August 6, 2014
The purpose of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is:
"...to ensure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate education that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment and independent living."
Section 1400(d) The phrase "further education" and the emphasis on effective transition services is new in IDEA 2004. Section 1400(c)(14) describes the need to provide "effective transition services to promote successful post-school employment and/or education. (See "Findings and Purposes" in Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, pages 45-48)
Congress also made significant changes in the legal definition of "transition services" in IDEA 2004.
(34) Transition Services - The term `transition services' means a coordinated set of activities for a child with a disability that-
(A) is designed to be a results-oriented process, that is focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the child with a disability to facilitate the child's movement from school to post-school activities, including post-secondary education, vocational education, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation;
(B) is based on the individual child’s needs, taking into account the child's strengths, preferences, and interests;
(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."
(See "Definitions" in Section 1401, Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, page 56)
Articles about Transition
It's time to begin planning so your child knows what is necessary to prepare for work, further education and independent living. These articles, resources, and free publications will help.
New Article - 2014! Transitioning from High School to Post-Secondary Education. Marilyn J. Bartlett, M.Ed., Ph.D., J.D. explains why transition from the IEP to a 504 plan for seniors is important!
Transition Planning: Setting Lifelong Goals by Jennifer Graham and Peter Wright, Esq. This article will provide you with two checklists and good advice to help your child make a successful transition from school to employment or further education.
IEPs for Success by Dr. Barbara Bateman. This article includes extensive discussion of transition and transition plans.
The IEP for Transition Age Students. Excellent article about IEPs for "transition-aged students." Learn about transition requirements, members of the IEP transition team (including student and parents), special factors for the IEP team to consider (published by the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition and The Pacer Center).
IEP and Transition Planning: Frequently Asked Questions
Legal Requirements for Transition Components of the IEP - Barbara D. Bateman, Ph.D., J.D.
Making the Transition from School to Work by Sue Whitney
IDEA 2004: Improving Transition Planning and Results by Candace Cortiella. Recent amendments to the federal special education law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 04), include several revisions to the requirements for transition planning designed to improve post-secondary results for students with disabilities.
Students with Disabilities Get an Extra Hand in Transition to College (pdf format), Austin American Stateman (March 06, 2008).
Termination Just Before Transition: Is This Best? Don’t allow the school to terminate your child’s eligibility unless and until you are convinced that he is functioning well and can get a good job and pursue further education if he wants to.
Transition: Summary of Performance (SOP) When your child graduates from high school with a regular diploma or “ages out” of special education, IDEA requires the school to provide a “summary of academic achievement and functional performance"
Establishing Exit Criteria for a 20-Year -Old Student. There are no clear, specific documents to establish exit criteria for a 20 year old student, except for a regular high school diploma. Absent that, exiting is not an option.
Measuring Interests to Aptitudes - Finding a Direction. Pete Wright says, "Bottom line: Like so much in life, before trying to create a treatment plan, get the data first.”
Certificate Instead of Diploma - Is This OK? Your child is eligible for special education until he graduates from high school with a *regular high school diploma* or ages out at age 22. Do not accept a certificate. A certificate is meaningless and will not help him get a job, get further education or be self sufficient and independent.
Transitional Programs on College Campuses or in the Community. Find out what IDEA says ...“Part B funds can be used for student ‘participation in transitional programs on college campuses or in community-based settings. . .”
Got Transition. Find resources to develop youth and parent leadership in advocating for needed transition supports and participating in transition quality improvement efforts.
Special Education and Transition Services. Information about developing and delivering programs, products and services that enhance the quality of education and transition services for students with disabilities and their families, advocates and services providers from OHSU.
Transition of Students with Disabilities to Postsecondary Education: A Guide for High School Educators (March 2011). This document provides high school educators with answers to questions students with disabilities may have as they prepare to move to the postsecondary education environment.
Parents Guide to Transition to College, Career, and Community. This article will increase your knowledge and provide tools to help you prepare for your child’s transition from K-12 education to postsecondary education and life as a young adult.
The Guideposts for Success for Youth. What all youth need to successfully transition into adulthood from the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). Based on an extensive literature review of research, demonstration projects and effective practices covering a wide range of programs and services, including youth development, quality education, and workforce development programs.
Workforce Recruitment Program. Coordinated by the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and the U.S. Department of Defense, the WRP is a recruitment and referral program that connects federal and private sector employers with highly motivated postsecondary students with disabilities who are eager to prove their abilities in the workplace through summer or permanent jobs.
Healthy and Ready to Work National Resource Center. The Maternal and Child Health Bureau’s Division of Services for Children with Special Health Care Needs (MCHB/DSCSHN) www.mchb.hrsa.gov has funded the development and demonstration of model Healthy & Ready to Work (HRTW) state programs focused on of children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN).
Planning for Postsecondary Transition. Presented by NCLD and 92nd Street Y, provides insights into the realities that students with learning disabilities face as they prepare to apply to and attend college.
Podcast: Transition from High School to College for Students with Learning Disabilities. Policy Podcast from NCLD with Vincent Varrassi of Fairleigh Dickinson University. He discusses the basics every high school student and family should know about how to plan for a successful transition from high school to college for students with learning disabilities.
Transition to Adulthood at the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities.
Transitions Considerations Checklist. Use this checklist from NCLD to determine if your child's transition planning includes all of the components needed.
Transition to School and Work: A blueprint for your child's success after high school. A brochure on transition planning for parents from the National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities (NJCLD).
