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13th Annual Illinois Statewide Transition Conference:
October 23-24, 2017

2017 Conference Details |Keynote Speakers | Conference Sessions & Materials | Continuing Education | Home Page

2017 Conference Details

The 2017 conference agenda is jam packed with informative sessions about best practices in transition planning, services, and outcomes. Conference participants will be able to attend a diverse variety of conference sessions on Monday, October 23rd. Monday will also include the Illinois Assistive Technology Program's Statewide disAbility Expo 2017 which will be open both days of the conference. The list of exhibitors can be found in the Conference Program Book.

Both days will also feature the Family Oasis Resource Room in the V.I.P. Room. Conference attendees can drop by the Family Oasis Room anytime to relax and meet and talk with colleagues and family members who have already experienced transition.

On Tuesday, October 24th, the conference will offer a diverse variety of break-out sessions and include the Illinois Assistive Technology Program Expo. The afternoon will again include a variety of break-out sessions on various topics. Tuesday, the final day of the conference, will offer concurrent plenary sessions for each conference track.

This year, in an effort to enhance your conference experience by having digital access to conference and session information while also being environmentally friendly, we will be incorporating a mobile app for your personal devices (iPhone, Android, iPad, Laptop) to help eliminate some of the paper and handouts. You can find the mobile app for your personal devices in the Apple and iTunes app store by searching for "Crowd Compass Attendee Hub". Once you have downloaded the app you will need to search for the Illinois Statewide Transition Conference.

Detailed information on conference sessions is also available on the Illinois Transition Conference online registration website.

Monday Keynote Speaker: Holly and Eileen Forlenza

This powerful keynote presentation features Holly Forlenza and her mom Eileen who will challenge attendees to Step into Your Greatness - A Family's Journey of Empowerment. In 2012, Holly published a book titled "Just Because I Can't Talk, Doesn't Mean I Don't Have Anything to Say!". Inspired by each other, Holly and Eileen have encouraged audiences across the country to see the world through the lens of possibility. A nationally recognized speaker, leader and author, Eileen has been a public speaker for over twenty years but Holly's recent ability to communicate via facilitated communication has changed the story! This powerful message provides critical lessons about goal setting, partnerships, communication and engagement.

Following this presentation, attendees will have increased their knowledge about:

  • Recognize why integrated, inclusive and supportive communities support a successful transition
  • Explain the three distinct levels of youth and family leadership
  • Describe the unexpected potential of dignified risk taking
  • Illustrate embracing a non-traditional micro-business to support successful transition

Tuesday Keynote Speaker: Matthew Cohen

Mr. Cohen will share his insights on Transition Planning - Lessons My Son Taught Me. In this presentation he will address how to determine priorities for the student, engage them, their family and the team in the process and to move the system beyond business as usual to meeting each person's real life needs. He will discuss:

  • Express ways to determine transition priorities
  • Discuss moving the system beyond business as usual to meeting each person's real life needs
  • Discuss setting realistic expectations/goals with the YSHCN/planning team

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Conference Sessions and Materials/Handouts

A one page overview of the Conference Agenda, including daily schedules, is now available. This file is available in PDF format - you will need the Adobe Reader to view, complete and print the document. The Reader is available free from the Adobe web site. If you need documents in another format please contact Tara Dunning at at or 217-744-7777.

Detailed information on conference sessions and the accompanying session materials are provided here and organized based on the date and time of the conference session. Materials will be added as received by the presenters so check back if the materials you want have not yet been posted. Remember to print and bring your session handouts with you to the conference.

Monday, October 23

8:30 AM to 10:00 AM: Keynote Address by Holly & Eileen Forlenza: Step Into Your Greatness - A Family's Journey of Empowerment

10:30 AM to 11:45 AM:

Aqua 1: Digital Leadership in Transition Programs - A Risk Worth Taking

Aqua 2: What are my Housing Options When I Leave School?

Aqua 3: Blue Prints - Laying the Foundation for the Yellow Brick Road

Aqua 4: Living Independently with Chronic Health Conditions

Aqua 5: Discovering Where Disability Meets Opportunity

Aqua 6: College Connections - Students with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Aqua 7: SSI, SSDI, HFS - Understanding the Alphabet Soup of Government Benefits

Aqua 8: Promoting IEP Participation and Self-Determination for Students with ASD and ID

Aqua 9: Assessing Independent Living Skills

Aqua 10: Part 1 Beyond Compliance - Transition Rich, Evidence Based Transition Planning (Addendum: Handouts)

12:00 PM to 1:15 PM: Lunch and Awards Presentation

1:30 PM to 2:45 PM:

