Illinois Department of Human Services
Division of Rehabilitation Services


The mission of the Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Rehabilitation Services, is to assist individuals with disabilities in achieving their goals of employment, education, and independent living.


Improving the independence of our customers is our only reason for existing. We realize that the skills and abilities of our front line staff are the keys to our success. Embracing, listening to, and collaborating with our community partners will sustain our success.

DHS/DRS will be a customer-driven organization, with all major decisions based on the needs of our customers. Our staff will be informed and valued, pursuing lifelong learning and striving to improve their professional skills. We will create an environment where customers and staff work in partnership, where customers enjoy working with staff, and where staff look forward to coming to work. Finally, we envision an agency where customers feel confident that their goals will be reached.


  • We value DHS/DRS as a workplace that promotes, supports, recognizes, and invests in the importance of having a culturally diverse staff with the skills and knowledge to respectfully provide services to all our customers in a qualitative manner.
  • We value equal participation in society by persons with disabilities.
  • We value situations in which the individual with a disability gets needed service.
  • We value an accessible environment.
  • We value being responsive to the needs and concerns of customers.
  • We value the right of all customers to choose services that enable them to work and live independently in their communities.
  • We value community integration and the customer's right to live in the least restrictive environment.
  • We value lifelong learning for our staff and are committed to providing necessary training to improve their professional skills.
  • We value staff who are creative, well-trained, efficient, and knowledgeable about disability and developing careers for customers and the use of assistive technology.

Introduction to Manual

This Policy and Procedures Manual is a living document developed cooperatively by DHS/DRS and School Partners who serve as members of the Statewide STEP Advisory Council. As a living document this manual has the capacity to change as rehabilitation issues change. As changes occur, the Community Resources Unit and the Statewide STEP Advisory Council will forward all changes for to the Director for final approval.

August 20, 2007

Transition Specialist Program Description

The Transition Specialist (TS) program provides for a rehabilitation specialist team consisting of a specialist/s, specialist aide (as needed), and a secretary. Customers served by this team are those in Secondary Transitional Experience Program (STEP), those who have completed the program or any of the school's customers with disabilities who may need rehabilitation services prior to or upon leaving the school setting. The services are provided according to Department of Human Services/Department of Rehabilitation Services (DHS/DRS) policies and procedures. The functions and duties of the specialist/s, specialist aide, and secretary are primarily those prescribed for the DHS/DRS general rehabilitation counselor and secretary. All casework procedures for serving customers and the expenditure of DHS/DRS' monies are under the direct supervision of DHS/DRS. TSs serve as the liaison between DHS/DRS and the schools and as the facilitator for the customer's transition from school to work.

General Program Objectives

The following general program objectives are the basis for cooperative programming offered through the TS program. The TS program strives to:

  • attain/maintain a TS customer caseload;
  • provide services to all eligible youth with disabilities, whether in special education joint agreement programs or in regular education programs;
  • participate in transition planning for customers with disabilities to ensure that appropriate planning, training, and work experiences will be provided to customers that result in opportunities for integrated work or further training, independent living, and community participation upon graduation from high school. Specifically, this process should identify the customer's post-school desired outcomes, services needed to achieve the outcomes, and the responsibilities of each party in the achievement of the outcomes;
  • facilitate timely delivery of DHS/DRS' services to new and continuing customers;
  • enhance DHS/DRS' involvement in educational/vocational/rehabilitation planning for students through TS involvement in multi-disciplinary staffing, school/joint agreement personnel meetings and in development of the vocational part of the Individualized Education Plan (IEP);
  • provide continuation of services for all customers who have not achieved their vocational objectives by the time they leave school by providing additional transition services or through transfer to the local district office;
  • combine the resources of DHS/DRS with those of participating school districts, Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and other local/state/federal agencies and organizations for the purpose of enhancing or providing rehabilitation services to DHS/DRS customers.

Role of Transition Specialists

Transition Specialists (TSs) are rehabilitation counselors, performing established functions and duties prescribed for the general DHS/DRS rehabilitation counselor. TSs serve customers in the Secondary Transitional Experience Program (STEP), or individual customers needing services concurrent with their education or immediately upon exit from school.

TSs serve as the coordinating liaison between DHS/DRS and the schools. They facilitate the student's transition from school to work. TSs work closely with school personnel, adult service providers, local Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) staff, and customers/families. TS teams help plan for and provide rehabilitation services through cooperative development of the special education Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and the DHS/DRS Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE).

