Visit Transition to Adulthood for more resources on the transition process.
Once transition services begin, the IEP must document the services the student will need as an adult and identify the agencies that will provide them. Identified agencies can be invited to IEP team meetings. Schools need written parental consent (or student consent if they are over 18) before inviting an agency to the IEP meeting. Most post-school agencies and support services have their own eligibility requirements.
Connecting students to appropriate community agencies before the student transitions from school to adult life is critical for improving student outcomes, achieving competitive integrated employment, postsecondary education and training (including credential attainment), and independent living.
- Transition Planning for Students with Disabilities Guidance that outlines transition requirements, components of transition planning, and a list of community agencies and other transition resources.
Below are agencies and organizations that transition-age students might access.
Center for Independent Living
A Center for Independent Living (CIL) is a consumer‑controlled, community‑based, cross‑disability, nonresidential private nonprofit agency that is designed and operated within a local community by individuals with disabilities and provides an array of independent living services.
The goal of CILs is to assure that people with disabilities have the services and supports essential to make informed choices, to have personal control over their own lives, and to participate to the fullest extent possible in the everyday activities of work, home, family, and community.
CILs are authorized under the federal Rehabilitation Act and are supported by funding from a variety of federal, state, and local sources. People with disabilities of all ages and types are eligible for independent living services.
Disability Network/Michigan represents the collective voice of Michigan’s 15 CILs, with a focus on leadership development, relationship building, effective communication, and advocacy.
Community Mental Health Services
Community Mental Health (CMH) Services are responsible for providing services to people with severe mental illness, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse disorders. CMH services are often paid for by Medicaid.
Services in Michigan are coordinated through local Community Mental Health Services Programs, which can sometimes go by names other than “Community Mental Health”. CMH services differ depending on where you live. CMHs might provide direct services, or they may contract with separate agencies to provide services, but contact your local CMH to get started.
The Michigan Mental Health Code establishes the right for all individuals to have their Individual Plan of Service developed through a person-centered planning process regardless of age, disability or residential setting.
- Person Centered Planning Policy
- Person Centered Planning Home and Community Based Services Rule- Guide for Families
Every person who receives public mental health services has certain rights to protect them. Your rights specific to mental health services are identified in the Michigan Mental Health Code, the law that governs the delivery of public mental health and developmental disability services in Michigan.
- Office of Recipient Rights MDHHS
- Your Rights When Receiving Mental Health Services in Michigan
- Michigan Behavioral Health Mediation Services independent mediation to resolve matters related to your experience with CMH or Prepaid Inpatient Health Plan services.
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) administers several programs that may be useful for adults with disabilities.
- Home Help Services provides funding for qualified individuals to hire someone to assist them with their daily activities. It is designed to support individuals who wish to live independently in their home rather than live in an adult foster care home, home for the aged or nursing facility.
- Food Assistance is available for eligible low-income individuals. This program uses MI Bridges to apply.
- Health care coverage, such as Medical Assistance or Medicaid, is available to those who cannot afford it. Medicaid frequently funds adult CMH services.
- Medical Assistance
- MiBridges Application
- Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities Administration (including waiver programs)
- State Disability Assistance provides cash assistance to eligible adults with disabilities and caregivers.
If you believe that MDHHS made a decision that is wrong, you have the right to ask for an administrative hearing. Most hearing requests must be in writing and signed by you. Requesting a Food Assistance Program hearing can be done in person or by phone. A MDHHS specialist can provide more information about the hearing rules and appeals process.
Vocational Rehabilitation Services
Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) partners with individuals and employers to achieve quality, integrated employment. Vocational services and training can assist young adults with disabilities get and keep a job. Available services include: reasonable accommodation recommendations, employee counseling, job analyses, job coaching, and skill analyses.
MRS must serve individuals with the most significant disabilities. This is called order of selection. Denials must be in writing, and include information on how to appeal.
- MRS Website
Bureau of Services for Blind Persons (BSBP) provides services to individuals who are blind or visually impaired to achieve employment and independence.
The Client Assistance Program (CAP), administered by Disability Rights Michigan, is also available to help individuals understand their rights and responsibilities as they apply or receive services from MRS.
Michigan Works! is a resource for those seeking employment, where job seekers and employers can access services.
- Michigan Works!
The Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA) Youth Services are targeted at young people to assist them in their career and educational development. WIOA Youth programs are operated on a year-round basis by local Michigan Works!
Available services include tutoring, study skills training, alternative secondary school offerings, dropout recovery services, paid and unpaid work experiences, including summer employment opportunities, occupational skills training, education offered concurrently with workforce preparation, leadership development opportunities, supportive services, adult mentoring, follow-up services, comprehensive guidance and counseling, financial literacy education, entrepreneurial skills training, provision of labor market and employment information, and activities that help youth prepare for, and transition to, post-secondary education and training.
All youth with disabilities, ages 16 -24 who are not attending school, are eligible for services. Youth with disabilities up to age of 21 are eligible for services while in school if they meet eligibility criteria
The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program pays benefits to disabled adults and children who have limited income and resources. In Michigan, SSI beneficiaries are automatically eligible for Medicaid.
- Social Security Administration
- Online SSI Application
- The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Application Process
- The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Appeals Process
- Compassionate Allowances identifies severe medical conditions and diseases that meet standards for disability benefits based on medical confirmation of the diagnosis alone
Social Security’s Ticket to Work program supports career development for those who want to work. The Ticket program is free and voluntary. The Ticket program helps people with disabilities progress toward financial independence. Services offered include job coaching, job counseling, training, benefits counseling and job placement.
Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) is a step by step process to assist people with disabilities, receiving benefits from Social Security, with understanding how employment will affect benefits they may receive. WIPA also helps beneficiaries to understand how they can increase their financial independence.
Disability Benefits 101 has short videos (and other resources) about working and receiving Social Security benefits.
The Arc Michigan
The vision of The Arc Michigan is that all people realize and fulfill their dreams of having employment, education, meaningful relationships, and living independently within their community.