Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow Transition Conference: July 24-26, 2013

by Mary Mazzoni on June 3, 2013

The PA Community of Practice for Transition Conference draws families and professionals from around the country every year.

There’s nothing quite like it.

Youth and parents alike have told me the conference has changed their lives.

Professionals from diverse fields have opened their minds through this conference – discovering new ways to empower the young people they serve.

Every year – for more than a decade – the conference has been planned by a collaborative group of young adult leaders, educators, professionals from diverse agencies, health professionals, and parent advocates. Together they form a “Community of Practice for Transition”.

This year, “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow: Exploring the Possibilities” will be held at the Penn Stater Conference Center, State College, PA – July 24-26, 2013.

Scholarships are available for youth and family members. June 15 is the deadline for Youth and Family Scholarship Applications.

Youth and Family Sessions

Youth and family members have their choice of any of the dozens of conference sessions. However, you can click here for a list of sessions that are explicitly and intentionally designed to be “youth and family engaging”.  These sessions are often led by young adult leaders with disabilities and family members – often in tandem with professionals from various fields.


The conference includes structured opportunities for networking with young adult leaders, family members, professionals and organizations. These include time for a resource fair, reception, and sessions where interaction among youth, families and professionals is facilitated.

Many youth and family members have made connections with people who have made a real difference in their transition journey.

If you’re at the conference – you can find me at the Life After IEPs booth at the resource fair!

Scholarship Application – Submit by June 15, 2013

You can download the youth and family scholarship application here.  You can mail, fax, or email the application.

Conference Registration

You’ll need to register for the conference in addition to applying for a scholarship.

A (long) conference brochure with descriptions of all sessions can be found here.

To register, you can either mail in the registration form at the end of the brochure, or you can register online here.

The online registration is a little tricky. When you click on the red Register button for each day – you’ll have a chance to then click on a box for each time period – then a drop down menu of sessions will appear for that time period – and you’ll check on the box for your desired session.

If you have trouble – don’t hesitate to ask for help from the Registration Contact Person named just above the Register button.

An Investment

The conference is an investment of time and money. Both of which are in short supply for you.

The scholarship includes lodging and conference registration – and some meals.

You may wonder if the investment is worth it – and you may especially wonder if it’s worthwhile for your son or daughter to come along.

Only you can make that decision. But it’s a powerful experience for both you and the young person you care about to meet young leaders and self advocates – and to network and learn with professionals and other families.

You can come away with lots of new information, resources, and new relationships that can be life-changing for you both.

Many families have found it well worth the investment.

Your Turn

Have you ever been to this conference? Other families would love to hear your experience. Do you have questions about this event? Please leave a comment.

Take a minute to ask yourself if you know someone who may benefit from the conference. Please pass along this post to them.

Let’s keep supporting one another on the journey. Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow!

Image Credit: at Flickr

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Carol Freedman June 25, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Thanks for letting us know about this, I applied for a scholarship since I will be on the East coast at that time, although my 14-year old son with autism will be away at camp. I live in Washington State and would love to learn more about transition programs in other parts of the country.


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