Statewide Information Resource & Referral for Advocacy & Service for People with Developmental Disabilities

Illinois NEXT STEPS Program

PURPOSE: Next Steps is a team training and family resource system, educating teams of parents/caregivers, consumers, and professionals to plan with and advocate for children and youth with disabilities. One important component of Next Steps is its Parents Reaching Parents (PRP) outreach and linkage. This system provides parent-to-parent linkage on disability issues, other appropriate referrals, and follow-up.

PHILOSOPHY: Within Next Steps, parent-professional collaboration is the foundation for developing teams and teamwork. Next Steps formal team training, ongoing technical assistance, and in-services, support this collaborative effort.



  • Transition information and referrals;
  • Transition advocacy training for parents/care-givers of children & youth with disabilities, professionals, and other concerned community residents;
  • Youth with disabilities are targeted for training in self-advocacy, mentoring partnerships, and accessing disability services after high school.

Parent-to-Parent Linkage:

  • Parent Advisor in our Parents Reaching Parents component provides parent-to-parent linkage on disability issues, other appropriate referrals and follow-up.
  • Research is provided to find resources needed by a specific family.


  • A family-focused newsletter is published 3 times per year.
  • The Next Steps library loans family-relevant books, video tapes and materials to Next Steps team members.

Technical Assistance & Supports:

  • Technical assistance to teams on the development of workshop objectives and delivery strategies
  • Next Steps provides all trainer and workshop participant materials
  • Annual in-services for teams trained by Next Steps focus on challenges and progress of teams, team-building & examine new issues faced by teams
  • Workshop Development and/or delivery assistance. Next Steps may assist you with your objectives using Next Steps workshop content and/or our expertise

You may visit their website at or call toll-free 1-888-888-8888.

Transition Services
Transition from High School to Adult Services – Main Page
Person Centered Planning
TOTAL Project
Written Transition Plans in the IEP
Transition and DHS Division of Rehabilitation Services – Vocational Rehabilitation
Illinois Next Steps Program
Advocacy Toolbox – Main Page

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