Federal special education law requires that there be transitional planning services for students with disabilities regardless of which agencies provide support or educational services to a student. Beginning at age 14 (or younger if determined appropriate by the IEP team) and updated annually, the IEP must contain a statement of the transition service needs of the student under the applicable components of the student’s IEP that focuses on the student’s course of study.
Beginning at age 16 (or younger if determined appropriate by the IEP team), the IEP must contain a statement of needed transition services for the student, including when appropriate, a statement of the interagency responsibilities and linkages.
A coordinated transition-planning meeting (conducted as part of an IEP team meeting) should include representatives of agencies that would serve the student after graduation. The purpose of the plan is to ensure that the student continues to receive the support needed, from the appropriate public and private agency/agencies, to continue vocational training, education services, or find and maintain the most independent level or employment possible.
Various agencies provide continued educational support for students with disabilities after graduation. These include the Department of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) and other adult agencies.
Transitional planning will give you a greater opportunity to become familiar with these community resources. Do not take a passive role in the planning process. Work with your school district to identify and work with the agencies that will assist your child after graduation.
Transition services for students in special education are services that help students move from school to work and adult life. They should reflect the student's own goals for his future.
The law defines transition services as:
A coordinated set of activities for a student with a disability that-
(A) Is designed within an outcome-oriented process, which promotes movement from school to post-school activities, including post-secondary education, vocational training, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation;
(B) Is based upon the individual student's needs, taking into account the student's preferences and interests; and
(C) Includes instruction, related services, community experiences, the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives, and, when appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation.