Professional organizations provide information to members and the public in the form of publications, trainings, and conferences. Some organizations provide policy information and recommendations for advocacy for their members. Many organizations have discounted membership fees for parents and university students. If you are not able to join an organization, you can still keep up with what they are doing because most of the organizations have a social media presence–so follow them on Twitter or like them on Facebook.
Here is a list of national and Ohio state professional organizations that secondary special educators and transition personnel may find useful. If you know of other transition-focused organizations that I do not have listed, please add the name and link in the comment section.
- Association for Career and Technical Education: ACTE is dedicated to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for careers. ACTE is not a disability-focused organization; however, many students with disabilities are involved in career and technical education (CTE). There is an Ohio ACTE, and it has an active Special Needs division.
- Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired: AER is for professionals who provide education and rehabilitation services to people with visual impairments. There is an Ohio chapter: AERO.
- Association of People Supporting EmploymentFirst: APSE is an organization that focuses on integrated employment and career advancement opportunities for individuals with disabilities. There is an Ohio state chapter.
- Association on Higher Education and Disability: AHEAD is an organization committed to the full participation of individuals with disabilities in postsecondary education. OH-AHEAD is the Ohio chapter of AHEAD.
- Division on Career Development and Transition: DCDT is the Council for Exceptional Children’s transition division organization. It is the premier professional organization for special educators with interests in transition. If you can only join one organization, this is the one. There is not an Ohio subdivision, but Ohio is a part of the Northeast subdivision.
- National Rehabilitation Association: NRA is an association for rehabilitation professionals that works to eliminate barriers and increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities. There is an Ohio chapter.