Role of the Transition Specialist
Transition Specialists (TS) perform established functions and duties prescribed for the general DHS Division of Rehabilitation Services rehabilitation counselor. TSs serve high school students with disabilities in the Secondary Transitional Experience Program (STEP), or individual students needing services concurrent with their education or immediately upon exit from school. The Secondary Transitional Experience Program (STEP) is an evaluation, training, and employment program that prepares students with disabilities for transition to employment and community participation during and after high school. STEP is a program led by the Department of Human Services’ Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS). DRS works in partnership with people with disabilities, schools, families, adult agencies, and employers to assist individuals with disabilities with reaching their career goals.
The goal of the STEP program is to help students become productive, self-sufficient adults through a variety of work and classroom experiences. STEP services may include, job training and placement, opportunities for career exploration, and information and linkages to support services available in the community. High school students with a disability, who desire to gain work experience, may be eligible to participate in STEP. Interested students should contact their schools or the Transition Specialist for more information.
Specific TS Duties:
1. Oversee the STEP program and manage the STEP caseload
2. Meet with each student on the STEP caseload at least twice per year
3. Receive all student referrals for STEP and Transition Services
4. Assess student and open cases on behalf of DRS for those who are eligible for DRS services
5. Attending IEP’s in order to make students aware of the services available to them
6. Before student graduates, the case will either be put into plan status or closed to DRS. Will work with the student, teachers, parents, etc. to determine what option best fits the need of the student
7. Assist students/families with accessing community services before/after graduation from high school. Upon graduation or exit from high school, the case is typically transferred to the appropriate DRS office for continued support.
8. Assist schools with work placements, accessing community resources, assessing student needs, mock interviews, resume reviews and other “as requested” services when possible.
Contact Your TS
Emily Kull, Transition Specialist
Ryan Deason, Transition Specialist
Marie Yoder, Transition Specialist Assistant