Junior High

High School


Parent Information

Overview of the Transition Process, Agencies, and Supports

Transition Process Information (Adapted from Adam King, DSD)

Can Students with Disabilities be successful in life?

Absolutely! We see it happen all the time! It usually doesn't just happen automatically though; it's not something we should take for granted.  It requires direct instruction, early planning, exploration/discovery, information, supports, and consistent improvement.

This concept, this belief, must be an absolute fundamental belief of parents & educators. 
Students can be successful and have meaningful transition outcomes with the right individual focus, training, direction, and supports.  It is up to us to help guide them there. Our goal is not "just to get students graduated."  We want our students involved in their community, participating to the extent they can, and contributing to others through work, volunteering, and doing.


For example, there have been many famous people with a variety of mild/moderate disabilities who have contributed to society. Some of them include Albert Einstein, Tom Cruise, Walt Disney, Temple Grandin, Agatha Christie, John Denver, Winston Churchill, Charles Schwab, Vincent van Gogh, and many others. 

There are even 'famous' people with moderate/severe disabilities in our community, who we see contributing socially and vocationally in different settings.  They contribute work, talent, friendship, joy, and examples to others. 

Even if we don't know it, we have all been effected by someone with a disability making a contribution.

The Key

From a practical standpoint, it is important for a person (family) to

  • come to terms with their disability, 
  • understand how it affects them,
  • become informed about agencies/organizations that can help,
  • gauge readiness for possibilities through data and experience,
  • increase skills in their abilities
  • and learn compensatory strategies.

This should be done age-appropriately, ability-focused, and in a positive manner.

Topics below are meant to help with the process.  Please take a look and consider the need for us all to contribute to help each student be successful.

Transition Planning

Transition planning is a focus on helping students transition from high school to real-life activities, such as employment, further education, and independent living.  It is required by federal  Special Education law.  The Utah State Special Education Transition webpage also has guidelines and resources about transition planning.

In Davis School District, transition planning on the IEP officially begins in 9th grade, but age-appropriate transition activities can be done by parents and teachers much earlier!  Transition planning is done by the IEP team (absolutely including the parents/guardians) and should take into account the student's strengths, interests, preferences, needs, and the family's cultural values.

Assessments - Formal and Informal


The first (and perhaps most important!) step in Transition Planning it to conduct informal and formal assessment. This should occur over time to help students, families, and educators to make informed decisions about necessary services and adjust as students mature, explore, and advocate.

The assessments aren't only formal, standardized assessments.  Informal assessments also help inform the student and IEP, such as surveys, observations, interviews, assignments, skills practices, etc.

Transition assessments are not predictors of the future, they inform the student and IEP team about interests, strengths, and weaknesses, so that goals and plans can be developed to help accomplish what is decided. Assessment is not just a hoop to jump through, it should be the driver for the rest of transition planning. There is no perfect assessment, just know what kind of information you want and find a way to obtain it!


For Moderate to Severe Disabilities

  • Functional Assessment & Curriculum for Teaching Everyday Routines (FACTER) (Teacher Administered)
  • Behavioral Characteristics Progression (BCP) 
  • VEC Readiness Checklists for Job Readiness and Independent Living
  • Curriculum Assessments

As well as many informal assessments made by family and school staff.


Exploration is important for students.  With safe, guided experiences with parents, friends, teachers, and community activities, students can explore different life and vocational activities.  Broad experiential opportunities help students.  Interests are important, but equally so are skills.  Reasonable possibilities should be introduced which relate to both.  Books, websites, chores, typical and unique family and friend activities, classes, and community courses can help students learn.  At VEC, getting out and doing, also helps inform students about likes/dislikes and skills in employment and life activities.

Agencies, such as Vocational Rehabilitation, can also help students by helping with training programs, seasonal and short-term employment opportunities, and job coaching, depending on student needs.

Organizations for Assistance and Support (listed above on this Parent Information Page) can also help students get involved and discover their likes/dislikes and potential skills to build on.

Information about these areas of exploration are important to help us approach students advocating for what they think they would like to be doing and participate in.

