is Transition Planning?
The 1997 amendments to the
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) states
that students with disabilities are to be prepared for employment
and independent living. IDEA also requires coordinated and
documented planning. Early and meaningful transition planning,
which actively involves students and their families, has a
positive influence on students' post-school success and independence.
The IEP (Individual Education
Program) team must think and plan several years ahead of the
student's transition from school to the adult community. IDEA
requires that the IEP team carefully consider post-school
goals when the student is about to enter high school at age
Beginning at age 16 (or younger,
if appropriate) a statement of transition services needed
by the student must be included in the IEP. High school experiences,
both academic and social, greatly influence future options
for all students. For adolescents with disabilities, these
experiences are pivotal. Decisions about any transition service
needs or a student's course of study should be grounded in
the answers to the following questions:
- What are his/her dreams?
- His/her vision for life
as an adult?
- What are his/her strengths?
- How will he/she use them
to build success during high school?
- Will he/she seek a regular
high school diploma requiring a prescribed course of study
with possible accompanying proficiency tests?
- Will he/she work toward
a vocational completion certificate?
- Does he/she have a career
interest now? If not, when and how can the team help her
discover his/her interests and preferences?
- Does this team believe
that he/she will remain in public school through the maximum
age of eligibility? If so, what age-appropriate experiences
may be available after 18?
- What skills need to be
developed or improved to help her make progress toward her
- Are there any at-risk behaviors
that might interfere with his success during high school?
- In what school and community
activities will he/she participate?
- What does the team believe
his/her high school course of study will look like?
- What transition services,
supports and accommodations does he/she need for success
in high school?
Discussing and answering these
questions will meet the intent of the IDEA regulations. All
IEP decisions should be made in the context of how that decision
may affect the student's future school or post-school experiences.
Developing a Comprehensive
Section 300.29 of the IDEA
regulations defines transition service as a coordinated set
of activities for a student with a disability that is designed
within an outcome-oriented process, that promotes movement
from school to post-school activities, including postsecondary
education, vocational training, integrated employment (including
supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult
services, independent living, or community participation.
Transition services are based
on the individual student's needs and take into account the
student's preferences and interests.
Review this sample IEP/Transition
Plan to learn about effective team planning. (PDF
only) (12 pg. 134 KB)