Center on Transistion Innovations

  • Welcome to CTI

    The Center on Transition Innovations offers rich information to support your work in helping youth with disabilities achieve their full potential as they transition into adulthood.

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    It is the vision of the Virginia Department of Education to create a centralized statewide resource regarding the transition of youth with disabilities. The Center on Transition Innovations (CTI) will provide evidence-based resources and information along with emerging practices in the field. A cornerstone of CTI is the research studies and demonstration projects conducted here in the Commonwealth. Let’s continue to build on all of the good work in Virginia to assist youth with disabilities to achieve successful post school outcomes.
  • CTI Program Highlight

    Program provides students with intellectual disabilities an inclusive college experience at VCU

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    Education coach Camille Spencer, a senior environmental studies major, helps ACE-IT participant Sarah Lancaster study and work on astronomy homework.
  • Employment First

    Employment First is not a program or a plan, it is a movement that aligns and supports the philosophy that all people, including persons with complex support needs, are presumed capable of competitive integrated employment.

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    Jessica Stehle speaking for Employment First
  • Advisory Council

    Our Council includes educators, employers, administrators, family members, students and stakeholders from relevant organizations. The members serve in an advisory capacity and play an essential role in planning, service delivery and implementation of the activities of CTI.

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    Advisory Council
  • Spotlight Virginia

    CTI is highlighting innovative initiatives and practices in transition for individuals with disabilities across Virginia. Check out The Sparkle Effect Cheerleading program to learn how one Virginia high school is embracing diversity and becoming more inclusive for students with disabilities.

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    Group of cheerleaders posing together for a photo at a night football game
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Postsecondary Education & Training

For an increasing number of students with disabilities, the next step after graduation may be postsecondary education or training.

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Helping students to reach their career aspirations requires careful, thoughtful, and early planning including career exploration & work experience.

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Independent Living

The acquisition of independent living skills can significantly impact a student’s future and quality of life.


What Makes Us Innovative

We’re not just saying it, we’re doing it. In addition to offering rich information to support your work to improve transition outcomes, we are in the field demonstrating and researching models to better serve youth with disabilities.

  • Start on Success
  • Project SEARCH
  • Customized Employment
  • ACE-IT in College
CTI Projects
Customized Employment
Watch video
Supported Employment

Transition FAQs

  1. Are students obligated to inform colleges or training programs that they have a disability?
    No but it might be helpful to do so if they need accommodations. Read more about postsecondary education.
  2. Do all students need postsecondary goals for independent living?
    It depends. Learn how to make this decision. Read more about independent living.
  3. Can a student work and still collect Social Security benefits?
    Yes. Find out how students can come out ahead by working. Read more about Social Security benefits.
  4. How can we better prepare students to be competitive in today’s economy?
    Include Virginia's Workplace Readiness Skills into a student's course of study. Read more about employment.

Transition Tips for Teachers

Make sure the assessment process is comprehensive and ongoing
Gather transition assessment data throughout the school year in a variety of environments to assist students in developing career interests, functional skills, and work-related behaviors.

Develop and provide work experiences to students while in school
A variety of work experiences emphasizing work-based learning, such as job shadowing, school-based internships, community-based experiences, volunteering, or paid employment, will assist students to build their skill sets, explore interests, and increase their understanding of work expectations.

Teach students about careers and career readiness
Teachers should make sure students have knowledge of the career and technology courses available within their schools.

Use transition assessment data to drive instruction
If a student has identified a particular postsecondary outcome, then instruction and transition services should support the attainment of that outcome.

Spotlight Virginia

Check out the video “Customized Employment” to learn how a partnership between school, DARS, and employment services organization personnel resulted in a job being created for Sean at Barnes and Noble.