Transitioning To Adult Services

The Division has been strengthening transition-age services, which has been the direct result of a coordinated and collaborative commitment of state agencies— BHDDH, RI Department of Education (RIDE) and the Office of Rehabilitative Services (ORS). The significant partnerships we have built with our community stakeholders has been central to our collective work and helped enhance the vision we all share of an integrated life in the community. This vision is achieved through true person-centered planning that enables people to define the direction of their lives. While there is still work ahead, we are making progress.

For information on Transition into Adult Services through the Division of Developmental Disabilities, please read this brochure in English or Spanish.

For information on Transition into Adulthood for youth with Behavioral Health needs, check out the Take Charge of Your Behavioral Health Guidebook and Guidebook en Español. This is a great roadmap to help locate and use available resources as teens transition into adulthood.

If you would like a representative of BHDDH to attend an IEP meeting:

The Division has created a Transition Timeline for Caregivers and Youth to assist in planning during the transition years. Please see the attached in English and Spanish.

Age-Specific Transition Packets

Packet for Ages 14 - 16
Download the full packet for ages 14-16 in English or Spanish

Packet for Ages 17 - 22
Download the full packet for ages 17-22 in English or Spanish

Additional resources and information

Application Process: The Division has an eligibility by 17 policy which encourages students to apply for adult DD services as early as 16 years 10 months. Early applications allow for additional planning time and assist in a smoother transition from school to adult services. Application information can be found on the Eligibility and Application page here

Rhode Island Parent Information Network (RIPIN) supports students, young adults with disabilities and their families as they transition to adult services and learn about the options and resources available.  RIPIN staff work with young adults with disabilities and their families to actively participate in making informed decisions about the services they receive.  RIPIN staff are available to assist youth and their families to complete the DDD application for service.  Please contact RIPIN at (401) 270-0101 or visit their website here.

The Division also offers a Frequently Asked Questions document in English and Spanish. Para comunicarse con alguien re: información preliminar con respecto a la transición por favor llame al 401-462-3014.

If you are an Applicant, Submit an Application for Services if:

  • An applicant has a documented diagnosis of an Intellectual and/or Developmental Disability;
  • An applicant has "Substantial functional limitation" which means the applicant performs substantially below the level expected for a student with respect to the skills necessary in three or more of the following areas:
  • "Substantial functional limitation in economic self sufficiency" which means an applicant requires on-going supervision or frequent assistance and extensive training to perform the tasks required for a job, or to be able to work and maintain his/her employment as a result of his/her disability and not as a result of economic conditions or life style choice.
  • "Substantial functional limitation in expressive and receptive language" which means an applicant needs another person or alternative method to express or understand needs and wants or to effectively communicate with others or the individual is unable to understand/comprehend language or other forms of communication.
  • "Substantial functional limitation in independent living" which means an applicant needs ongoing assistance or frequent supervision to manage health care needs, to use community resources, to manage money, to perform routine housekeeping, or to maintain personal safety.
  • "Substantial functional limitation in learning" which means an applicant has tested two standard deviations below the mean on a comprehensive individual intelligence test or has had a comparable performance in two or more specific intellectual areas, such as memory, computation, reading/ writing and perception or that the person demonstrates the need for ongoing assistance or frequent supervision to use information or skills in different or new situations.
  • "Substantial functional limitation in mobility" which means an applicant needs the ongoing physical assistance of another person to move from place to place or needs the use of an extraordinary assistive device to move from place to place.
  • "Substantial functional limitation in self-care" which means an applicant needs on-going physical assistance, extensive training and/or frequent supervision in taking care of personal needs such as eating, personal hygiene and dressing.
  • "Substantial functional limitation in self-direction" which means an applicant requires ongoing assistance or frequent supervision in making decisions about social activities, personal finances, planning and setting goals, protecting one’s interests, establishing and asserting one’s rights and maintaining social relationships and resolving problems in daily living.