Parents / Family Members Helpful Tools

Parents play an important role in the secondary transition process for their children. The more educated parents are about the process, the more help they can be to their children. Parents should be aware of what is included in their child’s transition plan and will hopefully have provided some input themselves. Check out the information and links below to find out more about self-determination, guardianship, transfer of rights, preparing for college, and other articles and tools that can help you help your child in preparing for life after high school.

The Pacer Center works with National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET) to represent family perspectives and disseminate information to a national network of federally funded parent centers and the families they serve.

The National Technical Assistance Center on Transition (NTACT) is a Technical Assistance and Dissemination project, funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and the Rehabilitation Services Adminstration (RSA), Cooperative Agreement Number H326E140004. Their site provides resources and guidance on transition planning, graduation, post-school success, data analysis and use, and effective practices and predictors of post-school success. We encourage you to visit their site for lots of valuable information whether you are a teacher, counselor, parent, student, or an agency employee.


Find out more about what transition plans in Arkansas look like and what they mean; click on each form for more information.

Assessments for Parents

Often parents have information that can be included in a transition plan, making it more meaningful. If you are a parent, consider reviewing these simple, yet important tools, and providing the information to your child’s teacher.

Parent Transition Survey
Parent Transition Survey in Spanish

Parent Guardian Inventory

Guardianship and Transfer of Rights Information 

Guardianship Resources 

National Guardianship Association 

Guardianship Checklist 

Parent Brief on Age of Majority 

Age of Majority Parent Guide and Tip Sheets - Taking on the rights of an adult can be challenging for all youth, but it is especially challenging for youth with disabilities. To assist parents in preparing their young person with disabilities to make these decisions, the Center for Parent Information and Resources released a parent guide and a series of tip sheets for parents of children with disabilities. 

Assistive Technology Assessments and Tools

IDEA requires the consideration for technology needs for students with disabilities. These could be services or devices that are defined in IDEA. When students are planning to transition into the adult world it is critical that they are aware of available technology that they can use to support them in the post-secondary environment. IEP teams (including students and families) can greatly benefit from the tools provided below:

Student Self Evaluation Matrix - The self-evaluation matrix is intended to measure and improve assistive technology transfer to higher education settings. 

Transition Skills Checklist - use this assessment to determine what skills your students demonstrate and what skills they need to acquire.

Assistive Technology Assessment Process Planner - use this process planner when classroom strategies and tools do not meet the student’s needs.

Assistive Technology Implementation Plan - use this template to develop a plan to implement assistive technology with your students.

Family Information Guide to Assistive Technology and Transition Planning - this guide will provide you with information on transition, how to ensure your students' assistive technology needs are supported in the transition from high school to adult life, and information on laws related to transition and accommodations. There are many tools and valuable resources within this guide to help include consideration of assistive technology in the transition process.


Tips for Parents 

Parents as Advocates 

2BSD: To Be Self-Determined
2BSD is about creating more self-determined lives. On this website, you’ll find information about all things self-determined: what it is, why it’s important, and how to promote it.

Self-Determination for Elementary / Middle School Students

Healthcare Transition 

Transitioning from high school to adult life often makes individuals think of where they will live, go to school and work. Something that is often overlooked is healthcare transition. This is an important piece to a successful transition. After all, where would we be if we didn't have the ability to take care of our health needs? There is a tool used to assess the readiness levels of students with special health care needs and their parents to transition from pediatric to adult health care - click here.

Got Transition - This website aims to improve transition from pediatric to adult healthcare through the use of new and innovative strategies for health professionals and youth and families.

Health Care Transition Guide for Teens in Middle School - This is a handbook for younger teens, written for middle school students with medical and/or developmental needs.

Now That You're In High School - This is a handbook for older teens. It covers many transition topics important to teens.

Finding Adult Providers - It is important to find your adult doctors early - around age 18 to 21.

Being a Healthy Adult - This is a resource for the youth and their family. This adds role-playing activities and checklists to help families find their transition strengths.

Vital Records Guide - Arkansas Guide to services for children with disabilities 

Online Medical Notebook Template - Use this care organizer to store your child's information.

Got Transition Medical Summary and Emergency Care Plan - This is a printable summary including daily care information and information needed in an emergency.

Emergency Information Form for Children with Special Needs - A quick reference guide regarding emergency preparedness for individuals with special healthcare needs.

Long-term Service & Support

Health Passport - This booklet that can be carried with you when attending hospitals or other providers of health and disability services contains information about how you want people to communicate with you and support you.

My Med Schedule - Use MyMedSchedule to manage meds and labs on the go, set reminders, and make it easier to communicate with their healthcare providers.

My Medical App - a comprehensive record-keeping app for your personal medical information.

The Wallet Card App - a free tool for teenagers and adults who have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). It is designed to help them communicate clearly with law enforcement or first responders.

