The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA, 2004) mandates transition services for all students who are receiving services under an individualized education program (IEP). Transition services require a coordinated set of activities within an outcome-oriented process promoting movement from school to post-school activities, such as postsecondary education. A well-coordinated and collaborative transition team will support successful transition to postsecondary education for a student with a disability.
Transition services means a coordinated set of activities for a child with a disability that:
In Florida, transition planning begins at age 14 and continues throughout secondary education. All students should start early planning for postsecondary education. Career exploration, work-based learning experiences, instruction in self determination and person-centered planning, agency collaboration, and independent living skills all support students’ preparation for postsecondary education and adult life.
Other agency representatives should be invited to participate in the IEP Team meetings if that agency is likely to be responsible for providing or funding transition services in the IEP. This would include representatives from postsecondary education institutions with programs needed for the student to reach their postsecondary goals. Age-appropriate transition assessments provide information on student’s strengths, preferences, and interests should guide the development of these goals.
Preparation for postsecondary education for students with disabilities should look very similar to that of their non-disabled peers. College and university visits, applying early, and choosing the program that provides the best alignment with postsecondary goals will pave the way for a successful transition.