Skip to content

Begin Planning for the Future

Many children with developmental disabilities and their families have questions about what kinds of supports are available when school ends and life as an adult begins. We strongly recommend that transition planning for students begin at age 14.

Parent Guidelines- Planning for Your Child’s Transition to Adult Services
Transition Process: Ages 14-21
Save all information regarding your child’s diagnosis including physical exams, social histories/psychosocial and psychological evaluations and other related service evaluations. If your family member currently lives in a children’s residential program (CRP}, at age 14 you must contact the Developmental Disabilities Regional Office (DORO) and place your family member’s name on the aging out roster. This will allow them to be considered for adult residential placement.

Contact our Central Enrollment Department at (516) 644-4800 to:

  • Assist you with registering your child, determining eligibility, and scheduling time to attend a Front Door Access to Services Information Session for Individuals and Families.
  • Explore supports and services that will help you family member live the life they want to live (i.e., Self-Directed Services, Community Habilitation, day options, living options, etc.).
  • Obtain Social Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid.
  • Obtain a Medicaid Service Coordinator (MSC) of your family member’s choice.

People with Developmental Disabilities’ (OPWDD) Guide for Transitioning: Transition from Local Schools:
OPWDD’s Transition Coordinators can help students at local schools plan for OPWDD supports they may need as adults. Our Central Enrollment Department can assist and link you to your local Transition Coordinator. Just call (516) 644-4800.

Transition from Residential Schools:
Students at residential schools are entitled to remain at school until they complete their educational requirements or until the end of a school year in which they turn 21. Once students complete their schooling, OPWDD is responsible for their adult services, and students can only remain at school until OPWDD offers appropriate adult services. OPWDD is committed to helping students at residential schools transition to adult life by ensuring needed supports are in place when students age out of school. Age Out Coordinators can help students and families learn about residential support options, as well as employment and other day supports. Our Central Enrollment Department can assist and link you to your local Aging Out Coordinator. Just call (516) 644-4800.

Consent Form for Transition Planning:
Student records, such as student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) and reports from assessments can help with OPWDD eligibility determination and planning for adult services, In order for schools to share information about a student, OPWDD must have a signed consent form from the student’s parent or guardian on file. Our Central Enrollment Department can assist you in obtaining the needed consent form and getting it over to OPWDD. Just call (516) 644-4800.

There are many supports and services available for young adults with developmental disabilities. However, unlike public education, students and families must apply for these supports. There are people to help you learn about what options are available and how to apply for services. A strong Planning Team can assist in the transltion process. A planning team is a group of people which can include family members, friends, community members and support staff who have been freely chosen by you and who have come together to assist you to visualize, express and accomplish your dreams. With your interests and goals in mind, a COS can assist you to make choices/decisions that enable you to take charge of your life.

Tips for Students:

  • Ask questions
  • Talk to your teachers
  • Talk to your parents
  • Talk to a job developer at school
  • Talk to fellow students
  • Form a Planning Team to assist you with this process

Tips for Parents/Families/Guardians:

  • Start early; it is never too early to investigate the possibilities.
  • Ask questions; find out what options exist in your community and how to apply for them. Learn about the eligibility process for obtaining supports; find out what documentation needs to be pulled together so that supports are ready when you need them.


  1. All 18-year-olds can and should register to vote.
  2. All 18-year-old males must register for selective service, even if disabled (see information from the Selective Service website).
  3. Rights change as you progress from child to adult. Know your rights and/or teach your family member about their rights and how to protect their rights.

Our Partners