District 219 Bridges Transition Services is committed to providing students with a community-based, functional, real world curriculum. The focus of the program is to enhance students' life and vocational skills.  Our goal is to prepare our students with disabilities to “live independently, enjoy self-determination, make choices, contribute to society, pursue meaningful careers, and enjoy full inclusion...in the mainstream of American society,” (Americans with Disabilities Act, 1990).


Adult Transition Services/Curriculum Overview

District 219's Bridges Adult Transition Services serve adult learners aged 18 through the day before their 22nd birthday. Transition Services operate between the hours of 9:00-2:00 pm. These students have met District 219 graduation requirements and are preparing to be contributing members of the community. Services are structured to enhance skills for young adults needing Community-Based Instruction in the domains of independent living, personal management, recreation and leisure, and vocational training. Services foster a cooperative relationship among staff, students, families, colleges/schools, community organizations, local businesses, adult agencies, and service providers in order to help support the adult learners transitioning away from the high school setting.

Golden Gate Bridge
San Francisco, California


Skills and Instruction

Depending on students’ needs and desired/projected postsecondary outcomes, the Adult Transition Program addresses the following skill areas:

  • Independent Living Skills
  • Recreation and Leisure Skills
  • Employment Work Skills
  • Transition Skills
  • Functional Academics
  • Community-Based Instruction
  • Social/Interpersonal Skills
  • Vocational Training
  • Personal Safety
  • Social Communication Skills
  • Transportation

Independent Living Skills

Independent living is defined as skills or tasks that contribute to the successful independent functioning of an individual in adulthood. We often categorize these skills into the major areas related to our daily lives, such as housing, personal care, transportation, and social and recreational opportunities. Each student’s needs in the area of independent living are unique and should be determined through informal and formal age appropriate transitional assessments.

  • Cooking Skills
  • Kitchen Safety
  • Nutrition
  • Personal Appearance
  • Hygiene
  • Personal Health and Well-being
  • Home Management Tasks
St John's Bridge

St John's Bridge
Portland, Oregon

Employment Skills

Brooklyn Bridge
New York City, New York

Community-based work experiences, such as internships, apprenticeships, and other on-the-job training experiences, providing increased opportunities for students to develop problem solving skills addressing a variety of situations within a workplace environment.


  • Vocational Skills
  • Vocational Awareness
  • Self Advocacy Skills
  • Interpersonal Skills

Functional Academics

Functional Academics focus on independent living skills and vocational skills, emphasizing communication and social skills in a variety of "real-life" community settings.

  • Budgeting
  • Making purchases
  • Banking
  • Resumes
  • Reading recipes
  • Reading maps
  • Filling out forms
  • Filling out applications

Rio Grande Gorge Bridge
Taos, New Mexico

Vocational Training

Royal Gorge Bridge
Cañon City, Colorado

Community-based work experiences, such as volunteering and on-the-job training experiences, provide increased opportunities for students to learn a specific job, task, or skill at an integrated employment site, and to transfer the knowledge gained to real-time work experiences.

  • Transportation
  • Community Access
  • Post Secondary Education
  • Knowledge of Community Resources
  • Recreation and Leisure Skills


Bridges Team

Teachers (click on a teacher for their website)

Nikki Battalani Ellis

[email protected]

Natalie Komo

[email protected]

John Larson

[email protected]

Bridget Rood

[email protected]@d219.org

Jaclyn Sanabria

[email protected]

Justin Wells

[email protected]

Administrative and Support Staff

Kate Seiwert

Director of Transition Services
[email protected]

Bernadette Komenda

Assistant Director of Transition Services
[email protected]

Cathy Orlandi

Administrative Secretary
[email protected]

Melissa Elias

Social Worker
[email protected]

Cortni Jablenski

[email protected]

Essence Msimangira

School Nurse
[email protected]

Yvette Stroesser-Schmidt

Employment Specialist
[email protected]

Megan Turner

Department of Rehabilitation Services (DRS)
[email protected]


Khelud Abdlazziz

[email protected]

Ozzie Aviles

[email protected]

Douglas Bressler

[email protected]

Stephanie Burns

[email protected]

Nick Connell

[email protected]

Michael Corrigan

[email protected]

Zina Easho

[email protected]

Lynette Galvez

[email protected]

Edwin Gonzalez

[email protected]

Matthew Holbrook

[email protected]

Matt Joffe

[email protected]

Joanna King

[email protected]

Natasha Kuffel

[email protected]

Cedrick Murphy

[email protected]

Talat Naz

[email protected]

Sandra Pecirno

[email protected]

Allen Robin

[email protected]

Shaun Sherman

[email protected]

Noah Swanson

[email protected]

Caleb Topel

[email protected]

Job Coaches

Oksana Sarapuk


Tour the New Facility



Transition Resources

Age 18-22 Transition Checklist for Parents:
Please use this at your young adults transition planning meeting and through the duration of their educational experience to help successfully plan for their post-secondary outcomes. Please share with the Case manager and IEP team annually.

Housing Guide
Do you need information about housing for someone with a disability? Check out this 100% free housing guide (downloadable).
This guide is meant to assist individuals, their families, and social service organizations in the convening and formation of community partnerships for the purpose of creating affordable, sustainable alternative housing options for individuals with disabilities.

Ride Free Ventra
In order to receive a Ventra Ride Free or Reduced Fare card, you must first apply for the Illinois Benefit Access Program as a person with a disability.

The Autism Resource Directory is an online resource guide to help families find service and support referrals in the following counties: Lake, McHenry, Kane, DuPage, Cook, Kendall, Will, Grundy, and Kankakee.

B.E.S.T Fair and Options Fair
The goal of these annual fairs is to connect students and their families with resources that are essential for their future. Agencies and Resources present at the annual fairs will be focused in the areas of:

  • Educational Opportunities
  • Employment Services
  • Vocational Day Programs
  • Government Programs
  • Health Services
  • Legal Resources
  • Local/Community Resources
  • Recreational Opportunities
  • Referral Sources and Information
  • Residential Programs
  • Transportation Resources
Next Steps: Monthly presentations for parents, guardians, and community members.
Districts 219(Niles)  and 207 (Maine) collaborate to present Transition guidance and resources for parents/guardians.

NSSEO: Northwest Suburban  Special Education Organization

NSSED:  Northern Suburban Special Education District

Government Disability Resources

Community Alternatives Unlimited (CAU) is a private nonprofit that provides independent case management services to individuals with a wide range of disabilities, including developmental disabilities, mental health needs, hearing, visual, physical impairments, and child welfare challenges. CAU provides Pre-Admission Screening (PAS) services and is a "front door" for entry into the developmental disabilities system.


Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services


PUNS Selection For Services: Prioritization of Urgency of Need for Services (PUNS)

Social Security

State of Illinois Division of Developmental Disabilities: The Illinois Division of Developmental Disabilities provides services and supports for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.

Presentations and Webinars

Find upcoming and past presentations and webinars with a lot of helpful information.



Contact Us

4700 West Chase
Lincolnwood, IL 60712
Phone Number
Fax Numbers