MDA Launches Transitions Resource Center for Young Adults

Interactive Web pages offer resources on careers, education, independent living and more for youth and young adults with neuromuscular diseases, and their families

Article Highlights:
  • MDA is launching a new Web section — the Transitions Resource Center — dedicated to providing resources for young people with pediatric-onset neuromuscular diseases who are “transitioning” from childhood to adulthood.
  • The Transitions Resource Center offers links, information and support on such topics as college planning, financial aid, getting a job, connecting with mentors, living independently, volunteering with MDA and more.
  • The site also offers a chance to give feedback on transition issues by taking a survey and posting content.
by Miriam Davidson on May 18, 2011 - 10:04am

Navigating the transition from childhood to adulthood can be complicated. Young people confront numerous important changes at this time, including going off to college, moving away from home, starting a career, establishing friendships and falling in love.

Young adults with disabilities may find it particularly challenging to find and utilize all available resources to help manage and coordinate these changes.

In response to this need, and as an expansion of MDA’s National Transitions Initiative, MDA has launched a Transitions Resource Center.

With input from experts, community leaders and young adults with neuromuscular diseases, the online resource center is designed to raise awareness of the challenges faced by young people with disabilities as they head into adulthood.

MDA’s goal in launching the resource center is to help create a caring community for these young adults, and to smooth their path to maturity by connecting them with important resources and supports.

“Each year in the U.S., nearly half-a-million youth with disabilities and chronic health conditions cross into adulthood — and the numbers continue to grow. Yet, barriers continue to exist for young people seeking higher education, employment and independent living,” said Annie Kennedy, MDA senior vice president - advocacy. 

“MDA’s National Transitions Initiative is aimed at working with youth and families to identify the multifaceted needs of our young adult community, and then identifying the necessary supports and services needed to navigate the existing systemic barriers.

“MDA also is working to change ‘the system’ and through our advocacy program, we are working to create a social and political environment that supports independent living and encourages young people to pursue their hopes and dreams for the future.”

MDA's Transitions Resource Center website

To help establish this new community, MDA has dedicated a special website section called the Transitions Resource Center. These Web pages are designed to help guide and advise young people with neuromuscular diseases by offering information and opportunities related to transitioning to adulthood.

The Transitions Resoure Center contains a variety of resource links — some disability-specific, some not — on the following topics:

  • The Career Center page contains information on how to find a job and develop a career path.
  • The Education page has information on scholarships, financial aid and college planning for students with disabilities.
  • The Independence page contains resources related to living independently, housing and home modifications, caregivers, disability rights, funding sources, transportation and recreation.
  • The Get Involved page invites community members to connect with one another, and provides ideas for becoming more actively involved in the MDA community.

Tell your story

The Transitions Resource Center’s Get Involved page proposes several ways in which young adults and their families can join MDA’s National Transitions Initiative.

  • Take the survey. The online survey allows readers to characterize their daily living, working and caregiving situations, rank their satisfaction with various aspects of their lives, and describe both their goals for the future and the hurdles and challenges they face.
  • Post messages and videos. Community members are invited to post content that describes their experiences with transitions, shares their accomplishments, offers advice about resources or assistance, and poses questions to policy makers and community members.
  • Submit a blog. Bloggers who write about transitions issues may submit material for possible publication on the site.

Information shared by community members will help MDA create a “public policy to-do list” by identifying transitions issues that need to be addressed by policymakers. MDA advocates will bring these concerns forward as they fight to ensure that young people affected by neuromuscular diseases have every opportunity to achieve their goals and dreams.

For more information

The Transitions Resource Center home page can be found at

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