Preparing Students with Disabilities for Life after School and the Workplace

The project provides limited legal representation, legal advice and know-your-rights education to families/caregivers of students ages 14-21 who receive special education about the student’s right to have transition planning and services included in the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) to help prepare the student for life after high school.

We provide free educational materials and presentations on rights to “transition services” under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Please email Darlene Hemerka at or call 215-627-7100 ex.259 if you would like information on transition services, or if you have a group that would like to learn about transition planning and services. Ms. Hemerka leads this project as an Equal Justice Works Fellow sponsored by Greenberg Traurig, LLP.

To find out if this program can provide you with free legal services, please complete a confidential request for help form.

This form is to help determine eligibility for the Public Interest Law Center’s disability-based employment discrimination legal services for clients in Pennsylvania. Please complete this form ONLY if you are seeking legal help with a transition issue, and only if you reside in Pennsylvania.

Please be on notice: By agreeing to a consultation, we are not agreeing to take your case. We do not represent you at this time. We will review the information you provided and if you are eligible we will contact you within 2 weeks. If you are not eligible, we will notify you within 60 days.

Please note we do not accept requests for help over the phone. You must complete this form to be considered for eligibility for legal services. You can mail, email or fax a copy with any supporting documents. If you have copies of documents that support your claim, please submit them with your form. You can also mail copies (no originals please—they will not be returned), email, or fax copies to:

Preparing Students with Disabilities for Life after School
1709 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Second Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Fax: 215-627-3183


June 2019
The Public Interest Law Center wants to hear from families of Philadelphia students with IEPs

Upcoming Presentations

  • Wednesday, July 17. Darlene Hemerka will give a presentation on preparing students with disabilities for life after high school at the 2019 Pennsylvania Community on Transition Conference in State College. The primary purpose of this conference is to expand the capacity of schools, agencies and communities, in partnership with youth, young adults and families, in promoting the successful transition of youth/young adults with disabilities to post-school outcomes of employment, post-secondary education and training, community participation and healthy lifestyles. Learn more and register here. Penn Stater Conference Center and Hotel, 215 Innovation Boulevard, State College, PA. 2-3:30 p.m.


Preparing Students with Disabilities for Life after School Powerpoint

Developing an IEP Transition Plan Toolkit

Planning for the Future Checklist

Philadelphia: Free Work-Ready Training Summer Program in Digital Literacy from Digitability



Staff on the Case
Darlene Hemerka