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Hillsborough County Transition Initiative

The Hillsborough County School District Transition Initiative began in August 2001. The initiative is a technical assistance and training team consisting of collaborators from the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities at the University of South Florida, the Florida Outreach Project through the University of Florida and the National Technical Assistance Consortium. This two-year initiative focuses on effective practice in transition from school to work for students with significant disabilities, including autism and deaf-blindness.

The focus of the Transition Initiative has been the development and training of individual support teams around three students. The teams have participated in person-centered planning focusing on school-to-work transition, the development of career profiles and a team and district assessment. These activities provided direction for the individual teams and the district along with training in the areas of self-determination, job development, effective practices in supported employment. Technical assistance on individual vocational exploration through various community businesses and the development of an interagency committee to address ongoing

Vocational Training

The three main goals are:
1) to produce successful, community-based employment for individuals with significant disabilities;

2) to bring positive systems change for students with significant disabilities in the area of transition; and

3) to share information gleaned from the field test with policymakers in Florida.

First year results:
  • Students became active cases with Vocational Rehabilitation earlier in High School,

  • Transition Specialists developed jobs for individual vocational exploration,

  • Functional vocational related instruction was delivered within the classroom setting,

  • Students accessed summer work opportunities,
  • Students learned to use public transportation,

  • An effective, individualized transition from school to work was emphasized within the three teams.


issues around transition from school to work has been provided to teams.

The second year of the project will focus less on large group training and more on highly individualized technical assistance and training at the team level as the three students move closer to transition from school-to-work.

This initiative would not be possible without the involvement and ongoing support of the individual team members, the Hillsborough County School District Transition Team, the Florida Network on Deaf-Blindness, the Florida Department of Education and Dale Dileo, Training Resource Network.