Effective Practices 

Transition education and services should be grounded in quality research. To do so, practitioners need information on which practices and programs are effective for students and youth with disabilities.

They also need to be able to build services, instruction, and supports around factors associated with post-school success.

effective practices - collage of teens siling, educator helping pre teens and a teen volunteering

Effective practices are........

specific interventions to teach skills to secondary students and youth with disabilities and are based on the results of intervention research.  The effective practices we identify have been evaluated regarding the amount, type, and quality of the research conducted and are labeled as:

  • evidence-based,
  • research-based, or
  • promising

These designations indicate the confidence in the likely effectiveness of the intervention when implemented as defined and recommended.

We specifically identify evidence-based and research-based practices (and corresponding materials) with the badges identified below. Yet all resources have a research or legal/policy basis.

Download the Effective Practices Definitions (PDF)

There are also many practices in the fields of secondary education, vocational rehabilitation, and other services for youth and young adults with disabilities which do not yet have a rigorous research basis for their effectiveness.  We continue to support researchers to build an evidence base and practitioners to implement practices using the best available evidence.


Evidence-Based Practices

  • demonstrates a strong record of success for improving outcomes
  • uses rigorous research designs
  • adheres to indicators of quality research
More Evidence-Based Practices

Research-Based Practices

  • demonstrates a sufficient record of success for improving outcomes
  • uses rigorous research designs
  • may adhere to indicators of quality research
More Research-Based Practices

Promising Practices

  • demonstrates some success for improving outcomes
  • more quality research is needed to raise to an evidence- or research-based practice

What are predictors?

Predictors are evidence-based, research-based, and promising services, supports, and/or acquired skills that have been identified through correlational research to be associated with improved post-school outcomes for students with disabilities.

Download the Predictors by Post-School Outcome Area (PDF)

We are regularly reviewing more practices and research and will be continuing to add resources (including Lesson Plan starters) on a regular basis. Be sure to put your favorites in your Member Dashboard! If you are looking for a resource, please Contact Us.

Resources from Other Sources


We are conducting several systematic reviews on specific transition-related practices. For each content area, we will review the research to identify predictors of successful post-school outcomes and effective practices. Results will be used to inform future research, policy, and practice. We hope you will help us identify new effective practices and predictors. For more information, contact Val Mazzotti , Dawn Rowe or Ellen Fabian.