Brown 1: Working? What Transition Aged Youth Need to Know

Brown 2: Alternatives to Guardianship as well as Types of Guardianships

Brown 3: Soft Skills for College and Employment

Brown 4: Mobile Technology and Apps to Support Independence in Employment Settings

Brown 5: Funding for Assistive Technology

Brown 6: Set your PACE - Student Self-Determination in the Real World

Brown 7: Government Benefits - Advanced

Brown 8: Transition Resources - How Programs at the Arc of Illinois Can Help (English) (Spanish)

Brown 9: My Life, My Choice

Brown 10: Part 2 Beyond Compliance - Transition Rich, Evidence Based Transition Planning (Addendum: Handouts)


3:15 PM to 4:30 PM

Coral 1: Self-Empowerment - Enhancing Independence

Coral 2: ABLE Accounts, a New "Tool" in Special Needs Planning

Coral 3: A Guide to Evaluating Student Assistive Technology and Employment Readiness Skills

Coral 4: Building Skills to Reach Transition Milestones

Coral 5: Using Podcasting and New Media to Educate Students

Coral 6: Why Can't You Understand Me - Living with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Coral 7: The PAT Academy - Our Journey to an 18-21 year old Transition Program

Coral 8: Immigrant Updates You Need for Transition Planning

Coral 9: Should Sex Education be Part of the Transition Plan?

Coral 10: Let's Focus on the Whole Person - Where are They Now? Where are They Going?

Coral 11: "Appropriately Ambitious" Transition Planning

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Tuesday, October 24

8:30 AM to 9:45 AM

Denim 1: Getting Ready for Employment - WIOA Pre-Employment Services & the IEP Transition Team

Denim 2: Know Your Options - How we Live in the Community

Denim 3: Putting It All Together - New Horizons for IPS Supported Employment

Denim 4: Medical Transition - A Family Perspective

Denim 5: Creating Social, Professional & Community Partnerships with Neighboring Transition Programs

Denim 6: Expect the ExtraOrdinary - Breaking Down Barriers of Discrimination

Denim 7: Supporting Youth Transition through Transportation & Mobility Connections

Denim 8: Developing a Comprehensive Continuum of Tiered Experiences for Transition-Age Students

Denim 9: Positive Character Traits Count

Denim 10: Promoting Self-Determination in Education Planning for Youth with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities

10:00 AM to 11:05 AM: Keynote Address by Matt Cohen: Transition Planning - Lessons My Son Taught Me

11:30 AM to 12:45 PM Plenary Sessions

Plenary 1: READY Highlights and Best Practices for your Classroom

Plenary 2: Transition Success Stories

Plenary 3: Functional Transition Assessments 101

Plenary 4: The 6 Core Elements of Health Care Transition and Why It Should Matter to Young Adults


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Continuing Education Units

Refer to additional information and requirements for the particular continuing education credit in the Conference Program book and at the continuing education informational site at the conference.

  • Educators' Continuing Education Units (CEU), Continuing Professional Development Units (CPDU) will be available upon request.

  • Social Worker continuing education (CE) and Physical Therapy continuing education (CE) credit will also be available upon request.

  • Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for Certified Rehabilitation Counselors (CRC) will be available upon request.

  • This activity has been submitted to Illinois Nurses Association Approver Unit for approval to award contact hours. Illinois Nurses Association is accredited as an approver of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. Upon receipt of approval, program participants will be awarded contact hours for participation in the health track workshop sessions, health plenary 2 and keynote presentations. Health track participants will explain ways to collaborate with health care providers and community partners to improve quality of health care transition; describe ways to prepare youth with special health care needs to transition to the adult health care system; and demonstrate how to include health goals in IEPs and transition plans.

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Conference Steering Committee

Family Matters Parent Training and Information Center

Family Resource Center on Disability

IL Alliance of Administrators of Special Education

IL Assistive Technology Program

IL Dept. of Human Services - Division of Rehabilitation Services

IL State Board of Education

PACE Center for Independent Living

Southern Illinois Case Coordination

Springfield Center for Independent Living (SCIL)

Springfield Public Schools District #186

Statewide Independent Living Council of IL

UIC Division of Specialized Care for Children

UIC Department of Special Education

Work Incentives Planning & Assistance Program/ Illinois Assistive Technology Program (IATP)

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Transition Logo - Planning for the Future

Annual Illinois Statewide Transition Conference
October 23-24, 2017
Bank of Springfield (BOS) Center
Springfield, Illinois 62701


For more information
contact the conference organizers
via email at


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