Category Archives: Transition

Transition Planning: Ottawa-Carleton District School Board

Integrated transition planning is a collaborative process that helps students with an intellectual/developmental disability and their families to access the services they are entitled to and create a plan for what to do after they leave school.

This page on the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board’s website includes resources for youth with developmental disabilities and their parents/caregivers to learn more about how to navigate life after high school:

Launch into Life! QuickStart Planning Tool

The Launch into Life! QuickStart Planning Tool is a new online resource created to assist individuals on the autism spectrum in creating a personalized plan for success as they transition to adulthood. It’s free and easy to use!

This QuickStart Tool was created for adolescents and young adults who are interested in creating a personalized plan for their future. It will help you understand where you are now, what you want your adult life to look like, and what you need to do next to achieve your goals.

Journey to Adulthood: A Checklist of Key Activities

Autism Ontario has created a checklist of key activities to guide you in your journey to adulthood.

Under 14

  • Access 2 Card
  • Canada Disability Tax Credit (CDTC)*
  • Ontario Health Card
  • Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP)*
  • Henson Trust (also called discretionary trust)

Age 14

  • Update Psychological Assessment for DSO application*
  • Ensure transition skills are included in school’s IEP

Age 15

  • Inventory programs and services in the area for post secondary life
  • Inventory housing / residential options

Age 16

  • Apply to Developmental Services Ontario (DSO)*
  • Open a bank account (account in youth’s name)
  • Apply for an Ontario ID Card
  • Locate adult health care and service providers. Make referrals if necessary.
  • Apply for Ontario Works (OW) if applicable

Age 17

  • Apply for Ontario Disability Support Plan (ODSP) six (6) months prior to 18th birthday
  • Consider legal concerns including guardianship and/or Power of Attorney*
  • Confirm appointment with DSO to complete their application process six (6) months prior to 18th birthday.*
  • Complete applications for adult services, programs, and supports

Age 18

  • Establish guardianship or sign Power of Attorney documents *
  • DSO, Passport, and ODSP funds and supports are available at age 18*
  • Check with DSO to complete Passport Funding paperwork
  • Sign documents allowing consent to share information as needed
  • Apply for GST / HST credit on income tax

Over 18

  • Continue with secondary education till age of 21
  • Attend post secondary education (college, university)
  • Participate in community events, programs, and/or activities (with or without 1:1 support)
  • Employment (part time or full time)
  • Apprenticeships
  • Volunteer

* Item has eligibility criteria and/or may not be relevant for each individual
IMPORTANT: Ages provided are a guideline. With the exception of activities with a minimum age requirement, activities can be completed at any age.

Transition to Adulthood: Important Periods

The information in this post can be found in this brochure from Developmental Services Ontario (DSO)

Transitioning from youth to adult services is a process that requires planning. When your child turns 18, children services will end and new adult services may begin. A successful transition should begin as early as possible and prepare your child for adulthood. The following timeline shows important transition periods.

High school entry

a. Request a psychological assessment that includes cognitive and adaptive function scores for Developmental Services Ontario (DSO).
b. Update your transition plan and Individual Education Plan (IEP) with your school team.

Age 16

a. Contact DSO for short intake.
b. Mail the requested information to your DSO, including your psychological assesssment.
c. Your DSO will mail you a letter to confirm if you are eligible for adult developmental services at 18.
d. Investigate day programs and/or post secondary options with your school team.

Age 17.5

a. Complete your Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) application (separate from DSO).
b. Attend your ODSP eligibility interview. Your doctor will need to complete an eligibility package if you don’t have your DSO letter that confirms that you are eligible to receive adult developmental services at 18.

Age 18

a. If you are eligible, your monthly ODSP will begin.

Age 18 +

If your application has been started:

a. An appointment will be set up with a DSO assessor to complete the application package.
b. Your DSO assessor will send you an Assessor Summary Report (ASR).

Age 18-21

a. Graduation from high school between 18 and the year you turn 21.
b. Inform your DSO and ODSP of your graduation date 6 months prior.

Update your information

It is important to keep your local DSO up to date about any changes in your situation. For example, call us if you are planning to move or change your phone number. This helps us to make sure that we have your current contact information and to confirm that you wish to remain in the service registry.

Need more information?

To find out more, contact Developmental Services Ontario (DSO) by calling 2-1-1, or visit to find your area DSO.

Preparing Students with Developmental Disabilities for LIFE AFTER HIGH SCHOOL

The information in this post can be found in this brochure from Developmental Services Ontario (DSO)

What is DSO?

DSO is the access point for adult developmental services. DSO connects people to available services and supports in their community so that they can become more independent and actively involved in their communities, and ultimately live more meaningful lives.

Some of the services that may be available in their community include housing supports, caregiver respite, supports to help people take part in the community, specialized and clinical supports, the Adult Protective Service Worker Program, and the Passport Program.

When to apply to the DSO?

To reduce the service gap between children’s and adult services, youth should start the process and apply early at the age of 16. With all the correct documents, they can be confirmed eligible for adult developmental services at age 16; however, the services will not start until age 18. Here is an important age-milestone checklist to share with students and their families:

  • At age 16, call DSO to see if you are eligible
  • At age 16 to 17, schedule a transition meeting with your school
  • At age 17 and 6 months, apply for income/employment support through the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), separate from DSO
  • Before age 18, complete your application package with DSO

What can youth and families do while they wait for the services?

While youth and families are waiting for ministry-funded services to become available, they may want to research other local community resources, programs, and activities. Connect with local recreation centres, private recreation providers, and non-profit organizations that offer a variety of programs and activities for adults with special needs. Many of these programs are geared to meet the interests and abilities of all participants.