Transition Planning Areas

Transition activities can fit within the following three areas:

Transition Services Areas

Independent Living:  

 This domain covers the skills a person needs to function independently in life, and may include such areas as cooking, transportation, budgeting, safety, technology, housing, time management, social, etc.


 This domain covers skills necessary for many levels of employment (i.e. competitive, self-, customized, supported, sheltered). These skills may be in areas such as career exploration and matching, applying, being on-time, following directions, associating with colleagues, etc.

Post-Secondary Education:  

 This domain covers skills and preparation needed to attend a variety of post-secondary education settings (universities, community colleges, technical school, military, etc.). These skills may be in areas such as choosing a major, class selection, assignment completion, test-taking, organization, study skills, etc

There is overlap between and among these areas, so all need to be considered
Each student doesn't necessarily or automatically require all three. 
The IEP Team reviews information and determines which to focus on to meet the student's needs.

Adult Agencies Support

Different Adult Agencies can support efforts during school and take-over as the student is ready to complete their diploma or certificate of completion.  For this reason, they are listed above (Adult Agencies).  We strongly encourage applying for those that relate to your/your student's disabilities and needs. 

Our Goal

Our goal is to seamlessly move from VEC services
to those provided by agencies and providers, in order to
help students maintain their momentum, growth, skills, and work ethic. 

When this is the case, students show the greatest success.

Independent Living

Information Coming Soon


Information Coming Soon

Post-Secondary Education

There are a variety of settings for post-secondary educational settings.  The importance is suit the best choice to align student employment goals, readiness, limitations, and skills.

  • On-the-Job or Hands-On Training - 
    • This could be getting a job and being trained by the employer.
    • This could also be a Job Coach working with a student to be trained on the job with their help.  Job Coaches help the employer and employee to understand each others' needs.  
  • Vocational Training - A certification program or internship at some jobs, such as a CNA, use of a software program, or the like. 
  • Vocational Training College - Sometimes this requires a setting such as DTC.  They then help with certification, internships, or apprenticeships.
  • College or University - Programs for which a college degree may be required.

The importance is to help the student determine their readiness and target the correct one as they are ready.

Bringing It All Together

This process is driven by what is developed in the IEP by the IEP Team.  Programming reflects these goals and decisions as implemented at school.  Parents can teach students skills at home, as well as work to generalize what is being learned at school to their home.  Adult Agencies sometimes also support with services.  We are all working together to help the student toward their goals.


There are specific questions at the beginning of each proposed IEP (9th grade+) to ensure the team considers each part of the process for the student.  

  • Review of the Prior IEP and Transition Plan
  • Transition Assessment Types (different over the years)
    • Parent Information Input
    • Student Information Input
    • Interest Inventories
    • VEC Readiness Checklists
  • Transition Assessment Summarized for IEP Team
  • Identification of Transition Goals and Services Relating to Them
  • Identification of Adult Agencies Involved (Relies on Student & Parents/Guardians to do) 
  • Courses of Study
  • Ensuring Student Participation


Programming is then developed based on these goals for the student.  This is based on the student's disability, skills, goals, and readiness.  At VEC we work to have classroom, LifeSkill, Community, and Work Site opportunities for bringing their learning and experience together.  Teachers will develop this for students, with guidance by the decisions from the IEP team.


This process is a fluid process, as time is an important piece.  IEPs are conducted at least annually and they do change over time depending on the development of the student.  The hope is that this refines and focuses more closely, as the student prepares to complete their diploma or certificate of completion.  Then adult agencies and services begin to increasingly participate and lay the foundation for services after public school.  

Government Agencies

These agencies and organizations aid individuals with disabilities in Living/Integration/Socialization.  

Please review all of these, to see which may apply.  Your students teacher can provide assistance with which may apply for your student.

Division of Services for People with Disabilities (DSPD)

Provides ongoing funding for those with disabilities to help with residential and vocational needs.  Also provides funds for respite care.  There is a long waiting list and limited funding.  Those with the most severe disabilities or needs are moved to the top of the list sooner.  It is recommended you apply sooner, rather than later.