Youth Information, Training, and Resources - Center for Self-Advocacy Leadership (CSAL) Virginia. The Center for Self-Advocacy Leadership (CSAL) provides information, training, and resources to increase self-advocacy leadership skills in youth and young adults with disabilities (ages 13 to 30) who are emerging leaders.
Transition Topics to help you understand the transition process from the National Collaboration on Workforce and Disability.
Yankton School District v. Schramm (8th Cir. 1996) Eligibility for special education under IDEA v. Section 504; transition from school to life after school; unilateral termination of special education services; attorney's fees.
New Update! Transition to Adulthood Guidelines for Individuals with ASD has been revised and formatted into a series of free web–based booklets from OCALI. Each booklet focuses on one aspect of the transition from school to adult life.
- IEP Components of the Transition Process
- Considerations for School Programming
- Age-Appropriate Transition Assessment
The IEP for Transition Age Students - National Center on Secondary Education and Transition and The Pacer Center.
Moving On to High School: A Tip Sheet for Parents of Children on Individualized Education Plans - Transition to 8th grade from the Institute for Community Inclusion, University of Massachusetts Boston.
Person-Centered Planning: A Tool for Transition. Under IDEA 2004, IEPs must include transition services for the child by age 16. The transition plan should reflect the student’s interests, preferences, accomplishments and skills, what they need to learn, and what they want to do. Person-centered planning is a way to identify goals and develop plans to accomplish goals (published by the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition and The Pacer Center).
Secondary to Postsecondary Education Transition Planning for Students with Learning Disabilities - National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities
Vocational Assessment: A Guide for Parents and Professionals - National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities
What Works: Transition Research - National Center on Secondary Education and Transition
Visit the Free Pubs Page for free publications about IEPs, special education, transition, reading, children's mental health, harassment, high-stakes testing, retention and social promotion, discipline, and much more.
College Students with Disabilities
College-bound students need to learn self-advocacy skills - how to present information about their disability and accommodations so professors are willing to help. If students master these skills, they are far more likely to make a successful transition from high school to college.
Please check the resources on the College, Continuing and Higher Education page.
Download the Help for College Students with Disabilities. More Wrightslaw flyers.
IEPs do not follow students into college. Make sure you and your child know what to expect. Read Your Rights and Responsibilities in College by the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights.
Letter to Parents from the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) about changes students with disabilities encounter as they make the transition from high school to postsecondary education.
Post-secondary institutions have significantly different responsibilities from those of school districts. This letter provides examples of the unique relationship between post-secondary institutions and students with disabilities.
Students with Disabilities Preparing for Postsecondary Education: Know Your Rights and Responsibilities (U. S. Department of Education). Short booklet for students who plan to continue their education after high school; includes questions and answers about admissions, accommodations & academic adjustments, documentation, evaluations, and discrimination under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
These books will answer many questions students have when deciding on a college.
Peterson's Colleges with Programs for Students with Learning Disabilities or Attention Deficit Disorders - More than 750 college programs in the U.S. and Canada for special needs students.
The K and W Guide to Colleges for Students with Learning Disabilities or Attention Deficit Disorder - A resource book for students, parents, and professionals.
Visiting College Campuses - When to go, how to get there, where to stay, and how to get the most from your visit - complete profiles of the nation's 249 most toured schools - information on campus tour schedule, interviews, and local accommodations.
Learn more about Section 504, ADA and life after school.
Learn more about College: Continuing and Higher Education.
Now is the time for high school seniors to visit college campuses and get a head start on their college applications. Learn about financial aid for students with learning disabilities.
Books - Transition
Life Beyond the Classroom: Transition Strategies for Young People
With Disabilities, by Paul Wehman
The Transition Handbook: Strategies High School Teachers Use that
Work! by Carolyn Hughes and Erik W. Carter
Vocational and Technical Schools--East 8th Editon
College and Continuing Education
Accommodations in Higher Education under the Americans with disabilities Act: A No-Nonsense Guide for Clinicians, Educators, Administrators and Lawyers by Michael Gordon and Shelby Keisern
The K and W Guide to Colleges For Students With Learning Disabilities or Attention Deficit Disorder, 9th Edition (Paperback)
Colleges for Students with Learning Disibilities or ADD (Peterson's)
College and Career Success For Students With Learning Disabilities
Guide for College Students with ADHD or LD by Kathleen G. Nadeau
Going To College: Expanding Opportunities For People With Disabilities (Paperback) by Elizabeth Evans Getzel and Paul Wehman (Editors)
Succeeding in College With Asperger Syndrome by John Harpur, Maria Lawlor, Michael Fitzgerald
Realizing the College Dream With Autism or Asperger Syndrome: A
Parent's Guide to Student Success
Transition Practices in Early Childhood
Foundations of Transition for Young Children - Effective Transition Practices in Early Childhood.
Transition of Young Children in Early Childhood Programs from CONNECT: The Center to Mobilize Early Childhood Knowledge from the Child Development Institute at UNC. This training module is about transition from Part C of IDEA (infants and toddlers- birth to three) to Part B (young children - three to six) programs.
More about Early Childhood - Early Intervention
NESCA Transition Services
Transition is the process, ideally beginning at age 14 if not sooner and extending through high school graduation and beyond, by which an adolescent or young adult masters the life skills necessary to function independently in post-secondary school or the workplace. NESCA offers complete transition assessment (including testing and community-based observation), planning and consultation services, coordinated by Kelley Challen, Ed.M., CAS and her team, including Sandy Storer, MSW and Marilyn Weber.