated until your plan ends in November).

In addition, providers of support services will also have an opportunity to reconsider their current rates. The State of Oregon Department of Human Services has published a new set of rate ranges; the top level of these rates has been increased by 10% as well.

We’re in the midst of implementing the 10% change. Whether you are a customer or a provider, check out our website for updates on the process.

John O’Brien Training Opportunity

The Oregon Training Series on Direct Supports will be sponsoring an exceptional opportunity on January 30th, 2009. Acclaimed author, trainer and advocate John O’Brien will be making a rare Oregon appearance and we urge you to take advantage of this opportunity. To view the flier, click here.

John O’Brien has been in the forefront of thinking and creating precedent setting innovations that helped create full lives for people with disability labels the world over. In addition to developing many of the planning systems used internationally, training thousands of facilitators and human service workers, he is a writer with enormous insight and sensitivity. The training will bring to life John’s new book “Making A Difference, A Guidebook for Person Centered Direct Support.”

This isn’t OCDS’ only opportunity. Visit their website for a number of excellent trainings on disability over the coming months.

Thanks to Cynthia Owens.

RESOURCE: Looking For Resources? Respite Providers? Check Out Disability Compass

Disability Compass provides information on services, products, and special health care resources for people with disabilities, their families and their supporters.

There’s a Respite Provider search and a comprehensive listing of agencies and individuals serving the disability community. We have partnered with Disability Compass in the first year of our operations and highly recommend this resource.

RESOURCE: Connect with Others at Disaboom was founded by Dr. J. Glen House, a physician specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation who is also a quadriplegic. His firsthand knowledge of the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities and those whose lives they touch has driven the mission: to create the first comprehensive, evolving source of information, insight, and personal engagement for the disability community.

Check it out here.

RESOURCE: Next Time You’re Looking for Resources, Don’t Forget to Check Out 211

People looking for help in Portland and its surrounding communities often do not know where to begin. Locating such basic resources as food, shelter, employment, or health care may mean calling dozens of phone numbers, then struggling through a maze of agencies and services to make the right connections. 211info is built on a quarter-century history of restoring dignity to people’s lives by providing comprehensive information and referral service in this region.

Check out 211 here.

RESOURCE: Carespace – A Blog and an Online Caregiver Community is the first major online community for caregivers. It’s a place for caregivers to meet, develop relationships, share stories and garner support for one another. They’re in their beta testing phase right now – you should join in and check it out.

While the community site is being tested and readied, you can check out their highly regarded blog here. Below, a snippet from a recent post.

The responses to my last post illustrate some of the many takes on the word “caregiver.” I’m grateful for all of them. Intense feelings about who we care for often supercede more general ideas around “caregiving.” So much so that any talk about grouping us together sometimes seems to detract from the individual experience.

At the same time, we know that parents of children with different illness or disabilities have a lot to share by way of information and support — even though when we do go looking for others, our search usually follows along the trail of a particular medical issue.

So I’ll be direct about the challenge of building the community for Carespace. I know that Carespace must be valuable and inviting to a mom and dad with an autistic child who want contact with others just like them. I also know that they may benefit from interaction with all sorts of moms and dads. (Not to mention that they may also be caring for an elderly relative.) But the reality today is that we haven’t established the idea of a global community of “caregivers.” It’s not yet ingrained in the overall dialog. To make this concept useful, we’ll have to discover the value of links between different “caring types.” This is something most of us will have to experience before we take it for granted.

Read more here.

BROKERAGE RESOURCE: Family Support Plans/Turning 18

Are you set to turn eighteen soon?

Independence Northwest is enrolling an unprecedented number of individuals turning eighteen with an existing Family Support Plan. When you come to Independence Northwest (or any brokerage for that matter) at the age of eighteen, your experience is a bit different than other customers. Because you have an existing plan, we have to “transfer” over those services (and the people who provide them) so we can provide you with continuity of care. We have created a guide to help you understand what’s happening, when and why. Check out our guide here.