As members of a multi-disciplinary team, TSs play a major role in the transition process by providing:

  • consultation with team members in vocational planning
  • analysis of vocational and educational interests and abilities to facilitate appropriate employability
  • input into the coordination of planning and service delivery;
  • input into job placement and follow-up of each student
  • technical assistance to employers

TS Personnel Job Descriptions

The following job descriptions apply to all TS personnel. Additional qualifications, duties and responsibilities may be added to meet local needs and personnel requirements. A copy of each new or revised job description must be a part of each contract application.

Transition Specialist


  • Minimum of bachelor's degree in rehabilitation counseling, special education, education, guidance & counseling or a closely related human services field
  • Minimum of one year's experience in rehabilitation, special education or closely related human services field.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Interview and gather information on customers to determine their eligibility for services, the extent and nature of their disability and their need for and the feasibility of their undertaking rehabilitation services
  • Assume responsibility for an assigned caseload; gather and evaluate information on the customer's medical, psychological and educational background
  • Counsel customers to develop rehabilitation plans and transition from school to work
  • In cooperation with school staff, prepare an IPE for each customer which is consistent with his/her IEP, no later than the final year at school
  • Attend staffings, multi-disciplinary staffings, IEP meetings and other meetings that pertain to the customer's vocational rehabilitation and transition program
  • Approve STEP work/training sites and monitor student progress
  • Coordinate DHS/DRS' services with school personnel and community resources
  • Maintain a continuous case-finding program through contacts with school personnel; establish screening and referral processes to ensure that all eligible customers are offered vocational rehabilitation services
  • Maintain follow-up until closure or case transfer to local DHS/DRS district office
  • Documented contact with student at least quarterly. May include annual student reviews, work site visits, and classroom visits.
  • Approve any circumstances that preclude a customer's ability to fully participate in 10-15 hours of training experience per week
  • Provide in-service training for pre-vocational coordinator(s) and other school personnel
  • Attend local Transition Planning Committees
  • Maintain records on customers in accordance with DHS/DRS policies and procedures
  • Adhere to all policies and regulations of the special education district, DHS/DRS, and the School Code of Illinois.
  • Participate in meetings and in-service training programs developed by DHS/DRS and the Special Education District
  • Perform other duties as assigned

TS Secretary


  • Minimum of high school diploma or equivalent
  • Computer literacy, knowledge of Business English, Math and General Office practices and procedures

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Coordinate daily casework activities under direction of the TS
  • Participate in meetings and in-service training programs developed by DHS/DRS and the Special Education District
  • Under direction of the TS, contact other agencies and service providers to gather information needed to provide services; contact vendors to determine if services were rendered as scheduled, and secure required reports
  • Maintain standard data, medical information, financial data, computer codes and vendor information. Maintain caseload reports and customer time and attendance reports
  • Schedule appointments for the TS with customers, parents and providers, and consultants; maintain files; and review dates of service on all outstanding authorizations
  • Prepare and maintain TS and STEP billing forms and other financial reports
  • Receive, sort and open incoming mail; route and distribute TS mail
  • Perform other duties as assigned

Selection and Supervision of Transition Specialist Personnel

Transition Specialist Personnel are jointly selected, supervised and evaluated by DHS/DRS and the provider, and are employed by the provider. They must meet jointly established requirements of professional qualifications, working hours and benefits of those generally required of special education personnel employed by the provider. Although TS personnel are housed within the "school domain", they must function as a rehabilitation counselor vs. pre-vocational personnel, teacher or school administrator. All rehabilitation processes, casework procedures, and DHS/DRS directives relative to customers and expenditures of DHS/DRS monies on their behalf are under the direct supervision of the DHS/DRS Rehabilitation Services Supervisor.

Joint Staffing Provisions

  • The educational and work experience qualifications of TS personnel will meet minimum requirements established by DHS/DRS and the TS provider. TS personnel will be jointly interviewed for their respective positions. DHS/DRS recommendations should be given the highest priority by the TS provider.
  • Upon documentation of the inability to perform required duties in accordance with DHS/DRS performance standards, the Rehabilitation Services Supervisor(s) will recommend to the Transition Advisor and TS provider a plan of remediation or discharge from the TS/secretary position(s).
  • Vacancies in TS personnel positions are to be reported to the Transition Advisor.
  • The DHS/DRS Rehabilitation Services Supervisor must be notified of additional duties or assignments specified by the TS provider.
  • Case files and records will be kept in the TS office. DHS/DRS forms, manuals, policies and procedures will be kept in the TS office. DHS/DRS confidentiality policies and the Illinois School Student Records Act are applicable to all records maintained.

