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Chapman University Thompson Policy Transition Initiative (TI)

The Transition Initiative (TI) is a collaboration among the Thompson Policy Institute (TPI) on Disability and Autism, Orange County Department of Education, Regional Center of Orange County and many key organizations & agencies who provide services and resources for individuals with disabilities and their families. Partnership representation includes:

  • Thompson Policy Institute Transition Initiative

  • Regional Center of Orange County

  • Orange County Department of Education

  • California Department of Rehabilitation

  • San Diego State University, Interwork Institute

  • California State University, Los Angeles

  • The Center for Autism & Other Neuro-Developmental Disorders

  • Santiago Canyon College

  • Orange County Development Board

  • Disability Rights California

  • easterseals

  • Newport Mesa Unified School District

  • State Council on Developmental Disabilities

  • Goodwill of Orange County

  • Huntington Beach Union High School District

  • Santa Ana Unified  School District

  • Grit & Flow Inclusion Consultants

  • OC Asperger’s Support Group

  • Integrated Resources Institute

In addition, we have on-going and consistent participation from Individuals with Disabilities, Orange County Service Providers, Families, K-12 Educators, Business Partners, and Post-Secondary Educators.

In Orange County, we have several single focus collaborative partnership groups that have been operational for over 20 years.  The Thompson Policy Institute Transition Initiative is providing the leadership to bring these various organizations, agencies, and individuals together to share, engage and work together to identify transition-related programming options, materials, and resources that will be beneficial to stakeholders throughout California and the US. Through the TPI, we strive to improve transition outcomes, i.e., education/ training, employment, housing and self-sufficiency goals for people with disabilities, supporting those individuals in leading happy, healthy and meaningful lives. The current focus of the TPI Transition Initiative (TI) is enhancing partnerships that promote preparation for, achievement in and retention in Competitive Integrated Employment (CIE) for youth and adults with disabilities and other “at-risk” populations. This includes individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and those with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

The Thompson Policy Institute Transition Initiative has several primary efforts and work teams in the process, including:

  • Transition Initiative Research & Business Survey

  • Transition Initiative Education & Training

  • Transition Initiative Website & Social Media

  • Transition Initiative Regional Job Development & Business Partnership

  • Transition Initiative Administration of Justice

  • Orange County Partnership Agreement (OCLPA)

  • Project Search


The following summaries provide a brief, up-to-date description for each component.

  • TPI Transition Initiative Research & Business Survey Work Team

This team consists of several Chapman University Professors and community stakeholders who are working together to do a literature review, identify business partners, design a survey, collect data, and write reports with recommendations based on survey results.  Business partner data has been collected and reports are being developed for distribution.


In addition, there is ongoing research on interagency collaboration, resource linking of public and private resources to support and promote positive short-and-long term outcomes in the areas of education, employment, and independent living. This research includes a focus on collaboration strategies and best practices that will be shared with communities throughout California and the US, attempting to implement practices that will promote efficient and effective disability-related programming and service delivery.


  • TPI Transition Initiative Education & Training Work Team

 The TPI and Attallah College at Chapman University, in partnership with the Regional Center of Orange County (RCOC), The Center for Autism & Other Neuro-Developmental Disorders (CAND) and State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD), provides high-quality education and training for families, caregivers, and professionals in the field. This education and training focus on disability, workforce preparation, transition planning, educational policy, and inclusive practices in schools.


Efforts are underway to promote cross-agency training, best practices, and system change.  A training grid has been created to highlight current and future training opportunities as well as connections to consultants and experts for all stakeholders including families and individuals with disabilities.

  • TPI Transition Initiative Website & Social Media Work Team

 After many months of planning, input and guidance from our Transition Initiative Team and community members, the TI Website will be launched in Spring 2019.  Its content will include disability-related information that will support a variety of stakeholders including individuals with disabilities, families, service providers, business partners/employers, and K-12 & post-secondary educators.  Specific and accessible information will include how-to-videos, calendar of events, resource access, job training, career development, and independent living materials. Current legislation, public benefit, and workforce development information will also be included.

In addition, social media plays a critical role in how the TPI disseminates information. We use a variety of social media platforms to connect to our audience. Through our blog, Facebook and Twitter accounts, we connect with all levels of our constituency and bring critical and reliable information to our stakeholders.


  • TPI Transition Initiative Regional Job Development & Business Partnership Work Team

This team is working on enhancing business partnerships to support workforce preparation, employment and career development opportunities in Orange County. Current connections are being made through several Orange County Business Advisory Committees, OC Employment Advocacy Network, OC Development Board and the OC Business Council.  In addition, this team is working on the identifying and documenting strategies and supports for small, medium and large business partners. We will also showcase business partners and individual success stories

  • TPI Transition Initiative Orange County Partnership Agreement (OCLPA)

TPI in coordination with the Regional Center of Orange County, Department of Rehabilitation (DOR), Huntington Beach Union High School District and Irvine Unified School District form the leadership team needed to develop, implement and enhance the Orange County Local Partnership Agreement (OCLPA). This multi-agency team of over 45 agencies and 62 individuals involves multi-agency planning and coordination of a universal referral, intake, and enrollment process. This planning ensures identified individuals have access to programs that prepare them for career pathway employment and post-secondary education leading to long-term careers. Programming efforts include identification of resources, tools, services and career development/educational options for youth and adults with disabilities, including those with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Individuals with Developmental Disabilities.

  • TPI Transition Initiative Administration of Justice Work Team

In partnership with the OC Development Board, the Administration of Justice (AOJ) Work Team is currently working on the identification of methods to ensure that youth and young adults involved in the justice system, have access to the disability-related services and supports needed.


In February 2018, this Orange County partnership was selected by the US Department of Education Technical Assistance Initiative to focus on building capacity of communities to provide justice-involved youth and young adults with diversion programs that include career and technical education, special education, and workforce development. “Young Adult Diversion Technical Assistance” Conference Calls have been initiated and materials provided to support these efforts.


The TPI AOJ Work Team is also working to make connections with the Orange County Juvenile Re-entry Partnership (OCREP) that serves as a critical link between community resource providers and the formerly incarcerated striving to establish healthy, productive and rewarding lives.


  • TPI Transition Initiative Project Search

Project SEARCH is part of an internationally recognized program dedicated to building a workforce that includes people with disabilities, which benefits the individual, the community and the workplace.


The Project SEARCH Model was developed at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in response to an institution-wide effort to include people with disabilities in their workforce. The dignity and independence of people with disabilities are as varied and individual as they are among any group. Project SEARCH looks for jobs that are complex and systematic. The program strives to match the skills and interests of each client with the specific needs of the employer.  Currently, there are Project SEARCH Programs in over 42 states and in 8 countries and counting.


The purpose of this program is to develop skills that advance employment opportunities, provide pathways to careers, and promote participants to succeed as contributing members of their community. The TPI in partnership with RCOC, DOR, Goodwill of Orange County and Santiago Canyon College is currently operating two programs: Children’s Hospital of Orange County & the University of California Irvine, Medical Center and in development of 4 additional programs here in the OC.


As we enter our third year of service, we continue to demonstrate a have a high level of commitment and involvement from all our community partners, demonstrating the value, motivation, and enthusiasm in supporting the Thompson Policy Institute Transition Initiative. 

For information about TPI and any of the workgroups, email Tiffany @