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Senator Calls For Transition Action Plan


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A new proposal in the U.S. Senate would allocate federal dollars to develop a national plan to help those with developmental disabilities transition to adulthood.

Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., said Monday that he’s introduced a bill that would fund research to determine the most effective interventions and support services for young people aging out of the school system. The legislation calls for the creation of a national strategic action plan and would provide grants to train “transition navigators” who would help youth with disabilities access the supports they need to live independently.

Currently, many individuals with disabilities lose access to needed services when they finish high school.

Though Menendez highlighted the increasing number of individuals with autism who are entering adulthood in bringing forward his proposal, the bill he introduced addresses the need for housing, employment, transportation and other services for individuals with all types of developmental disabilities.

“For too many young people with autism spectrum disorders, the end of high school means the end of the support and skills training they need to succeed in the new world of adulthood,” said Menendez in unveiling the legislation known as the Assistance in Gaining Experience, Independence and Navigation Act of 2013, or the AGE-IN Act. “We need a national response to ensure that resources are available to enable these young adults to lead the productive, fulfilling lives they deserve.”

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Comments (16 Responses)

  1. Erik says:

    Looks like I will be writing and calling my representatives to support this bill. Thank you for making me aware

  2. Coleen says:

    I think this is great, hope it carries over all over the US!

  3. Amy S. Landes says:

    Good work Senator Menendez! There is a tidal wave of young adults with autism coming up and they (and their families) must be prepared for adult life. This is the future and we must all be prepared to face it.

  4. Noshin says:

    Please that would be very necessary. And thank you

  5. Deborah Ansbach says:

    Tank youSenator Menendez. I’ll be on the phone calling my repreentatives to support this.Maybe in the future some of these funds can support the lifeskills programs offered by colleges. There are currently programs but no scholarships nor grants or finanicial aide so our young adults with disabilities can attend unless parents have the means to pay for these programs.

  6. 2onthespectrum says:

    This is great! Too bad there are such limited supports available! Perhaps they will find this out. We need a national grading system for states. I would give my state, North Carolina, a D- due to the lack of housing, lack of employment opportunities and lack of continuing education options.

  7. Lisa says:

    Bravo Senator Menendez for shinning a spotlight on the transitional needs of people with intellectual disabilities. While sophisticated services systems exist for tranistioning students with high incidence disabilities toward college and career readiness, little to no attention is paid to those with significant impairments. It is the tenant of all state policies that speak to “College and Career Readiness” that all means “all” and your efforts will help to make those promises a reality.

  8. Ramona Febo-Boarman says:

    I would like to congratulate Sen. Robert Menendez for introducing the bill that would fund research to determine the most effective interventions and support services for young people aging out of the school system. He highlighted the increasing number of individuals with autism who are entering adulthood in bringing forward his proposal. As a parent of an handsome individuals with significant severe multiple disabilities also become prisoner within their own four walls of the home. I have started the first day treatment center for adults of 21+ with significant disabilities in Puerto Rico, because as a parent I was well aware that my son, Joey, was not cure for just coming out of the education system. In the contrary it’s when an individual with any disability needs to continue services. Do you know that a prison has more services and rights than an adults with disabilities which their only reason is that they were born with a disability. As a center we believe in being part of the transitional of the special education department, of the last school year. In order to have the student with disability visit the center so they could familiarize with the staff and the other participants in the center. This bill should be a right rather than a service. Thank you Sen Menendez. May the Lord blessed you and your family.

  9. Jennie says:

    “Transition Navigators” – already exist across the nation. They are called Social Workers, Case Mgrs, etc. The problem is the lack of services. More bureaucrats are not needed. More direct funding is what’s needed.

  10. Bonnie Miller says:

    I am glad we are finally seeing the need out in our communities for a better transition system. I worry about the population of Developmentally Disabled individuals and their families/caregivers, who are under the 70 scale that do not receive information for after school. I have a daughter, Michele, with Down Syndrome. She is now 35 years old. When she graduated from Lincoln KVO program there was no support at all. The jobs she trained in at KVO were not offered to her after school. She lost her friendship contact, lost the socialization and the sense of self worth. It took us 3 years to find a suitable replacement. Now after 10 years of being out of school I just found out about CLS/EOR one-one-one for her. She has flourished, opened up like I have never seen her. As a parent, I did not know of these programs through Medicaid. I am now sharing with all parents/caregivers of adult individuals with a disability. As a unit we all need to know how to share information to benefit the individual and their family.

  11. Jill Bernstein says:

    Lets hope they get something going soon am in this nightmare now no transportation is a huge issue have social and job courses but only if we can get her there .They take away all safety nets and say go out and do something

  12. marie camp says:

    I think this is fantastic, I support 100 percent and if anyone needs help I will assist anyway I can. I am passing out the word to all my family and friends and any organzations and local and state legislators I can find. HOORAY

  13. martha clapp says:

    Please that would be very necessary. And thank you

  14. Betsy Cohick says:

    Thank you for this important work towards improving adult services. As a parent of an adult child with autism and an OTR/L that works with children I am very concerned about the current services available for adults and the need for improvement. We as a country are not meeting the needs/wants of our adults with disabilities and we need to make changes. Thanks to all that are working hard to improve our adult children’s lives.

  15. Rosemary Alfredo says:

    First Thank You for Advocating for our Young Adults. But I must say we have alot of great services and people with ideas for services and opportunities that want to implement them…but the problem is NO FUNDING. No Grants! Perfect example is our organization that has been on a 5 year project…building a “match” social networking website for adults with sp needs to find them a best friend, roommate, life companion and link families to increase opportunities. We are continually look for a grant or funding to LAUNCH it. So Far NOTHING. So there are many potential plans to enrich and open up the lives of our special friends…but no money granted. FriendsofCollette

  16. Melvin Johnson says:

    There are existing resource through SSA (PASS Plan and Ticket to Work) and establishing MicroBoards for students to transition out of post secondary schools. The Navigation Act of 2013 might be the means for parents, students and teachers to access these resources.

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