Disability Resources



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California Department of Education - Secondary Transition Planning

Resources and guidelines to assist youth with disabilities as they transition from school to adult life, including education and training, employment, and independent living.


Resources and guidelines for educators, parents, and agencies that will assist transition-age youth identify and move toward their postsecondary goals in the area of employment.

Education and Training

Resources and guidelines that will assist transition-age youth identify and move toward their postsecondary goals in education and/or training.

Independent Living

Resources and guidelines that will assist transition age youth identify and move toward their postsecondary goals in independent living.


Resources and guidelines that will assist transition-age youth develop transition plans that comply with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Guideposts for Success

A document developed by the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) that identifies key educational and career development interventions.

Employment First Policy

Resources and guidelines that will assist transition age youth develop postsecondary goals that lead to competitive, integrated employment (CIE).


NCCSE (North Coast Consortium for Special Education

NCCSE is a Special Education Local Planning Area (SELPA) that is composed of 14 school districts in the North County. NCCSE provides and supports districts with:

  • Staff Development activities and parent education

  • Program Specialist services

  • Help when responding to needs of parents and special education students

  • Unification of common needs

  • Helping to identify unique needs within local school districts

  • Legal and technical assistance

  • Awareness and dissemination of current best practices

  • Creating forums for problem solving

The NCCSE Community Advisory Committee (CAC)

The Community Advisory Committee (CAC) is made up of parents, educators, and community members who are involved in special education. The CAC of the North Coastal Consortium for Special Education (NCCSE) provides meetings and special events throughout the year and advises the superintendents of the 14 school districts about special education services. Each meeting includes information on a disability-related topic, an update on legislation that affects special education, and announcements of local events and workshops.

CAC Meetings Are Open to the Public:

Anyone with an interest in special education is encouraged to attend, particularly students who qualify for special education services, a parent or family member of a student, and district teachers or staff.

Why Is It Worth Your Time to Attend CAC Meetings?

Parents who have attended Community Advisory Committee meetings report that they have found opportunities to:

  • Connect with other parents and with school district teachers and administrators,

  • Learn about resources for their child and family,

  • Participate in shaping the activities of the committee, including conversations with school district staff and administrators, an annual parent conference, an awards ceremony, and

  • Develop and expand their leadership skills.



Unifying stakeholders to best support the post-secondary transition of young adults with disabilities.


Through partnership and collaboration, providing outstanding post-secondary outcomes in the areas of education, employment and community integration for young adults with disabilities.

The Transition Services Taskforce is a collaboration between 5 WorkAbility I programs (San Marcos, Vista, Carlsbad, San Dieguito, and Oceanside) the North Coastal Consortium for Special Education, and 30 local agencies and programs that support transitioning students with disabilities. We have four committees: Competitive Integrated Employment, Transportation, School District Collaboration, and the Business Partner Collaborative. The Taskforce meets quarterly; parents and students are welcome to attend and participate!

This resource is a great starting point when researching post-secondary support programs. Parents and students are invited to explore the various resources including the Program and Information sheets provided by our Agencies and Partners to learn more about the various north county programs and agencies that provide services to our transitioning students.

Please note that many of the agencies that support young adults with moderate to severe disabilities require that the person is a San Diego Regional Center client. Please pay close attention to the Eligibility Requirements.

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Department of Rehabilitation

The California Department of Rehabilitation works in partnership with consumers and other stakeholders to provide services and advocacy resulting in employment, independent living, and equality for individuals with disabilities.

Department of Rehabilitation Student Services

In partnership with students, families, schools, and other stakeholders, DOR provides services and advocacy resulting in employment, independent living, and equality for individuals with disabilities. DOR Student Services are available on a statewide basis to all students with disabilities, 504 plans, and IEPs (Individualized Education Programs).