Information: www.dspd.utah.gov  or (801)538-4200 or  1(844)ASK-DSPD (1(844)275-3773)

Apply for services: 1(877)568-0084 - ask for an intake worker - OR --https://dspd.utah.gov/eligibility/ and scroll to the bottom of the page.   (Recommend IE Explorer)

DSPD Guidelines


Eligibility for DSPD services is based upon having both:

1) A qualifying diagnosis, qualifying diagnoses of Intellectual Disabilities or Related Condition, e.g. Seizure disorder (severe), Autism, Cerebral Palsy, etc.  Conditions must require the same type of treatment and services that a person with Intellectual Disabilities would need, as determined by state and federal regulations.


2) At least three deficits in adaptive skills, as determined by state and federal definitions.  Adaptive skills include self care, receptive and expressive language, learning, mobility, capacity for independent living, self-diretion, and economic self-sufficiency.

Note: DSPD also provides intake/eligibility for the Acquired Brain Injury Waiver and the Physical Disabilities Waiver.  Eligibility for ICF/ID's (Immediate Care Facility for People with Intellectual Disabilities) is now completed directly through the ICF/ID Agency.  Addresses and phone numbers are provided in the DSPD guidebook.  The DSPD website has detailed information.  

For more eligibility information: https://dspd.utah.gov/eligibility/ - for an intake packet directly (in either English or Spanish) scroll to the bottom of that web page.  Each is available there.

Services for Individuals

Services for Children

Family Support Services,which include:

  • Support Coordination,
  • Respite Care,
  • Personal Assistance,
  • Behavior Management Training,
  • Socialization/Recreation,
  • and Assistive Technology for
    • Speech
    • and Mobility.

Services for Adults

  • Support Coordination,
  • Day Services,
  • Supported Employment,
  • Supported Living,
  • Community Residential Services,
  • and Financial Payee Services.


To apply, contact the DSPD Central Intake Line at their statewide, toll-free number** 1(877)568-0084 and ask for an intake worker.  You will be asked for some information over the telephone.  An Intake/Eligibility specialist will contact you to assist you with the intake process. 

Several documents will be necessary to determine eligibility.  

  1. Psychological Evaluation or, for children under six years of age, a Developmental Assessment.
  2. Applicants must be available for an interview to provide the intake worker with the information requested on the Social History.
  3. Possible additional documentation such as school evaluations, medical health summaries, etc.

The Intake/Eligibility specialist will provide you with an introductory guide to DSPD Services and information about additional community resources.  

**For more information: https://dspd.utah.gov/eligibility/ - for an intake packet directly (in either English or Spanish) scroll to the bottom of that web page.  Each one is available there.

Funding and the Waiting List

Needs Assessment

If an individual is determined eligible for DSPD services, a Needs Assessment survey will be completed to place the individual on the Waiting List.  A Waiting List worker will be assigned to your family while you wait for funding for services.  You will be contacted periodically, sent surveys, and receive requests for general information.

Critical Needs are determined using a standardized evaluation called the Needs Assessment.  Members of local committees assess an individual based on a variety of factors including:

  • Severity of disability and problem behaviors exhibited
  • Family's strengths and weaknesses
  • Special medical needs
  • Health and safety issues
  • Availability of other resources
  • Projected deterioration of disability without services
  • Length of time without services

(Note: The Needs Assessment can be redone if a person's situation changes or there is  asuspected change in one or more of the above factors.  Contact your intake worker to request another assessment.)


Individuals remain on the waiting list, until funding is available or their Needs Assessment reflects greater needs.  Be sure to communicate with DSPD while on the waiting list, to ensure you remain on the list.
When funding is available, you will choose a DSPD External Support Coordinator (contracted private support coordinator).  This person will provide information to you about the funding you will receive and the various types of services that are available, as well as a list of agency providers contracted to provide services in Utah.

Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) - Division of Rehabilitation Services

Help with training and employment.  This help is based on the needs identified and developed in goals for the student, done on an individual basis.  These may include, but are not limited to

Resources with training
Job Coaching
Assistance with Finding
Preparation for Interviews
Resumes and Portfolios

There are other resources, so please apply and talk with your VR Counselor about what is needed.

Information: https://jobs.utah.gov/usor > Select "Vocational Rehabilitation"

Contact Information: (385)489-6015

Location:  Centerville Marketplace Buisness Park
                     520 Marketplace Drive, Suite 130
                             Centerville, Utah  84014
                                        (East of Chick-Fil-A)

Independent Living (IL) - Division of Rehabilitation Services

Help with independent living needs such as help with

Peer Support
Assistive Technology

Contact Information

Utah Benefits Planning and Outreach Program

This service helps those with disabilities to to determine how working will affect their benefits (including Medicaid).  They will explore all your options, including the many work incentive programs available, to help you find what will work best for you.

Information: Contact your VR or DSPD Caseworker OR call 1(866)454-8397 (toll free) or (801)887-9530 (SLC).

Social Security (SSI)

The Supplemental Security Income (SSI provides benefits for adults and children with disabilities who have limited income and resources to help pay for basic needs.  Students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible following their 18th birthday.  If a parent is eligible for SSDI, a child with a disability may also be eligible.  Social Security provides many work incentive programs or work support programs to help those with disabilities maintain a job and still have benefits needed.  

Information: www.ssa.gov 


Medicaid, in addition to health benefits in general, can provide benefits that will be helpful to maintaining a job, through the EPAS program.  This can help them with 

Paying for Medications (work related)
Help getting up and ready
Shopping for Work Related Needs and more.

A vocational rehabilitation counselor, as well as benefits planning specialist, can help determine what benefits may be available.

Information: www.cms.hhs.gov/home/medicaid.asp


Primary Care Network (PCN) - Utah Department of Health

The Primary Care Network (PCN) is a health plan offered by the Utah Department of Health.  It covers services administered by a primary care provider.  Applications are only accepted during open enrollment periods, which are held when resources are available to cover more people.  Enrollees pay minimal yearly payments and small copays.

Information: www.health.utah.gov/pcn/faq.html

Davis Behavioral Health (DBH)

The mission of DBH is to provide an extensive continuum of care which emphasizes functional recovery to optimize an individual's quality of life and sense of meaningfulness.  They are the provider for those connected to Medicaid or Medicare.  There is limited housing support available and may be some extra services through the Youth in Transition program for at-risk 15-25 year olds.


Layton (801)773-7060 or (801)546-1168
Bountiful (801)298-3446

Information: www.dbhutah.org

Davis County Housing

Located in Farmington, the Housing Authority provides primarily rental assistance to low-income families, elderly and disabled individuals.  It owns and manages a variety of rental units throughout the County.  There is a wait list.  

More Information: www.daviscommunityhousing.com
Contact: (801)451-2587

Department of Workforce Services

The Department of Workforce Services aids any client in finding listed jobs and can help with questions and connections related to medicaid, food stamps, etc.  They offer some classes to help build resume, job interview and work-related skills.

Information: www.jobs.utah.gov

Organizations for Assistance and Support

This is a list of other organization and programs that can help individuals with disabilities and their families.  This is not extensive, but we are trying to add on resources as we learn about them.

If you do not find what you need, please call 211 which is a United Way sponsored information bank to help individuals to find the help they need.

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

NAMI Utah's mission is to ensure the dignity and improve the lives of those who live with mental illness and their families through support, education, and advocacy.  Locally, they work closely with Davis Behavioral Health.  They provide classes and group support, as well as advocacy for individuals with mental health and their families.  (See also Government Agencies > Davis Behavioral Health)

Information: www.namiut.org
Contact: (801)323-9900

The Utah Parent Center (UPC)

The Utah Parent Center offers free training, information, referral, and assistance to parents of children with special needs.  They offer personalized information, as well as several workshops to help parents better understand how to get the most out of available services, including schooling and transition.  Their website include a comprehensive list of links to various agencies involved with people with disabilities.