Medicaid Transportation Brokers

Smart 9-1-1 - When you dial 9-1-1 from a mobile phone, the 9-1-1 call takers have very little information to help you. Users of this service provide vital information to call takers, including information regarding your household members, address and location, vehicle(s), emergency contacts and communication preferences. 

The Healthy Bodies Toolkit - A guide on puberty for students with disabilities

Parent Advisory Council Transition - the PAC serves as a liaison between the families of children with special health care needs (CSHCN) and existing resources.

Post-Secondary Education 

AHEAD – find answers to many FAQs that you might have about going to college.

FINANCIAL HELP – check out the financial resources that might be available to you in Arkansas!

THE SMART STUDENT GUIDE TO FINANCIAL AID – find information about scholarships and fellowships for students with disabilities.

ADHE FINANCIAL AID SEARCH - search through the Arkansas Department of Higher Education's available scholarships.

COLLEGE 4 U! - independent college counseling for high school students 

GETTING HELP FOR THE TRANSITION TO COLLEGE - Some students with disabilities may not be totally aware of the support services available at the college level. To provide more information of how to go about getting more information when considering post-secondary education options, the Disability Services Office at NC State University created a video DVD to help ease students’ minds and to give them helpful tips and advice. The video shows a current college student receiving supports and offering help to a current high school student who isn’t so sure he can make it at college. Parents, this is a great clip to watch with your child and plan how they might go about finding more about a college they would like to attend. 

Going to College - This site has lots of information about going to college and being successful with a disability. A section of the site is for students interested in going to college. It has videos and other tools that can get students on the right track in planning for college. There are three modules that students, parents, and educators can participate in. the site also has a "Teacher Toolbox" that provides activities for teachers to use as they help guide students in the planning process. And finally, it has a Portfolio section to help students really get the important pieces organized so they are ready to  be successful in college! 

College Navigator - the Department of Education's website for information about colleges and universities.

Testing Accommodations for Individuals with Disabilities from the U.S. Department of Justice  - This provides information on the obligation of testing entities, both private and public, to ensure that the test scores of individuals with disabilities accurately reflect the individual's aptitude, achievement, or the skills that the exam purports to measure, rather than his or her disability. The document discusses who is entitled to testing accommodations, what types of accommodations must be provided, and what documentation may be required of the person requesting testing accommodations.

Arkansas Next - Find out more about how you can make life after high school more exciting for you. This is a publication distributed to schools, but you can find the information right here at this site! Learn more about apprenticeships, colleges in Arkansas, dorm life, and the hottest jobs in Arkansas! You can also read stories from actual students in Arkansas and how they are making the right decisions for the life they want to have after high school! 

Arkansas Career Fields, Clusters and Pathways Chart

Arkansas Career Clusters Descriptions 

Arkansas Apprenticeship - Visit this website to view a list of Arkansas' apprenticeship schools and find out how to become an apprentice.

Arkansas Disability Resource Professionals Contact List - a list of Arkansas colleges' disability support services contacts.

Arkansas Future Grant  - Arkansas Future (ArFuture) is the newest state grant program. The purpose of this grant is to increase the education and skills of Arkansas's workforce in an affordable manner. The grant applies to students enrolled in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) or regional high demand areas of study. The grant will cover tuition and fees for qualifying certificate and Associate degree programs at Arkansas's public institutions for eligible students. The grant is available on a first come, first served basis.

Collecting Post-School Outcomes Data

An important part of improving outcomes for students with disabilities is collecting information after they have left high school to see  what services have been used and how programs in high school may have helped them be successful. If you have a student who has recently left high school or will soon, please read more on Post School Outcomes Data Collection. We need your participation when it’s time to collect the data

General Transition Information

Other Important Information

Take a look at these additional tools that can help you help your child in preparing for life after high school.

NICHCY has been a valuable resource for many years, providing to parents, teachers, and students. The National Dissemination Center is a part of OSEP’s TA&D network, but it will no longer have its own website. We have copied and pasted into pdf formats the links to helpful information below. We encourage you to explore their site and copy and paste any important information you want to save to your files.

NICHCY is going away, but its resources are not. Find hundreds of legacy NICHCY publications, as well as our training curriculum on IDEA 2004, in the Center for Parent Information and Resource’s Library.

REAL LIFE ARKANSAS - Do your students need help determining how much money they will need to earn in the future? Do they need help deciding which occupation to choose? No problem! This site has see three options to help them select the right career for their spending needs.

Transition Checklist Brochure

Categories of Disability under IDEA

Questions Often Asked by Parents About Special Education 

Evaluating Children for Disability

Deciding Placement Issues

All about the IEP

Developing Your Child’s IEP

Helping Students Develop their IEP

Transition Training Resources: Test Prep Review - Your source for FREE online practice tests.

Disability Info - This is a comprehensive website for all disability-related federal resources.

Twelve Things You Can Do to Plan for Your Child's Future Today

Transition From School to Adult Life Three Part Planning Sheet