Personnel and Program Evaluation

TS Personnel Evaluation

  • Conducted annually by TS provider administrator and DHS/DRS Rehabilitation Services Supervisor with TS personnel. Must be submitted with year end reports to the Transition Advisor.
  • Performance Evaluation (IL 488-0212) completed and distributed per instructions on Page 1 of the form or a school evaluation with DHS/DRS supervisor's input may be used.

Program Evaluation

  • TS provider to submit the following to Transition Advisor at end of first semester and end of contract period
    • TS Program Objectives/Activities Report (IL 488-0757) and STEP Student Information and Flow Chart
    • Additional written comments by TS provider administrator, Rehabilitation Services Supervisor, and TS personnel may be attached. Comments may address program objectives, activities, problems/solutions and future needs.
  • Transition Advisor to complete Project Officer's Monitoring Report (IL 488-0809), and may submit copies to TS provider and DHS/DRS Rehabilitation Services Supervisor.
  • Transition Advisor to submit the following reports to Community Resources Manager:
    • TS Program Objectives/Activities Report (IL 488-0757)
    • Student Information & Flow Chart
    • Project Officer's Monitoring Report (IL 488-0809)
    • Expenditure Report (IL 488-0687)
    • TS Performance Evaluation (IL 488-0212)

TS Provider Responsibilities/Assurances

The TS Provider will:

  • Collaborate with DHS/DRS to assist individuals with disabilities achieve their transition goals
  • Adhere to appropriate laws, rules and regulations and inform/instruct the TS personnel of current and amended Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and other rules and regulations
  • Provide office space, administrative coordination and supervision of the TS personnel and program
  • Recognize and understand that the duties and responsibilities of the TS, TS aide and secretary are only those prescribed by DHS/DRS and which are included in the job description submitted as part of the DHS/DRS contract
  • Apply to ISBE, Specialized Education Services Department, for approval for "other professional personnel" (PVA), and "other non-certified employee" (NZZ) funding for the TS, TS aide, and secretary. ISBE funding will be deducted from total program costs before local DHS/DRS commitments are determined.
  • Collaborate with DHS/DRS personnel in all matters relevant to TS personnel and TS program administration and implementation
  • Assist the TS personnel in establishing working relationships with administrators, counselors and other supportive pupil personnel within the districts

DHS/DRS Responsibilities/Assurances

DHS/DRS' overall programmatic responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Collaborate with the TS provider to assist individuals with disabilities to achieve their transition goals
  • Retain responsibility for decisions relative to provision of rehabilitation services to be purchased by DHS/DRS
  • Retain responsibility for decisions relative to eligibility for rehabilitation services to be purchased by DHS/DRS
  • Assure that rehabilitation services will be provided in accordance with existing DHS/DRS' regulations, policies and procedures

Local DHS/DRS Supervisors' responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Provide casework supervision
  • Retain sole responsibility for approving all authorizations for services provided to students/customers
  • Conduct, jointly with TS contractor, a performance evaluation of TS personnel. Submission of an annual Performance Evaluation of the TS staff. The report will include, but not necessarily be limited to, the assessment of:
    • TS, TS aide and secretarial performance
    • Status of meeting pre-established measurable program and customer objectives
    • New approaches to or resolution of problems within the rehabilitation process as a result of TS performance
  • Ensure that DHS/DRS regulations regarding the acceptance of cases and development of rehabilitation plans are applied. The IEP will be coordinated with the IPE. The TS will be required to present cases for approval, quality assurance review, authorization and voucher approval
  • Require the TS to participate in regular DHS/DRS local and regional staff meetings, and DHS/DRS' required staff development training programs
  • Ensure the TS has the resources (e.g. computer access) necessary to do his/her job.

