Welcome to the Sonoran UCEDD


We Need Your Help to Better Understand Transition Services in Arizona!

From left, a young black woman with dark hair, a young white man with dark hair, and a young white woman with blonde hair sit together at a table.

Our Research Team
Dr. Wendy Parent- Johnson, Susan Voirol, Heather Wolff, Austin Duncan and Rachel Rios-Richardson. 

Check List GraphicWhat is this about? 

  • We are studying transition services for students who have disabilities in Arizona.
  • We want to hear from you about what is working, what is challenging, and what supports you need.


Two People conversing graphicHow will this work?

  • We conducted interviews with transition stakeholders around the state.
  • We developed this statewide survey to gather additional, comprehensive input from transition stakeholders across Arizona
  • We will summarize information and share results and recommendations.


A graphic of a tablet computer. Why? 

  • Your small amount of time could make a big difference!
  • Better understanding the state of transition services in Arizona could lead to positive changes for our students and schools.


A graphic of stick figures sharing ideas.Who? 

  • The survey should be taken by anyone who addresses youth in transition across the state: educators, transition specialists, state agency staff, vocational rehabilitation counselors, developmental disabilities support coordinators, community members, agency providers, and independent living centers. 


For more information, please contact Wendy Parent-Johnson (wparentjohnson@arizona.edu) or Susan Voirol (svoirol@arizona.edu).

Project SEARCH Adds Two New Sites

We are thrilled to announce that Mayo Clinic has teamed with the Paradise Valley school district, and Banner Gateway Medical Center has teamed with Gilbert Public Schools to be the two newest Project SEARCH sites for fall of 2020!

"Mayo Clinic is proud to partner with our community to provide wonderful training and experiences to Project SEARCH interns," says Marcia Edwards, diversity recruitment specialist for Mayo Clinic in Arizona. "Partnering with Paradise Valley Unified School District has allowed us to select from a group of phenomenal students. The UArizona Sonoran UCEDD has been one of our great partners providing support toward the ultimate success of our program. We look forward to seeing the fruits of our labors with Project SEARCH as we learn and grow alongside our interns, broaden our recruiting pool and develop our inclusive culture." 

"Banner Health is excited to partner with Gilbert Public Schools, UArizona Sonoran UCEDD, and Vocational Rehab to bring Project Search to Maricopa County. As the largest healthcare system and employer in Arizona, we are committed to providing our diverse communities with equitable care, as well as opportunities to develop a pipeline of talent. By bringing Project Search to Maricopa County, we have been afforded the opportunity to foster individualized, on the job development for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities that focuses on training in employability and independent living skills. Through this program, we aim to assist in creating opportunities for our Project Search interns to have a successful transition into productive adult life." 

With the newest Project SEARCH sites coming onboard, we celebrate the increase for a total of 8 sites in Arizona. We will continue to reach out to schools and businesses across the state to develop new sites.

Expanding Project SEARCH sites gives students with intellectual or developmental disabilities the opportunity to complete an internship at a business, learn relevant, marketable skills and expand their employment options. Project Search AZ Logo

Project SEARCH Arizona is a transition-to-work program designed to help young people with significant disabilities make successful transitions to productive adult life. In 2018, Arizona interns had an average of 85 percent employment rate compared to the national employment rate of 77 percent.

Learn more about Project SEARCH.

Introducing a New Four-Year Collaborative Project: Career Pathways to Arizona's Future

Career Pathways to Arizona's Future Logo

The Sonoran UCEDD is pleased to announce a new four-year project funded by the Arizona Department of Economic Security, Division of Rehabilitation Services Administration. 

Wendy Parent-Johnson, PhD, director of the Sonoran UCEDD and Susan Voirol, program manager of Employment First and Transition Initiatives, received the multi-year, multi-million dollar for a project focused on improving post-school outcomes and employment rates of high school youth with disabilities.  

This will be done through the delivery of effective Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS).

The project, implemented in collaboration with vocational rehabilitation, schools, and adult service providers across the state, will respond to this need using a comprehensive, multi-faceted approach.