Contact the ADRC Wolf River Region
Contact the ADRC Wolf River Region


Your Free Community Connection to Essential Supports & Services

Toll-free: 1-855-492-ADRC (2372)

Serving Shawano, Oconto and Menominee Counties and the Stockbridge-Munsee Community

Youth Transitioning

Youth Transition – What’s Next

Completing high school is a very important time for all students. This is especially true for students with disabilities as they transition into adult life. What options and supports are available after high school? How do students plan for employment, independent living, and postsecondary education? These important questions are part of the transition planning process.


Transition is a time when high school ends and adult life begins. If you already have an idea of what you would like to do, great! Now is your time to explore those ideas and learn how to accomplish your goals. If you aren’t sure what you want to do, transition planning may help you with the decision-making process. Beginning to plan early may be helpful and make the process go more smoothly.


The Aging & Disability Resource Center (ADRC) offers a single entry point for information and assistance for young adults with disabilities regardless of income. As early as a student turns 17.5 years old, families can contact the ADRC to request an options counseling meeting. Topics that may be discussed include:


  • Transition process from Children to Adult Services
  • Disability benefits such as SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and Medicaid
  • Employment options
  • Post-secondary education options
  • Advanced decision making options (Supported Decision-Making, Powers of Attorney, Guardianship)
  • Eligibility determination for publicly funded long term care programs (Family Care, Family Care Partnership, IRIS)


Eligibility Criteria

  • The earliest a person can be referred to the Aging and Disability Resource Center for Options Counseling and/or to be screened for adult Long-Term Care services is at age 17 ½. Referrals are usually made by High Schools, Children’s Services Case Managers, parents, or directly from the person requesting services.
  • The person needs to be a resident of Menominee, Shawano or Oconto County.
  • The person needs to have a documented physical and/or developmental disability. Examples of developmental disabilities may include: Intellectual Disability (this does not include learning disabilities, ADHD, or mental illnesses), Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy, Autism, Brain Injury, Prader-Willi Syndrome or Other neurological conditions “closely related to an Intellectual Disability or requiring treatment similar to that required for people with Intellectual Disabilities”.
  • The person’s disability needs to have a substantial negative impact on their level of functioning. This is determined by an assessment called the Long-Term Care Functional Screen.
  • In addition to having enough care needs to qualify for services, a person also needs to be financially eligible for Medicaid to be able to enroll into a Long-Term Care program.


Contact the ADRC for more information on transition services by calling us toll free at 1-855-492-2372.




Helpful Information & Links to Transition Services

There is a lot to consider for students with disabilities who are transitioning from school to adult living. The ADRC of the Wolf River Region serves as a fundamental resource center in planning for the future as our staff provides information on an individual’s choices and rights in preparation for adult programs. We offer assistance and advocacy and will help you determine eligibility for long-term care options and sort through the many details of things like health care, benefits, finances and mental health services.


Get more information on youth transition services with these helpful links:


ABC for Health Inc.
Nonprofit public interest law firm dedicated to ensuring health care access for children with special needs.


Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRC) of Wisconsin
Provides information, supports and connection to services for adults with disabilities.


Client Assistance Program (CAP)
Information and assistance to individuals who have a dispute with DVR.


College Resources for Students with Visual Impairments

Resources, tools and technology for students with visual impairments.


Cooperative Educational Service Agency (CESA-8)
Transition Services office location in Green Bay, Wisconsin.


Disability Rights Wisconsin (DRW)
Provides protection and advocacy for people with disabilities in Wisconsin.


Department of Public Instruction Wisconsin: Special Education Team (DPI)
Information on public education for youth with disabilities.


Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Wisconsin (DVR)
State employment training program for individuals with disabilities.


Family Support Program
Provides information about services and resources, funding and linkage with other families.


Family Voices of Wisconsin
Grass roots training, information and advocacy network of families with focus on policy and budget.


Great Lakes Inter Tribal Council – Children / Youth Special Health Care Needs

A program which assists in providing information, professional support, referral and advocacy to Native American families of children with special needs.


Healthy & Ready to Work
Provides information and connections on health and transition issues nationwide. It also includes provider preparation plus tools and resources needed to make more informed choices.


Independent Living Centers of Wisconsin (ILCs)
Consumer driven services to promote full participation in society of persons with disabilities. Services include: health benefits counseling, assistive technology, peer support and advocacy.