DOR Student Services consist of pre-employment transition services, provided in accordance with the needs and interests of the student, that fall within the following five categories:

  •  Job exploration counseling
  • Work-based learning experiences

  • Postsecondary counseling

  • Work readiness training

  • Self-advocacy training

Students can participate if they:

  •  Are 16 through 21 years old
  • Are enrolled in a recognized education program (including home school

  • and alternative high school programs)

  • Have an IEP, a 504 Plan, or a disability

For further information contact the WorkAbility office at your high school or call the local DOR office directly and ask for Student Services:

(760) 510-4705 (Voice)
(844) 729-2800 (TTY)
570 Rancheros Drive, Suite 170
San Marcos, CA 92069-2962

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San Diego Regional Center

San Diego Regional Center provides a variety of services to persons with developmental disabilities and their families that are based on individual needs and supports their independence.

 Eligibility criteria:

  • Intellectual Disability – When a person has certain limitations in mental function and adaptive skills. The limitations will cause a child to learn and develop more slowly than a typical child.
  • Cerebral Palsy – (also known as CP) is a disorder that affects body movement and muscle coordination. It can be caused either when the brain does not develop properly during pregnancy or if there is damage to the brain before, during, or after birth.
  • Epilepsy – is a neurological disorder that is characterized by recurrent seizures. Seizures may involve partial or complete loss of consciousness, uncontrolled body movements, excessive sleepiness, and loss of memory.
  • Autism – is a disorder that affects an individual’s ability to communicate, understand language, play, and relate to others. A diagnosis of autistic disorder is made when an individual displays 6 or more of 12 symptoms across three major areas (a) social interaction, (b) communication, and (c) behavior according to the DSM IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders).

Other conditions similar to intellectual disability:

  • Originated prior to age 18 years
  • Likely to continue indefinitely
  • Constitutes a substantial disability in 3 or more of the following areas:
  • Communication
  • Economic Self-Sufficiency
  • Learning
  • Self Care
  • Self-Direction
  • Mobility
  • Capacity for Independent Living




2011 RED BOOK The Red Book - A guide to employment supports for persons with disabilities under the SSI Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income programs.

SSI/SSDI - Disability Help Center: the Disability Help Center assists people seeking to receive Social Security Disability, SSI, and Veteran's Disability Benefits. Their services are free.

 Ticket to Work Logo

 The Ticket to Work Program

If you are age 18 through 64 and receive Social Security Disability benefits you can take advantage of Work Incentives that make it easier to work and still receive health care and cash benefits from Social Security, and protections if you have to stop working due to your disability. Social Security’s Ticket to Work program supports career development for Social Security disability beneficiaries age 18 through 64 who want to work. The Ticket program is free and voluntary. The program helps people with disabilities progress toward financial independence. Ticket to Work connects you with free employment services to help you decide if working is right for you, prepare for work, find a job or maintain success while you are working. If you choose to participate, you will receive services such as career counseling, vocational rehabilitation, and job placement and training from authorized Ticket to Work service providers, such as Employment Networks (EN) or your state Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agency. The service provider you choose will serve as an important part of your “employment team” that will help you on your journey to financial independence.


Making College Affordable - A complete guide to college financing for students with disabilities, including advice on loans, grants and scholarships specifically for students with disabilities, as well as resources to help with the job search after graduation.

College Test accommodations: If you have taken the necessary general education classes to apply to a four-year university directly from high school, you will be taking the PSAT, SAT and/or ACT during your junior year. You may qualify to receive accommodations similar to those written into your I.E.P.

Apply directly to the test-taking companies. You will need a copy of your I.E.P.

ACT Accommodations 

Think College - a website dedicated to informing individuals with intellectual disabilities regarding college options. This website includes sections on technical assistance, training, and resources.

Scholarships - a website that helps you find colleges accessible to students with disabilities, scholarships and financial aid.



