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Stop Waiting & Start Planning at ’17 Transition Symposium on 3/18

The Howard County Autism Society (HCAS) as part of the Transition Outreach Partnership will host the 2017 Transition Symposium on Saturday, March 18, 2017  for youth with disabilities as they begin their post-high school search for employment and education.  The event will be held from 8am – 4:30pm at Cedar Lane School, 11630 Scaggsville Road, in Fulton, MD.
The day-long conference offers parents, caregivers, professionals, and transitioning youth with developmental and physical disabilities an opportunity to learn about a wide variety of transition-related topics.
“This year’s event features a plenary panel of parents whose children have successfully navigated the transition from high school, and an update on Maryland State disability policy and initiatives,” said Patrick Boxall, Vice President of HCAS. “With an expanded menu of 24 different sessions designed for a general audience, or specifically for transitioning youth, the symposium will benefit novices to the transition process as well as those in need of guidance on particular issues.”

The symposium will offer a plenary session and several breakout workshops throughout the day led by experts in the areas of finance, education, law, disabilities, and healthcare. Some sessions will be geared toward a general office, some to youth, and others will target both groups.   Planned general workshop topics include: IEP Planning for Transition, Post-Secondary Vocational Training Programs, Disability Support Services on the Post-Secondary Level, DDA Eligibility and Services, Self-Employment, Assistive Technology for Transition, Social Security Benefits, Guardianships, and Supported Decision Making.   Planned transitioning youth workshops will explore such topics as Public Transportation, Dating and Relationships, Self-advocacy, Cooking, Social Media, Driving, Money Management, and Micro-Enterprises.

Guest speakers include County Executive Allan H. Kittleman and Maryland Department of Disabilities Secretary Carol Beatty.

The Transition Symposium is an event of the Transition Outreach Partnership, a collaborative effort of HCAS, Howard County Public School System, Howard County Government, and Accessible Resources for Independence, Inc. It receives support from the Governor’s Interagency Transition Council for Youth with Disabilities (IATC) and the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council (MDDC).

The cost to attend the symposium is $25 for registration prior to March 10 and $35 per person after. Admission is $10 for transitioning youth ages 14-24.  Registration is online at  For more information, contact Janet Dabu at 410-290-3466 or

2016 Howard County Transition Symposium

**Online registration for this event is now closed!**

**Tickets will be available at the door on the day of the event**


2016 Howard County Transition Symposium

Saturday, March 19th, 8 am – 5 pm

Cedar Lane School, 11630 Scaggsville Rd, Fulton, MD 20759

Click here for more information and registration.

If you’re interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at the Transition Symposium, please complete the form below and return to

2016 Symposium Sponsor Form

Please call with any questions:  410-290-3466

Executive Ulman Launches Effort to Assist Youth with Disabilities in Transition from School to Workforce and Post-Secondary Education

Howard County Executive Ken Ulman has launched an initiative to assist youth with disabilities in their transition from secondary education to the workforce and to more advanced training. County Executive Ulman has created the Howard County Transition Council for Youth with Disabilities, through an executive order. The Transition Council is comprised of 35 members who will oversee strategic recommendations, developed by an earlier workgroup created by the Howard County Public School System, that explored ways to improve post-secondary outcomes for students with disabilities.“We need to create a seamless system so that young people with disabilities reach their full potential as adults,” said County Executive Ulman. “We need to show employers the value that these new workers bring, and we need more training opportunities.”

Headed by Judith Pattik, Coordinator for Special Education with the Howard County Public School System, the Transition Council began meeting in June.

“The work we are embarking on is very exciting given the breadth of knowledge, experience and passion of the Transition Council members.  I am certain we will realize powerful outcomes as we create new and customized options for our students as they transition from school to college and careers,” Pattik said. “We are most appreciative of Executive Ulman’s support in recognizing the importance of this work.”

Under the executive order, the group will create a transitioning plan that coordinates county and state workforce reform efforts, looks at performance outcomes and examines needs of cross-agency training and technical assistance.

“Families that have a child with special needs often face a question mark when they plan for their child’s future.  I think that the County Executive’s initiative will help Howard County families to find better answers,” said John Hussman, a member of the Transition Council who has a 19-year old son with autism.

Howard County Council Chairperson Jen Terrasa said that the Transition Council will “help the community address an important need. We can’t let young people fall through the cracks, and parents need to know that resources are there to help.”

An advocate on disabilities issues, Howard County Councilman Greg Fox added: “This is an extremely important and needed initiative for these children and their families.  I encourage the Transition Council to look at the needs of not just young adults in the workforce, but those who for whatever reason aren’t able to take that step.  We need resources for a broad spectrum of people with disabilities.”

The Transition Council includes nine representatives from the Howard County Public School System, six representatives from Howard County Government, six parent and student representatives and other members from non-profit organizations.  The Transition Council is to deliver a report to the County Executive by June 1, 2014.

To view the executive order, visit

Transition Planning

The Maryland State Department of Education and the Governor’s Interagency Transition Council for Youth with Disabilities offer the following articles on the Maryland Transitioning Youth website: 












Maryland Transitioning Youth Website

The Maryland Transitioning Youth website is designed for families and youth with disabilities. It is loaded with information and resources for transition planning, postsecondary education, employment services, and much more. Visit.

Transition Planning Guide: Preparing Students with Disabilities to Move from School to Appropriate Postsecondary Outcomes. Read more.