Nonprofit agency providing legal representation to low-income individuals.


Medicaid (Medical Assistance, M.A., Title 19, Badger Care Plus, Katie Backett, SSI, MAPP, Health Check) Recipient Hotline
Information about eligibility, rights, covered benefits, providers, problems with bills, etc. for those with Medicaid.


NAMI Fox Valley (National Alliance on Mental Illness)
Local affiliate of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) with a mission to support and empower those affected by mental illness and the vision to live in a stigma-free community, and society, that supports and promotes mental health and recovery.


NAMI Wisconsin (National Alliance on Mental Illness)
Provides crucial information to persons affected by mental illness.


National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET)
Coordinates national resources, offers technical assistance and disseminates information related to secondary education and transition for youth with disabilities.


National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth
Assists state and local workforce development systems to better serve all youth, including youth with disabilities and other vulnerable youth.


Northeast Regional Center for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs
Information and links to get your questions answered about your child’s special health care needs.


Options for Independent Living
Independent Living Center serves 17 counties in Northeast Wisconsin. Model home is a showcase of assistive technology, loan closet, resource assistance, advocacy for individuals of all disabilities and ages.


Opening Doors to Self Determination Skills
Booklet Series: One in a series of booklets published by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.
Setting and achieving goals helps students grow. Knowing their strengths and addressing their weaknesses is important as students prepare for life after high school. As students move through school and toward adulthood, they go through a process of considering who they are and who they wish to become. Students can work with counselors, parents and teachers as they work with this resource.


Opening Doors to Adult Services
Booklet Series: One in a series of booklets published by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.
This booklet acts as a guide to adult services to assist youth and their families to navigate through this planning process.


Opening Doors to Employment
Booklet Series: One in a series of booklets published by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.
Created to provide input and direction to students as they set and work toward their employment goals. It offers career exploration strategies, job preparation advice and job search strategies.


Opening Doors to Postsecondary Education and Training
Booklet Series: One in a series of booklets published by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.
Leads the reader through a process of planning for life after high school that includes making decisions, planning and taking action. Helps the student to consider his or her strengths and weakness, plan a high school experience that will achieve specific goals, explore possibilities for work and a career and identify the next steps for life after high school.


Parent to Parent of Wisconsin
Provides one-to-one connection with another parent who has a similar experience and who knows firsthand about the feelings and realities that come with having a child with special needs.


Respite Care Association of Wisconsin
Helps promote, support and expand quality respite care resources across the lifespan for families.


Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Financial benefits (Including SSI, SSDI) for youth meeting income asset eligibility criteria.


A volunteer network of assistive technology (AT) consultants providing training within Wisconsin educational settings.


Wisconsin Board for People With Developmental / Intellectual Disabilities
The board was established to advocate on behalf of individuals with developmental/intellectual disabilities, foster welcoming and inclusive communities, and improve the disability service system.


Wisconsin’s Collaborative System of Care
Resource for anyone involved with assisting adolescents with emotional or behavioral difficulties with their transition to adulthood.


Wisconsin Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired
Providing services, advocating legislation and educating the general public.


Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Transition Information

Helping students with disabilities and their families think about their life after high school and identify long-range goals.


Wisconsin Family Ties
A network of Family Advocates who provide support groups, peer-mentoring, training, advocacy, information and referral for families that include children and youth with mental, emotional, behavioral or substance abuse disorders.


Wisconsin First Step
24-hour information and referral service to assist Wisconsin families who have children with special needs.


Wisconsin Guardianship Support Center
Provides information and assistance on issues related to guardianship, protective placement, advance directives, and more.


Wisconsin Statewide Parent Educator Initiative (WSPEI)
Parent liaisons that work with families, educators and school districts through the CESAs to promote positive partnership and free consultation to families of children with special educational needs.


Wisconsin Statewide Transition Initiative (WSTI)

WSTI combined with Wisconsin Post High School Outcomes Survey (WPHSOS) to create a new discretionary grant: The Transition Improvement Grant (TIG).


Wisconsin Youth First
Unique website developed by youth, for youth. Wisconsin friends can keep in touch about school, work and leadership activities.


Provides information on selecting, funding, installing and using assistive technology.


Youthhood is a student-friendly site, which provides interesting and educational links regarding school, employment, health, independent living and other issues facing youth as they transition toward adulthood.

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