More Information: www.utahparentcenter.org

Guardianship Associates

Guardianship Associates is a private, non-profit organization that can assist with the guardianship process, including information regarding using attorneys to represent both parties and acting "pro se" or as your own attorney.

More Information: www.guardianshiputah.org

Utah Developmental Disabilities Council

The purpose of the Council is to advocate for, and strengthen leadership skills in individuals with disabilities and their families.  In addition, the Council collaborates with the legislature, public agencies, and private organizations that serve individuals with disabilities to strengthen their service system.

More Information: utahddc.org/council/index.html
Contact: (801)533-3965

Special Olympics

The Olympics are where some become heroes.
ParaOlympics and Special Olympics are where heroes compete.

Special Olympics works to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in 17 Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.  Their purpose is to give the athletes opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship.

More Information: www.sout.org > North Area
You can also search on Local Teams, then North Davis Comets or South Davis Warriors.

Contact: (801)363-1111

Transportation - UTA

Utah Transit Authority (UTA) offers  reduced fare on fixed route services for qualified people with disabilities and seniors, 65 years and older.  The Reduced Fare Card will entitle you to use UTA’s fixed route bus, light rail (TRAX) street car and commuter rail (FrontRunner) services at a reduced rate. 

Individuals Who Qualify for the Reduced Fare Card

Persons with disabilities are defined by the Federal Transit Administration as persons

“who by reason of illness, injury, age, congenital malfunction, or other incapacity - temporary or permanent disability (including any individual who is a wheelchair user or has semi-ambulatory capabilities), cannot use effectively, without special facilities, planning, or design, mass transportation service or a mass transportation facility.” 

Persons are not considered to have a mass transportation disability and do not qualify for reduced rate are those whose sole incapacity or disability is:  pregnancy, obesity, impairment due to un-prescribed drugs or alcohol, controlled epilepsy and persons whose sight or hearing or other disability that can be corrected with mechanical devices. 

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the Reduced Fare, you must provide proof.  One of the following documents must be provided: 

  • Proof of Age (65 and older) and Photo ID (may be same item)
  • Medicare Card and Photo ID
  • Healthcare Provider Statement Form (see attached form) and Photo ID. The form must have been signed and dated by the healthcare provider within the last 45 days.
  • UTA will accept photo identification issued by a state or federal agency, an example is a state driver’s license, pictured V.A. Card or passport.

For additional information please contact UTA at 801-743-3882 or 1-888-RIDEUTA (743-3882) 
Further Information: https://www.rideuta.com/Rider-Info/UTA-Accessibility 

How to Apply

Complete the personal section of the application.  Your medical provider will be required to complete the other portion of the application.
Application for Reduced Fair Card

Bring application and proof of qualification to one of the following offices:

  • Lost & Found -  511 West 200 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
  • Meadowbrook – 3600 South 700 West, Salt Lake City, UT  84119
  • Ogden Transit Center – 2393 Wall Ave, Ogden UT 84401

Note:  The Customer Service Centers will be closed on major holidays. 

Verification Process

The verification of your application will be completed by a UTA Customer Service employee.  Agent will verify healthcare provider’s current licensed status.    After verification, a picture id card will be issued to qualified applicants.   
Upon approval of your eligibility $ 2.00* card fee is due.  
*FAREPAY cards are $2 plus a $5.00 load. 

Lost Cards or Damaged Cards

Lost or damaged cards have a replacement fee of $2.00.  Contact UTA.

If it is a FAREPAY card, an additional $5.00 load may be required. 
*See “FAREPAY” about loss protection   FAREPAY.rideuta.com  


Upcoming Transition Events

"Hero of Your Future" - DSD Transition Fair - March 3, 2020

Davis School District will host its annual Transition Fair again at the Davis Campus of Weber State University (Bldg. D-3).   Agencies, Support Services, and Programs will be there to answer questions and provide information about how they help.

Please plan to attend in order to learn about different agencies, support services, and programs
to help with transitioning each student toward work and adult roles.  Please attend and find out more. 

See our Parent Information Page, which will also give you information about Transition supports and guidance.