The completion of high school is the beginning of adult life. Entitlement in public education ends, and young people and their families are faced with many options and decisions about the future.
The most common choices for the future are pursuing vocational training or further academic education, getting a job, and living independently. For students with disabilities, these choices may be more complex and may require a great deal of planning. Planning the transition from school to adult life begins, at the latest, during high school. In fact, transition planning is required, by law, to start once a student reaches 14 years of age, or younger, if appropriate. This transition planning becomes formalized as part of the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP).
Transition services are intended to prepare students to make the transition from the world of school to the world of adulthood. In planning what type of transition services a student needs to prepare for adulthood, the IEP Team considers areas such as postsecondary education or vocational training, employment, independent living, and community participation. The transition services themselves are a coordinated set of activities that are based on the student’s needs and that take into account his or her preferences and interests. Transition services can include instruction, community experiences, the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives, and (if appropriate) the acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational assessment.
This Transition Summary provides ideas and information on how students, families, school personnel, service providers, and others can work together to help students make a smooth transition. In particular, this document focuses on creative transition planning and services that use all the resources that exist in communities, not just the agencies that have traditionally been involved.
This publication also provides:
Download the full publication to learn more about transition planning.
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