Transition Services for Youth with Disabilities - DHS 4664

State of Illinois
Department of Human Services

Transition Services for Youth with Disabilities

DRS collaborates with many partners throughout the state to offer a continuum of coordinated transition services designed to help students with disabilities become productive, self-sufficient adults. Many of these services are provided in cooperation with local high schools.


DRS works in close cooperation with local schools to provide Pre-employment Transition Services (PTS) to students with disabilities in Illinois. As defined by federal law, PTS includes: ¦ Job Exploration Counseling;

¦ Work-Based Learning Experiences;

¦ Counseling on Post-Secondary Education;

¦ Workplace Readiness Training; and

¦ Instruction in Self-Advocacy.

Work-based learning experiences occur both in-school and in the community. They can include volunteer experiences, internships, and employer paid positions with the goal being competitive integrated employment. Current high school students who are interested in taking courses at the community college can take coursework intended to build their work skills and achieve their employment goals..


DRS operates both specialized educational and vocational training facilities for students with disabilities. All educational, vocational and social programs are designed to prepare students for successful living as independent, self- supporting citizens who are actively involved in their communities.

¦ The Illinois School for the Deaf (Jacksonville) provides comprehensive, accredited programming for children and youth who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, including birth to three years of age; pre-school; as well as elementary, middle school and high school academic programs.

¦ The Illinois School for the Visually Impaired (Jacksonville) provides accredited educational and related services to children who are blind or visually impaired from birth to three years of age through pre-school, elementary, middle school and high school.

¦ The Illinois Center for Rehabilitation and Education - Roosevelt (Chicago) provides a comprehensive residential/transition and pre-employment program for individuals with physical disabilities, aged 18 through 22.

¦ The Illinois Center for Rehabilitation and Education - Wood (Chicago) is a full-time comprehensive vocational training center which provides services to individuals who are blind, Deafblind, or severely visually impaired. The goal of training is competitive, integrated, employment and/or school. Specific training areas include independent living skills, braille, orientation and mobility, keyboarding and computer skills, adaptive technology, job readiness and job retention. All information is confidential and will not be released without consent.


¦ Secondary Transitional Experience Program (STEP) is an evaluation, training, and employment program that prepares students with disabilities for transition to employment and optimum community participation during and after high school.

¦ Transition is a coordinated set of activities for students or youth with disabilities, and outreach to and engagement of parents or, as appropriate, the representative of students or youth with disabilities.

¦ Project SEARCH is a school to work program that takes place entirely at the workplace. It allows for work-based learning experiences, workplace readiness, job exploration and skills training through internships. Customers must be between the ages of 18 through 22, with an Intellectual Disability in their last year of high school. All graduation requirements will have been met for the participants.

¦ Fast Track Transition is a program that serves students with disabilities who qualify under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) as potentially eligible individuals. Customers enrolled between the ages of 14 and 21 can participate.

¦ Pre-employment Transition Services (PTS-VR) is a unique program with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) that provides Pre-employment Transition Services to their students.

¦ Pre-employment Transition Services (PTS-VR-CRP) is a program that allows CPS students to participate in Work-Based Learning Experiences in competitive, integrated employment setting. These services are provided by Community Rehabilitation Providers


Students enrolled between the ages of 14 1/2 through 21 with a medical, physical, mental, hearing, or vision impairment, who also have a504 Plan, IEP, or receive other assistance because of a disability, may be eligible to participate

The Illinois Department of Human Services' Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) is the state's lead agency serving individuals with disabilities.

DRS works in partnership with people with disabilities and their families to assist them in making informed choices to achieve full community participation through employment, education, and independent living opportunities.

DRS is committed to providing students with disabilities with the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to successfully transition into the world of work.

IDHS/DRS' Transition Services for Students include:

Secondary Transitional Experience Program (STEP)

  • Transition
  • Project SEARCH High School

Transition Program

  • Fast Track Transition
  • Pre-employment Transition Services


Pre-employment Transition Services


For more information about DRS services for youth with disabilities, contact:

1-877-581-3690 voice

TTY or Relay users dial 711

Office Locator:

DHS Office Locator (

Programs, activities and employment opportunities in the Illinois Department of Human Services are open and accessible to any individual or group without regard to age, sex, race, sexual orientation, disability, ethnic origin or religion. The department is an equal opportunity employer and practices affirmative action and reasonable accommodation programs.

DHS 4664 (R-10-22) DRS Transitions  Printed by the Authority of the State of Illinois.  10,000 copies  PO#23-1176