UNH Institute on Disability's RENEW Program begins a 4 year evaluation Process with Grant (NH UCEDD/LEND)

The Institute on Disability (IOD)at the University of New Hampshire is part of a research team led by the University of Vermont that has received a four-year, $3.5 million grant from the Institute of Education Science's National Center for Education Research to conduct a multisite randomized control trial of the RENEW intervention. The Rehabilitation for Empowerment, Natural Supports, Education, and Work (RENEW) model, developed by IOD staff in 1996, is a promising individualized intervention for high school students with significant mental health challenges.



Stories from Young Adults with Disabilities about Spirituality and Their Transition to Independence (OR UCEDD)

The Interfaith Disabilities Network of Oregon (IDNO) sponsored its second annual conference on spirituality and disability, Beyond the Ramp: Treat Me as a Member, Not a Mission. Held in a Portland-based university setting, approximately 60 people including members of the clergy, lay leaders, people with disabilities and their families attended this event.



Mobile App in Delaware Empowers Young Adults with Special Healthcare Needs (DE UCEDD)

Healthy Transitions is a new mobile application designed by the University of Delaware's Center for Disabilities Studies to help young adults with special healthcare needs build skills needed to gain independence and manage their own healthcare. The app features videos that explain how to handle real life scenarios and an interactive game to reinforce the ideas presented in the videos. The videos are categorized into four sections; healthcare, insurance, healthy lifestyles and relationships.

Students in the first graduating cohort of TOPS toss their caps in the air in celebration after a commencement ceremony on May 8. Credit: Amanda Etchison / Campus Editor


Ohio State's TOPS Program Celebrates its first Commencement (OH UCEDD/LEND)

A soft recording of "Pomp and Circumstance" played as the doors to the Ross Heart Hospital auditorium swung open to reveal a line of seven beaming soon-to-be-graduates. Wearing traditional black robes and scarlet and gray tassels, the students - the first graduating cohort from the Transition Options in Postsecondary Settings program - walked single file to their seats at the front of the room, sat down and eagerly awaited for their moment to walk across the stage and receive their certificates at a commencement ceremony held on Friday.



The Transition Alliance of SC: Building Capacity Statewide by Scaling Up Local Interagency Teams (SC UCEDD)

South Carolina's UCEDD, the Center for Disability Resources (CDR) at the University of South Carolina's School of Medicine, is spearheading a statewide initiative to improve secondary transition programming and practices for students with intellectual or developmental disabilities. The CDR is partnering in this effort with other state stakeholders via the Transition Alliance of South Carolina (TASC), the statewide interagency transition team. Utilizing funding and support from TASC partners, project staff housed at the Center for Disability Resources has initiated the development of an infrastructure to support local interagency transition teams as they increase their capacity to collaboratively and effectively serve young adults with ID/DD who are transitioning from high school to adult-life.



Autism NOW Employer Toolkit

Autism NOW created a toolkit and designed it for employers to hire, train, and retain employees with an ASD as well as other disabilities.





Healthcare Transition For Youth With I/DD

A Policy Brief from ASAN

This policy brief addresses the health care needs of autistic youth as they transition to adulthood. The brief, produced by the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) and funded by the Special Hope Foundation, provides recommendations to ensure that young adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD) receive consistent access to quality health care, as well as support in taking on adult levels of autonomy with respect to their own health care needs. Please direct any inquiries on this resource to Samantha Crane at



High Expectations: Transforming the American Workforce as the ADA Generation Comes of Age

A Report from the US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, Tom Harkin, Chairman

Senator Harkin�s report offers bold steps to improve employment of young people with disabilities and fully realize the ADA�s promise of equality, while spotlighting the barriers to employment and setting a high goal for increasing workforce participation of the �ADA Generation.�



A Collaborative Interagency, Interdisciplinary Approach to Transition from Adolescence to Adulthood

This paper promotes four core concepts that are essential to the development and implementation of effective transition plans and process: (1) Self-determination should be the foundation for transition planning; (2) Transition should be viewed through a cultural lens; (3) Interagency collaboration is essential to effective transition (4) Transition planning should include all the perspectives, disciplines, and organizations that will impact the transitioning student.
This paper was written for and by directors and staff UCEDDs and LENDs with the aim of promoting a dialogue among key stakeholders and facilitating their engagement in pursuing a more comprehensive, coordinated, supportive, and successful transition process for youth with disabilities from adolescence to young adulthood. See AUCD's press release for additional information.


Mentoring Youth with Disabilities

The Need for Mentoring Youth with Disabilities:Youth with physical or mental disabilities represent special populations at risk for juvenile delinquency, victimization, educational failure, and poor employment outcomes and often have multiple, overlapping risk factors. Such youth can and do benefit from mentoring relationships.

The Need for Inclusive Mentoring Programs:Youth with disabilities typically to receive mentoring within disability-specific programs rather than in inclusive, community-based programs that have a diversity of resources that promote education, job readiness, development of employment skills, and/or training in and exposure to entrepreneurial activities.

The Benefits:

  • Youth with disabilities can participate with their typically developing peers in mentoring programs,
  • The community capacity to serve people with disabilities would be enhanced with training, technical assistance, and programmatic supports,
  • There is a social value to providing inclusive supports and services, and
  • Through building the capacity of community-based mentoring programs to serve all youth well-including those with special physical or mental challenges-is more cost-effective than supporting multiple specialty services.


AUCD has developed a factsheet that provides an overview of mentoring youth with disabilities, and gives examples of promising practices from the AUCD network. Click here: factsheet in PDF