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Transition Services and Programs

Special needs child gardening while outdoors

Our Transition Programs have been specially developed to help prepare students with special needs for life after graduation from high school. Students are encouraged to begin the transition planning process by the age of 14. They are eligible for the program based on their Individualized Education Program (IEP), with enrollment available exclusively through the student’s home school district (via referral). Our Transition Programs are designed for graduates ages 18-21.

Our Transition Programs are all based on incorporating three specific areas of support and training, all in unique ways and varying levels of complexity, in pursuit of each student’s successful growth
and development.

  • Post-Secondary Education and Training Programs for the research of postsecondary
    educational careers including the collection of info on which academic institutions offer this area of study and requirements for acceptance, as well as vocational training programs.
  • Employment: Following instructions, working with co-workers, social interactions, dressing appropriately, job development
  • Independent Living skills including activities such as doing laundry, grocery shopping, cooking and kitchen safety, using public transportation, and money management

In addition to providing these transition services, we operate several transition programs for students from 18-21 years old. These include College Connection, Decisions, STEP, WOW (We’re Outstanding Workers), and IU Hope classes all designed to further prepare students for independent living, post-secondary education, and employment. Advances are achieved using community-based instruction, various volunteer opportunities, and supervised work experiences as determined by the student’s IEP. Throughout the year, school districts can submit referrals to our Bucks IU programs as well as to get supervised work experiences, job development, and independent placements for students attending their own district programs.

Project SEARCH

Dancing character juggling with the words Project SEARCH
Project SEARCH County of Bucks is a nine-month internship program for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. As one of over 600 Project Search programs worldwide, it targets individuals who have a goal of achieving competitive employment. The program takes place at the County of Bucks Administrative Offices and Justice Center, acting as the Host Business, where total immersion in the workplace facilitates the teaching and learning process as well as the acquisition of employability and marketable work skills. Interns participate in three internships to explore a variety of career paths and work with their team to refine their employment goal and obtain feedback relative to their performance on the job. Their team includes their family, an instructor and jobs skill trainer both from the Bucks County Intermediate Unit, and personnel from the Bucks County Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Programs, County of Bucks Administrative Offices and Justice Center, and Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation.

Secondary Transition Option and Resource Fair (STORF)

This annual transition fair connects students, families, and educators with resources to that can assist them in navigating their transition process from school student to adulthood.  The resources available are categorized as listed here:

  • Post-Secondary Education and Training
  • Employment
  • Community Resources
  • Legal, Financial and Life Planning
  • General Resources

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the 2020 Secondary Transition Options and Resource Fair was held virtually.  We compiled all our vendors, programs, and services into a fantastic virtual format that allowed visits to the various program websites, the ability to gather information in PDF format, and even to view videos of some programs provided by vendors! 

The event opened Wednesday, November 4, 2020 and will remain open for you to visit, revisit, and use as a resource at any time! Click this link to participate:

EmployAbility Expo

Our annual EmployAbility Expo draws over 100 Bucks County high school students with disabilities and provides them an opportunity to practice and develop the confidence, skills, and strategies they will need to obtain and retain employment in today’s economy.  Breakout sessions are provided on several employment topics such as how to write a resume and workplace etiquette.  Students also rotate through participating in up to 3 mock job interviews with volunteers from over 30 community businesses and organizations. Details on the next Expo will be posted here where available.