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Transition Resources

Transition planning is the process of preparing students with disabilities for life beyond high school. It focuses on helping them transition from school to post-secondary education, employment, and independent living.The goal is to equip students with the skills, knowledge, and resources they need to succeed after graduation. By its very nature, transition planning is a collaborative effort and must be thought of as an ongoing process across multiple school years.

When Does Transition Planning Begin?
Transition planning starts when a student turns 15 years old (or younger, if appropriate). It is a collaborative effort involving the student, parents/guardians, educators, and other relevant stakeholders. The IEP team discusses the student’s strengths, interests, preferences, and needs related to post-school outcomes.

Components of Transition Planning:

  • Post-Secondary Goals: The IEP must include measurable post-secondary goals in the areas of education/training, employment, and independent living. These goals reflect the student’s aspirations and desired outcomes.
  • Transition Services: These are the activities, services, and supports necessary to achieve the post-secondary goals. Examples include vocational training, job coaching, college preparation, and life skills instruction.
  • Course of Study: The IEP outlines the student’s academic and functional courses, aligning them with their post-secondary goals.
  • Agency Linkages: The IEP team identifies and coordinates with community agencies (e.g., vocational rehabilitation, adult services) that can support the student’s transition.
  • Annual Goals and Objectives: These focus on building skills related to employment, education, and independent living.
  • Transition Assessment: Ongoing assessments help identify the student’s strengths, needs, preferences, and interests. These inform the transition plan.
  • Graduation Exit Summary: For students exiting school, a summary outlines their achievements, skills, and transition services received.

Collaboration and Student Involvement:
Active student participation is essential. Students should voice their preferences, interests, and goals. Collaboration among educators, parents, students, and community agencies ensures a comprehensive transition plan.

Post-School Outcomes:
The IEP team considers the following outcomes:

  • Education/Training: Enrollment in college, vocational programs, or adult education.
  • Employment: Competitive employment, supported employment, or self-employment.
  • Independent Living: Skills for daily living, housing, transportation, and community participation.

Monitoring and Adjustments:

  • Transition planning is dynamic. The IEP team reviews progress annually and adjusts goals and services as needed.
  • Students should be aware of their rights and responsibilities during the transition process.
  • Remember, effective transition planning empowers students with disabilities to pursue meaningful and fulfilling lives beyond high school.