National Institute of Mental Health
Future Horizons -
books, videos, and conferences


California Children's Services (CCS) - The CCS program provides diagnostic and treatment services, medical case management, and physical and occupational therapy services to children under age 21 with eligible medical conditions.  CCS also provides medical therapy services that are delivered at public schools. Approximately 70 percent of CCS-eligible children are also Medi-Cal eligible. The Medi-Cal program reimburses their care. The cost of care for the other 30 percent of children is split equally between CCS Only and CCS Healthy Families.


Diagnostics Center - Southern California - This Diagnostic Center is one of three regional assessment centers operated by the State Special Schools and Services division of the California Department of Education. The Centers provide assessment, training, and technical assistance to all Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) in California.


Disability Benefits- DB101 brings together rules for health coverage, benefit, and employment programs that people with disabilities use. These programs may be run by state, federal government, non-profit, or private organizations. Here they are discussed under one roof and in plain language.


Disability Disclosure The 411 on Disability Disclosure - This workbook helps you think about disclosing a disability. It does not tell you what to do, but it does help you make informed decisions about disclosing your disability and how that will affect your educational, employment, and social lives. Making the personal decision to disclose your disability can lead to greater confidence in yourself and your choices. Disclosure is a very personal decision that takes thought and practice. Both young people with visible disabilities and those with hidden (not readily apparent) disabilities can benefit from using this workbook. 


PACER Center PACER provides a number of resources to help you prepare to move into a place of your own.


LD Pride - Information and explanations regarding learning disabilities, fun tests and evaluations, links and a message board.


  • National Alliance on Mentally Illness - NAMI California is a grassroots organization of families and individuals whose lives have been affected by serious mental illness who provide leadership in advocacy, legislation, policy development, education, and support throughout California.


NINDS (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) - search for information on numerous dosrders including ADHD, Autism, Learning Disabilities etc., with information regarding the disorder, treatment, prognosis, research, trials, organizations and resources.


San Diego Family Magazine's Flourishing Families - 
each year San Diego Family Magazine publishes a special needs resource guide for families and agencies in San Diego County, Flourishing Families. It is a comprehensive list of behavior, education and health resources located here in San Diego County and beyond.

Special Needs Resource Foundation of San Diego - resources for families with special needs


Self-Advocacy Online - find self-advocacy groups, view stories from self-advocates, learn about self-advocacy and research self-advocacy.

NCWD - National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability - NCWD/Youth is your source for information about employment and youth with disabilities.  NCWD/Youth works to ensure that transition-age youth are provided full access to high-quality services to gain education, employment, and independent living.

Resources include:

Transition Truths - an online tool that describes systems that may affect youth with and without disabilities as they transition from youth to adulthood. Students can learn about their rights within these systems, plan for their transition, and identify areas where change is needed within their communities.

By Youth, for Youth: Employment - this guide (written by and for youth who want to know more about finding and keeping the right job) discusses subjects, such as what makes a job right for each young person, job search and resume development, and how to interview for a job. The publication also addresses disability disclosure in the workplace and how to request accommodations, if needed. Additional information includes employment supports and services, including vocational rehabilitation and transportation.


PACERS National Parent Center on Transition and Employment
A wealth of information on transition for youth with disabilities in a format that's useful to families, youth and professionals.  Video topics include employment, post-secondary education, and independent living.  The Learning Center includes transition planning, benefit programs and support, health, and transition, post-secondary education, independent and community living, assistive technology, employment and laws and rights and the Resource Library includes books, trainings and handouts. 

The Journey To Life After High School: A Road Map for Parents of Children with Special Needs

This comprehensive guide from Ability Path examines the law as it impacts a child with special needs, the importance of the I.E.P., and the different paths a student may take after graduating from high school. This publication examines the steps that need to be taken prior to and subsequent to graduation.

Youth Transition Tool Kit: A Guide for Youth with Disabilities Transitioning to Adulthood
This toolkit includes information on education, employment, independent living, health care, finances, and social/recreation. Each section contains information for the young person, tips for parents, and resources. Most sections also contain youth worksheets. Youth may create their own notebooks by printing the sections of the tool kit that are relevant to their needs and interests.