Transition Outreach Services

What are Transition Outreach Services?

In 2009, several not-for-profit human service organizations came together, combining their expertise in serving children and adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities and other special needs. The Building Bridges to the Future Initiative was created to help meet the needs of students in special education, as well as their families, as they face the challenges of successfully transitioning from school to adulthood. 

The Transition Outreach Specialist provides the students, ages 14-25 years old, as well as their families, with support, linkage, and resources to help navigate this period of transition.

Download this flyer to see how the service works and a list of resources available to you.

A manual has been produced (free of charge) to assist families and professionals in transitioning students with intellectual/developmental disabilities to the world of adult services, available through this link:

Building Bridges to the Future Transition Manual

Building Bridges to the Future Transition Manual – SPANISH

What Type of Assistance is Offered?

Assistance with linkages to:

Entry into Illinois Developmental Disabilities System

  • Connect to independent Service Coordination (ISC) Agency
  • Explain Prioritization of Urgency for Need for Services (PUNS) and funding service options

Financial/Medical Benefits

  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Medicaid
  • ABLE Accounts

Important Legal Considerations

  • Special Needs Trusts
  • Delegation of rights
  • Supported Decision-Making
  • Power of Attorney
  • Guardianship

Program Funding

  • Home and Community-Based Waiver Programs
  • Residential Programs
  • Community Day Services
  • Department of Rehabilitation Services (DRS)


  • Parent Education and Support
  • Professional Education Support
  • Self-Advocacy

Who is served by transition outreach services?

Clearbrook currently serves students and families primarily in north/northwest suburban areas, including Cook, Lake, DuPage, McHenry, Kane, Kendall, and Will counties.

Districts and schools/transition programs partnering with Clearbrook

Included but not limited to:

  • District 214 Hersey High School; Forestview Academy
  • District 203 Naperville Connections
  • NSSEO Kirk and Miner Schools Palatine/Arlington Heights
  • Park School Evanston
  • Prairie Ridge STRIVE Crystal Lake
  • Huntley LIGHT Program Algonquin
  • Richmond-Burton High School
  • Woodstock High School


  • Serve as the primary contact for your family or work with Home-Based Services staff.
  • Attend IEP meetings by request, as part of the student’s interdisciplinary team.
  • Work with the special education department to ensure a smooth transition as part of the IEP.
  • Serve as liaison between families, special education staff, and adult service providers.
  • Provide in-service training and coaching for parents, guardians, students, and professionals.
  • Advocate for and assist in establishing eligibility for community services.
  • Facilitate participation in adult transition experiences as available through Clearbrook.



If you would like more information, please contact Michelle Schwartz, Transition Outreach Specialist, at 847-385-5354 or