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


The TOTAL PROJECT is a model for transition developed by the Illinois State Board of Education. TOTAL was funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education that ran through March of 2007. Since transition is the link from school to adult living for persons with disabilities, it is important that a great deal of thought, research, and planning go into the transition plan and IEP for transition-aged students. The TOTAL Project is a series of modules aimed at helping individuals with disabilities and the families and professionals who support them to develop person-centered transition plans. It also looks at the meaning of, critical importance of, and “how-to’s” for developing a person’s self-determination skills. A person who has developed a sense of self-determination has more control over services and supports they may need or want. An important aspect of TOTAL is helping the person with a disability foster natural supports. By nurturing natural supports, the person with a disability grows within his/her community and invites neighbors, co-workers, friends and relatives to assist. Using a person-centered planning process allows the person with a disability to have control over what the support looks like. It is based on four core practices.

Based on an extensive review of current research literature, the four core best practices include:

1. Understanding and Meeting State and Federal Transition Mandates
2. Person-Centered Transition Planning
3. Promoting Student Self Determination
4. Transition as the Centerpiece of the Individualized Education Plan

Though the grant funding for the TOTAL Project is over, the TOTAL modules will remain available on the ISBE website and ISBE continues to support statewide efforts for transition training and technical assistance. For more information contact Sue Walter, or 618-651-9028.

To access the TOTAL modules and other transition resources visit:

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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