Transition Advisor to serve as Project Officer to STEP and Transition Specialist staff. Duties include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Contract and program development
  • Technical assistance and support in operational procedures
  • Evaluate contract performance and take action as needed per Provider Responsibilities/Assurances
  • Develop amendments and modifications to the contract
  • Monitor the contract goals and objectives, expenditures of DRS and Matching funds and populations served
  • Verify accuracy of and process all billing to the DHS/DRS Accounting Office
  • Submit a semester and annual report of the TS program. The report will include, but not necessarily be limited to, the assessment of:
    • TS, TS Aide and secretarial performance
    • Status of meeting pre-established measurable program and customer objectives
    • New approaches to or resolution of problems within the rehabilitation process as a result of TS performance
    • Ongoing concerns needing review or possible revision
    • Expenditures
    • Monitor of the expenditure rate of DHS/DRS funds and local funds used as a third party match and assuring that DHS/DRS' financial share does not exceed 80% of the total cost
  • Reconcile the TS program grant
  • Conduct on-site review of program at least once every three (3) years

Billing Procedures

Provider Procedures

  • A signed copy of Certification of Expenditure of Third Party Funds (IL 488-0687) for each request for release of funds, submitted to Transition Advisor monthly or quarterly.
  • Certification of Expenditure of Third Party Funds (IL 488-0687) or computerized billing sheet must be signed by designated administrator responsible for verification of expenditures and certification of match.

Timing of Submission

  • Billings prepared on last day of each month or quarter and submitted to Transition Advisor by 15th day of following month.
  • No reimbursement will be made for any budget item not approved in contract, including any amendments or modifications

State of Illinois

Department of Human Services


NAME OF PROVIDER: _________________________________________





1st Sem.




1. Total number of customers in STEP (from Flow Chart)

2. Total number of other customers (including previous STEP customers and non-STEP customers. Enter all that apply. A customer may be counted in more than one category.)

a) Number in employment

b) Number ready for employment

c) Number in college training

d) Number in other post-secondary training

e) Number receiving community rehabilitation program services

3. Total number of all customers in caseload (#1 + #2)


1. Number of new applicants

2. Number of new applicants accepted for services

3. Number of new plans

4. Number of direct job placements

5. Number of rehabilitated closures


1. Joint meetings of TS(s), DHS/ORS, and Provider Staff

2. Orientation/training sessions conducted by TS(s)

3. Orientation/training sessions attended by TS(s)

4 Transition Planning Committee meetings/events

I L 488-0757 (02/98)

This state agency is requesting disclosure of information that is necessary to accomplish the statutory purpose as outlined under the Disabled Persons Rehabilitation Act, 20 ILCS 2405/3. Disclosure of this information is REQUIRED. Failure to provide any information will result in this form not being processed. This form has been approved by the Forms Management Center.

State of Illinois Department of Human Services



Employee's Name - Last, First, Middle

T S Provider Name

Period of report

From __________ To ____________ Time in current position

_______ Years ________ Months


The basic purpose of the Transition Specialist Program Performance Evaluation system is to evaluate TS staff performance to serve as a motivation factor to improve performance and to justify joint administrative organizational objectives.

The system attempts to minimize subjective judgments by utilizing a work planning concept of objective setting and feedback. Thus, it helps employees control and evaluate their progress toward personal as well as organizational objectives.

The establishment of employee objectives is a multi-step process which is illustrated as follows:

DHS/DRS/TS PROVIDERS SUPERVISOR'S RESPONSIBILITY Set and communicate appropriate objectives. ? * Prepare a list of objectives with employee. Discuss work objectives for this period.

  • Approve plans of action for achieving work objectives.
  • Review progress. Make adjustments as required. Provide coaching and assistance
  • Evaluate performance and results for annual appraisal. Prepare list of objective for next period.


Organization objectives; major job responsibilities; self-development ?

needs. * Objective Setting

  • Plans of action for job to be done
  • Quarterly Progress Review
  • Evaluation Performance-annually reset objectives


Discuss areas of responsibility relating

To objectives and self-development ?

Needs. * Prepare a list of objectives for discussion with supervisor. Discuss work objectives for this period.

  • Prepare plans of action to meet objectives for approval of supervisor. Perform the job to be done.
  • Review progress and discuss any problems with supervisor.
  • Make self-evaluation and evaluate results for annual appraisal. Prepare list of objectives for next period.

Distribution: One (1) copy each to DHS/DRS Supervisor; TS Vendor Supervisor; employee; and Transition Advisor. Two (2) copies to STEP/TS Program Administrator, who will forward one copy to Grants and Contracts Section as part of the annual report. IL 488-0212 (8/94)

Page 1 of 4


DHS/DRS Supervisor and TS Provider Administrator are to list and evaluate all objectives for which the employee was accountable during the reporting period. Mark the appropriate column for each objective.


