10th Annual Illinois Statewide Transition Conference, October 24-25, 2013

Join Us for the 11th Annual Illinois Statewide Transition Conference: October 29-30, 2015

Call for Proposals Welcome Reception
Exhibitor Registration Conference Goals
Registration Information Financial Support
Conference Steering Committee

2015 Conference Information

The 11th Annual Transition Conference for transition aged youth and young adults with disabilities, their family members and teachers, vocational professionals, caregivers, health care professionals, college students pursuing careers in special education and community advocates will be held at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Plaza, 2233 South Martin Luther King Drive in Chicago, Illinois from October 29-30, 2015.

The conference, titled “Stepping Stones of Transition”, invites participants to imagine the possibilities for students with disabilities in the areas of independent living, education and training, employment, community integration, health care, and self-advocacy.

Conference sessions will be organized into 4 tracks: Education, Employment, Community and Healthcare.

Thursday, October 29th features keynote speaker Steve Hopkins, co-founder of 3E Love, and multi-choice Break-Out Sessions with a Welcome Reception at the end of the day. Friday, October 30th concludes the conference and highlights multi-choice Plenary Sessions and Break-Out Sessions in the morning. The conference concludes at 1:00 p.m.

Call for Proposals

Please complete the Call for Proposals form and submit it by March 13, 2015. The conference accepts electronic submissions only. Notification of those accepted will be sent out the week of April 1, 2015.

Presenters should submit proposals for presentations that address one of the following objectives:

  1. Research based or evidence based practices or strategies related to one of the conference strands.
  2. Provide youth, families and professionals with the knowledge, skills and ability to assist in making transition to adulthood in a manner that (1) maximizes lifelong functioning and potential and (2) overcomes challenges and barriers.
  3. Highlight lessons learned, present models for successful student-directed, person-centered transition planning and service delivery, educate and promote the importance of the transition process and establish high expectations to enable each youth to be contributing members of society.
  4. Provide systemic solutions to expand the possibilities of ensuring all young adults have opportunities to learn and develop skills, participate in community life, and live and work in a setting of their choosing.

As a benefit to approved speakers, a one day conference registration (for the day of presentation) will be complimentary. However all speakers and presenters are responsible for their own travel and lodging expenses. All speakers will be required to register online under the applicable registration category. Presenters interested in attending additional conference days will need to register and submit the registration fee.

All break-out sessions will last 75 minutes and Plenary sessions will last 90 minutes. The following criteria will be used in selecting proposals:

  • Interactive format which allows participants to demonstrate skills or implement knowledge learned
  • Participation of youth, and/or adults with disabilities as presenters
  • Potential for practical application and to attract and stimulate attendees
  • Inclusion of innovative ideas or concepts, which demonstrate originality and creativity in content and format
  • Clarity, organization, feasibility, and degree to which the proposal addresses the purpose of the conference

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Exhibitor Registration

Do you want to reach over 800 participants who are interested in helping create active, productive lives for young people with disabilities? A limited number of exhibit spaces were available to allow you to reach students, parents, teachers, social service and healthcare professionals.

The 2015 Illinois statewide Transition Conference has general exhibits open from Thursday 10/29/15 from 8:00 AM to 6:30 PM. Again this year will also feature a spotlight on Young Adult Entrepreneurial Programs/Student Work Programs.

Participants need to complete the soon to be released 2015 Exhibitor Prospectus to become an exhibitor, sponsor, or advertiser. The Exhibitor/Sponsorship Contract must be completed and returned by September 1, 2015.


Detailed information on conference sessions and registration will be available in the near future on this web site.

Conference participants are strongly encouraged to register using the soon to be available Illinois Transition Conference online registration. "Go Green" and help conference planners take eco-friendly steps to better our environment by registering online and eliminating paper registration forms. A limited number of hard copy registration booklets will be made available by request only to those that do not have internet access. Contact Family Matters at 866-436-7842.

The registration web site will provide details about the conference plenary sessions and agenda with specifics on each of the breakout sessions. Space is limited and breakout sessions have limited capacity on a first come basis. So register early to ensure admission to your top choice sessions.

Information on conference sessions and registration will also be provided in the 2015 Transition Conference Registration booklet that will soon be available on this website. This booklet will be available in PDF format - you will need the Adobe Reader to view, complete and print the document. The Reader is available free from the Adobe web site.

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Welcome Reception

A Welcome Reception will be hosted on Thursday, October 29th, to provide conference participants the opportunity to network with colleagues as well as meet new friends and associates. Appetizers and beverages will be offered from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. There will also be a cash bar available.

Conference Goals

The goals for the 2015 Illinois Statewide Transition Conference are to promote effective, person-centered transition planning to address all aspects of adult life for youth with disabilities. Conference participants will discover practical and evidence-based (proven) strategies related to:

  • Family involvement is a crucial component of successful transition. Parents and families as partners in planning for and delivering transition services is the basis for good and successful transition.
  • Student self‐determination is best defined as the student being the one in charge to determine what is they want. By using transition assessment information and facilitation students’ self-determination it is feasible to develop individualized plans based on their post‐school goals.
  • Interagency collaboration: One of the most important parts of good transition is interagency collaboration. This includes the involvement of community businesses, organizations, and agencies in all aspects of transition‐focused goals.
  • Effective program structures - the efficient and effective delivery of transition‐focused education and services to all transition aged youth is the basis of effective and workable program structures.
  • Transition Resources and funding avenues: Many different resources come into play here. These include such agencies as the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, Social Security, Title I, Title V, and trusts (to mention just a few)
  • The power of leadership: Leadership is about human behavior and thinking outside the box. Both of these are imperative to creating a good transition plan that is workable, doable, and sustainable.
  • The influence of advocacy, policy, and social justice becomes important tools so that what one achieves in their family or their school becomes systemic changes so that all people can benefit and lead better lives. The interaction of practice and policy showcase the need and impact action has on both local and state policies and how this carries over to social justice for everyone.

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Target Audience

  • Transition-aged youth/young adults who have a disability
  • Family members
  • Health Care Professionals
  • Caregivers
  • Special Education educators and administrators
  • Vocational Rehabilitation counselors and administrators
  • Advocates
  • Transition Planning Committees

Financial Support:

The Transition Conference Committee has made provisions for a limited number of scholarships for parents and students who need financial assistance. These funds are available on a first come, first serve basis. This scholarship can be used for needed conference related expenses including registration, hotel, transportation and/or a personal attendant. To apply, please contact Tara Dunning of the Statewide Independent Living Council of Illinois (SILC) at 217-744-7777 or tara@silcofillinois.org.

Scholarships are also available through the Arc of Illinois Consumer Involvement Program; call 815-464-1832 for information about the Arc of Illinois program or visit their website at www.thearcofil.org.

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Conference Steering Committee:

Autism Society of Illinois

Centers for Independent Living:

Family Matters Parent Training and Information Center

Family Resource Center on Disabilities

IL Alliance of Administrators of Special Education

IL Assistive Technology Program

IL Dept. of Human Services - Division of Rehabilitation Services

Il State Advisory Council on the Education of Children with Disabilities

IL State Board of Education

Springfield Public Schools District #186

Statewide Independent Living Council of IL

UIC Specialized Care for Children

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Transition - Planning for the Future

11 th Annual Illinois Statewide Transition Conference
October 29-30, 2015
Hyatt Regency McCormick Plaza
Chicago, Illinois

For more information
contact the conference organizers
via email at info@illinoistransitionconference.org

The Adobe Reader, available free from the Adobe web site, is needed to view and print PDF files.


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