Transition Planning and Student Services for Secondary Students with Disabilities
Special education students face serious challenges when deciding what they want to do after completing their secondary education. Their options include vocational opportunities and higher education.
Under IDEA, every IEP must include a transition plan. A statement of transition must be completed by age 14, and a plan addressing the transition services that the special education student requires needs to be completed by age 16 or younger. This transition plan has to be aligned with ESSA and WIOA to ensure coordination with federal education and workforce related programs.
Your Special Education Student’s Transition Plan
To be compliant with IDEA, the special education student’s IEP must clearly state the specific transition services that will be available for the student. This has to include a coordinated set of activities that meets the following criteria:
- Outcome oriented
- Focused on improving academic functional achievement
- Facilitates movement from school to post-school activities
The goals in a transition plan have to be appropriate, clearly stated, and measurable. The IEP must take into account the youth’s strengths, preferences, and interests in order to provide instructional and related transition services that match the student’s needs, challenges, and long- and short-term goals.
Transitional services may include:
- Adult services
- Independent living
- Postsecondary education
- Vocational education
- Supported employment
- Competitive integrated employment
- Continuing and adult education
- Community participation
Your Special Education Student’s IEP
Parents must be notified that their child’s transition services IEP will be held to develop a statement of transition services needed. The special education student’s self-determination is a vital part of this process. The student should be encouraged to attend this meeting, but if they do not attend, parents should inform the student about the meeting to encourage the student’s feedback regarding their goals and interests.
At the transition services IEP, employment and other post-school adult living objectives for the special education student will be considered. If appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational training will also be addressed.
A summary of performance (SOP) of the student’s academic achievement and functional performance will be provided by the district. After clear goals for transition have been established, the district, parents, and student will develop strategies to meet them. This will include some form of assessment to be provided by the district.
Groups and Agencies That Provide Transition Services
IDEA requires the school to invite representatives of any groups or agencies that are likely to be responsible for providing or paying for services recommended in the transition services plan. This may include organizations related to the following types of services:
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Employment and training
- Mental health
- Development disabilities
- Social security
If representatives are unable to attend, the school is expected to reach out to the organizations to request feedback regarding the IEP.
Serving Special Education Students in Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley
At Woodsmall Law Group, we serve children with special needs and their parents in Los Angeles County, focusing on the San Gabriel Valley. We have been helping families make the most out of their educational opportunities for over 18 years.
If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s placement or the services they are receiving, please call (626) 440-0028 to schedule a FREE initial consultation. We speak English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Polish, and Spanish.