Exceeded Met Not Met


Complete items 1 through 8 for all employees and items 9-10 when applicable. Difference between ratings by employee and by supervisors must be discussed. To Be Completed

By Employee To Be Completed

By Supervisors

1. JOB KNOWLEDGE: Knowledge of duties and responsibilities required for current job or position. Exceeded Met Not Met Exceeded Met Not Met

  1. PRODUCTIVITY: Amount of work generated and completed successfully as compared to amount of work experience for this job or position.
  2. QUALITY: Correctness, completeness, accuracy, and overall work quality.
  3. INITIATIVE: Self-motivation-amount of direction required; seeks improved methods and techniques; consistency in trying to improve.
  4. USE OF TIME: Uses available time wisely; is punctual reporting to work; attendance record; accomplishes required work on or ahead of schedule
  5. PLANNING: Sets realistic objectives; anticipates and prepares for future requirements; establishes logical priorities.
  6. FOLLOW-UP: Maintains control of workloads; allocates resources economically; insures that assignments are completed accurately and timely.
  7. HUMAN RELATIONS: Establishes and maintains cordial work climate; promotes harmony and enthusiasm; displays sincere interest in assisting other employees.

Page 2 of 4


Comment on employee's outstanding achievements. When "needs improvement" is indicated, describe the reasons for this rating, and what remedial steps were taken.


Comment on employee's outstanding achievements. When "needs improvement" is indicated, describe the reasons for this rating, and what remedial steps were taken.


TS may comment on all or any part of the information contained in this evaluation including the evaluation process. If the TS does not concur with the evaluation, explain reasons for disagreement.

Page 3 of 4


To be established by the employee with input, advice, and agreement of supervisors. Objectives should be set for each major area of job responsibility, ranked in priority area, and be as measurable as possible. Personal development objectives may be included. (Use additional sheet if needed.)

QUARTERLY PROGRESS REVIEW (This can be initiated by either the employee or supervisor.)

The employee and supervisors are to meet quarterly to review progress toward previously agreed upon objectives. If the original objectives need to be adjusted, use the space below to document the change. The employee and supervisor should date and initial the document at the time of each review.

1st quarter Date: _______________

Initials: Employee _____ DHS/DRS Supervisor _____ Provider Supervisor _____

2nd quarter Date: _______________

Initials: Employee _____ DHS/DRS Supervisor _____ Provider Supervisor _____

3rd quarter Date: _______________

Initials: Employee _____ DHS/DRS Supervisor _____ Provider Supervisor _____


Employee's Signature Title Date

G I do not concur

DHS/DRS Supervisor's Signature Title Date

TS Provider Supervisor's Signature Title Date

G We have personally discussed the contents of this document with the employee and we have agreed

to the objectives set.

IL 488-0202 (Rev. 8/00) Page 4 of 4

State of Illinois

Department of Human Services


TS Provider ____________________________________________________________________

TS (1)

TS (2) / AIDE


1. Annual Salary

2. Annual Fringes

3. Total (#1 + #2)

4. ISBE Reimbursement


5. Net (#3 - #4)

6. Local Commitment

(minimum 20%)

7. Amount of agency


(not to exceed 80%)

NOTE: Transfer information to the appropriate columns on the TS PERSONNEL SERVICES/FRINGE


State of Illinois

Department of Human Services FEIN #

Division of Rehabilitation Services Agreement Number:

Amendment Number:



Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Rehabilitation Services


Provider Name

Provider Address

City, State, Zip Code

Category of Funding:

Term of Agreement:





Program Plan change


Rate change


Change in termination date


Create new staff position(s)


Create new budget line item(s)


Eliminate staff position(s)


Eliminate budget line item(s)


OTHER (please specify):


Transfer funds between budget line items


Increase Equipment line item


Indirect Cost Rate change

This amendment has the following effect on the budget (Check appropriate information and complete):


No Change






Total Amount by:






Match Amount by:






DHS/DRS Amount by:



Any attachments, i.e., Budget Summary, Budget Detail Sheets with justification, Program Plan changes, etc., reflect the contract amendment transactions. Except as amended herein, this Contract remains unchanged, including all prior modifications and amendments as agreed to by the parties.



Signature of Authorized Agent Date

Authorized Representative

Printed Name of Authorized Agent


Amendment Cover Sheet R 9/05