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College, Career, and Community Readiness for Students with IEPs

Resources to support students at all age and developmental levels to be independent and college, career, and community ready.

Transitioning to Post Secondary

Transition Improvement Grant (TIG)
The Transition Improvement Grant (TIG) provides statewide technical assistance and effective, targeted, no or low cost professional development to Wisconsin LEAs and teachers in the area of postsecondary transition planning.

Competitive Integrated Employment
In 2017, Wisconsin Act 178 required the Department of Workforce Development's Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), the Department of Health Services (DHS), and the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to collaborate, with the input of stakeholders, in the development of a joint plan to increase CIE in Wisconsin. The CIE Joint Plan establishes DVR, DHS, and DPI performance improvement targets, describing the specific coordination methods that will ensure programs, policies, and procedures statewide support CIE outcomes for youth and adults with disabilities in Wisconsin. The first annual Joint CIE Report can also be found on this page.

Project SEARCH Wisconsin
Project SEARCH helps prepare young people with significant disabilities for success in competitive integrated employment. Information on Project SEARCH can also be found from the national Project SEARCH web page.

Think College Wisconsin
Efforts are unfolding across the country to increase and expand upon postsecondary education options for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In Wisconsin, the demand for college is growing and pockets of people across the state are discussing how to develop programs in their own communities. This website serves as a tool to inform, connect, and support people involved in these efforts. More information is available at the national Think College web page.

WI DPI Special Education Transition Planning Web Page
Information on federal data collection requirements for post-secondary transition as well as additional guidance and resources from WI DPI.

Family and Community Supports

Parents in Partnership
Parents in Partnership (PIP) is a statewide program in which a group of parents and other caregivers meet together during the year to share their family stories, challenges, joys and triumphs of raising their children. At PIP participants will learn about the community and statewide resources for children with disabilities; explore issues around health, education, transition, policy making, legislation, inclusion, self-determination, family well-being, and IDEA Special Education Law.

Developmental Disability Programs and Information from Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS)
Wisconsin has many programs designed to improve the lives of children and adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. This page is designed to help those with developmental and intellectual disabilities and their caregivers find programs that meet their needs.

IEP Team Decision Making Guidance

Students with the Most Significant Cognitive Disability
To help make certain students with IEPs are held to high expectations and have meaningful access to a State’s academic content standards, each student’s IEP must be aligned with the State’s academic content standards for the grade in which the child is enrolled. Only students identified as having a Most Significant Cognitive Disability using state guidelines for identification are able to participate in alternate state standards.

Supported Decision Making Resources from Disability Rights Wisconsin
Disability Rights Wisconsin is a private non-profit organization that protects the rights of people with disabilities statewide. Supported decision-making is a set of strategies to assist people with disabilities in using their own support system to take control of decisions in their lives.

Bulletin 19.01: Supported Decision Making Agreements
Supported decision-making agreements were established under 2017 Wisconsin Act 345 enacted on April 16, 2018. Supported decision-making agreements permit an adult student, at least 18 years of age, with a functional impairment (defined below) to enter into a written agreement with a supporter(s) of their choosing to help them gather information, understand their options, and communicate their decisions to others.

National Resource Center for Supportive Decision Making
The National Resource Center for Supported Decision-Making (NRC-SDM) partners bring nationally recognized expertise and leadership on SDM, representing the interests of and receiving input from thousands of older adults and people with I/DD. They have applied SDM in groundbreaking legal cases, developed evidence-based outcome measures, successfully advocated for changes in law, policy and practice to increase self-determination and demonstrated SDM to be a valid, less-restrictive alternative to guardianship.

DPI and DHS Joint Guidance for Behavioral Treatment for School Age Youth
In conjunction with the Department of Health Services, the department has developed joint guidance on providing behavioral treatment for school-age children, covering such issues as school absences and treatment in the school setting. This guidance document clarifies the responsibilities under both the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and federal Medicaid law, and highlights important considerations for both school districts and behavioral treatment providers

Checklist to Consider Wisconsin Deaf-Blind Technical Assistance Project (WDBTAP) Supports and Services
This worksheet is provided to assist local education agency staff, individualized education program (IEP) teams, families, medical providers, or others in determining whether to access free services and supports through the Wisconsin Deaf-Blind Technical Assistance Project (WDBTAP). WDBTAP is a federally funded project through the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs. The WDBTAP has been established to provide technical assistance on behalf of children aged birth through 21 who are deaf-blind.

Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA)
User guide and toolkit designed to improve practice in the use of functional behavioral assessments (FBAs), the development of Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), and the implementation of behavior intervention plans (BIPs) to address the needs of students whose behavior interferes with learning.

The Transfer of Rights: An Educator's Role
The legal age of majority in Wisconsin is age 18. For all students, this an exciting time during which they become legal adults. For a student with an IEP, however, there are more specific implications. Decision making options and guardianship, are important topics that a special educator should have knowledge of in order to best support their students during this time. Regardless of a student’s needs, it is important that an educator always consider their responsibility to provide information on decision making options, but families and students make their own decisions about the best ways to support decisions an adult faces on a day to day basis.

Information Update Bulletin 06.02: Legal Requirements Relating to Disciplining Children with Disabilities

Information Update Bulletin 07.01: Addressing the Behavioral Needs of Students with Disabilities

Supported Decision-Making: Because Choices Matter
This resource was developed to provide a variety of perspectives to further emphasize why information about Supported Decision-Making must be provided early on to families and youth receiving special education services through an Individualized Education Program (IEP) prior to youth turning 18 when the transfer of rights occurs.

Preparing Students with IEPs for Life in College

DPI collected 400 video clips of students who attend or graduated from college as well as families, educators, and disability resource center staff at colleges around Wisconsin who shared their ideas, knowledge, and advice on how to support students, families, and educators to assist all students to be college and career ready.

Although these videos were created with the unique needs of students with autism in mind, the content and resources provided may assist with post-secondary preparation for any student with disability-related needs related to areas of communication, social and emotional skills, or independence. The videos were separated into 17 playlists available on the WI DPI Resources to the Field YouTube channel. Please share these videos and incorporate them in presentations, meetings, and discussions to help prepare students with disabilities for life in college.

Links to Playlists:

DPI Resources to Support Neurodiverse Students

This page provides DPI resources that may assist in supporting students with social and emotional disability-related needs regardless of their disability category.

Resources for Health and Safety for Students with Disabilities

This page provides state and national resources that may assist in supporting students with health and safety.