Lesa Kitzmiller – Program Specialist
If you have had a child that entered the ESE program at an age less than 14, until now each year the IEP team developed an academic plan. This will not change, however, added onto this will be a new item, a Transition Plan. Just as the parent’s participation is essential for the creation of a quality academic plan, the Transition IEP is best accomplished with a team that actively includes family in the development and application of the plan. As graduation nears there is a greater and greater need for involvement with agencies from outside the school along with involvement in the process from the student.
Who can be on the Transition IEP Team?
- Family (parents or guardians)
- Special Education teacher
- General Education teacher
- Staffing Specialist
- Career/technical representative (agency, guidance counselor, vocational teacher, transitional specialist, employment specialist)
- Related Service Provider (speech therapist, physical therapist, occupational therapist, counselor)
- Community Members
- Others who might be helpful
An IEP meeting is the time when the group of people with knowledge about education programs, and about a student, meet together to make plans for the future of that student. The group that meets together is called an IEP team. You have the right to invite any relatives, friends or community members who know the student or have special expertise. The IEP team should work together to plan the class s and services your son or daughter will need to be successful when he or she leaves high school.
Preparing for the Transition IEP Meeting
- Ask the school to provide information regarding the student’s progress in school, topics that will be addressed at the meeting, and items to be documented in the Transition IEP.
- Identify the student’s personal interests and feelings regarding the educational program and desired post-high school outcomes.
- Help educate the student about possible educational and career opportunities.
- Make notes regarding information you would like to share at the meeting or questions you would like to have answered.
- Gather any recent evaluations completed outside school and bring them to the meeting.
- Spend time thinking about what you want for your student. Make a written list of your goals for your student. Make notes of any questions you may want to ask.
Don’t let yourself be limited by what others think your son or daughter can or can’t do!!
Helpful Hints for Parents Attending an IEP Meeting
- Keep the meeting student focused. Focus on problem solving rather than blaming.
- Extra ears always help. Bring someone with you to take notes, listen, and be your support.
- Labels don’t explain programs. Don’t be afraid to ask to see a classroom before making decisions.
- Remember, you know your young adult better than anyone!!
Transition IEP Checklist
Throughout a student’s life, he/she will need various documents and important information. It is important for the students to locate and keep the information in a safe place. The information may be used to assist the student, family, teachers, and other people making decisions about transitional planning. Remind the student to keep all records and files together in a safe place. Personal Information should include:
- Social Security Card
- Birth Certificate
- Picture Identification Card
- Emergency Contact Information
Medical Information should include:
- Medical Insurance/Information Card
- Names, address, & phone numbers of doctors, dentists and other medical professionals
- Copies of Immunization Records
- Dates of any surgeries
- Copies of any other important medical information
Education Information should include:
- Copies of Transitional IEPs
- Copies of results of all educational testing
- Copy of transcript
- Copies of latest report cards and attendance records
- Awards and Certificates earned
Vocational Information should include:
- Reports of all vocational assessments
- Work Records (include contact person and phone numbers )
- References, Resume, and Transition IEP Portfolio
- Vocational courses taken and grades
Adult Service Agencies and Services Provided
There are many adult service providers, or agencies that provide services. The agency in which your young adult may be a client, or qualify for, depends on your young adult’s disability and the eligibility criteria for the agency.
Department of Children & Families Provides an array of services based on individual needs; fees are based on a sliding scale, and services involve case management, medical, dental, adult living, sheltered employment and advocacy.
Vocational Rehabilitation VR plays a large role in determining how transition services are delivered. VR services involve vocational training, on the job training, tools, supplies, uniforms, adaptive equipment, job coach services, and counseling. In order to be considered for eligibility, the VR services must lead to employment outcomes, and the VR services must not be able to be provided by another agency. Vocational Rehabilitation www.rehabworks.com 772-468-3948
Key Transition Terms
ADA: The American Disabilities Act of 1990. The Act of Congress that protects the rights of persons with disabilities.
Collaboration: Working cooperatively with others to achieve common goals.
Competitive Employment: Generally defined as paid employment in non-sheltered business or industry.
Exceptional Student Education (ESE): Education provided to children with disabilities whose abilities (physical, mental & social) and learning styles require alternative teaching methods or related support services to enable the child to benefit from the educational program.
Functional Skills: Skills that are important for everyday living such as how to shop for groceries, how to talk to one’s boss, or how to balance a checkbook with a calculator.
Goal: A final desired post-school outcome, the dream for which your young adult is training and planning. A goal may be as general as “I would like a job” or specific, such as “I want to live in an apartment on 45th Street with my best friend, Elizabeth.”
IDEA: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The law that ensures that eligible children have available to them free and appropriate public education.
Inclusion: When persons with disabilities are not only in the same place as person without disabilities, but also participate in the same activities at the same time.
Independent Living Skills: Activities that a person needs to be able to live on his/her own with limited supervision.
Individualized Education Program (IEP): A written plan that identifies a child’s strengths, needs, education, and related services needs. The IDEA mandates than an IEP be developed for all children eligible under IDEA for special education services. The plan must be reviewed at least yearly.
Job Coach: A person who trains persons with disabilities on-the-job. Job coaches have special training to help them both teach the person with a disability to do the job and to aid him to be fully included in the workplace.
Supported Employment: Employment in which the person with a disability will need long-term or ongoing help to keep a job.
Supported Living: Individuals with disabilities share or have their own apartment or house. A service organization provides support as needed for transportation, skills training, budgeting, shopping and recreation.
Transition: Change, movement from one setting to another. The movement of a young adult from school to adult life.
Transition Services: Services that assist a child from one program to another. Moving from high school to employment, postsecondary education, adult services, living situation, and community activities.
Vocational Rehabilitation: A state agency, which is designed to help restore or develop the working ability of persons with mental, emotional or physical disabilities.