Secondary Transition Planning for Students with Disabilities

The purpose of IDEA is to ensure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education (FAPE) that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment and independent living [34 CFR 300.1(a)] [20 U.S.C. 1400(d)(1)(A)].

Rules and Regulations

Secondary transition is: "designed to be within 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 postsecondary education, vocational education, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation; is based on the individual child's needs, taking into account the child's strengths, preferences, and interests; and includes instruction, related services, community experiences, the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives, and if appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation." [34 CFR 300.320(b)] [20 U.S.C. 1414(d)(1)(a)(i)(VIII)(aa) - (bb)] 

For a student with a disability who is graduating or exceeding the age requirement for free appropriate public education (FAPE), a summary of the student’s academic achievement and functional performance is required and provides recommendations on how to assist students in meeting their postsecondary goals. [34 CFR 300.305(e)(3)] [20 U.S.C. 1414(c)]

Ohio specifically requires that:

  • Comprehensive secondary transition planning and provision of transition services begin not later than the first IEP to be in effect when the child is 14 years of age;
  • Transition services include the development of employment in an integrated competitive environment; and
  • Transition services shall be provided by individuals who have the competencies, experiences and training required to meet the individual student's transition service needs.

Resource Links for Secondary Transition

Ohio Transition Support Partnership

The Ohio Department of Education is partnering with Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities to increase the availability of vocational rehabilitation services for students with disabilities beginning at age 14. This innovative collaboration will change the nature and impact of transition services for students with disabilities in Ohio. The new model will help students with disabilities get a head start on becoming job ready and better prepared to enter the workforce with the skills necessary to be successful. As a result of this partnership, 26 dedicated vocational rehabilitation counselors and 13 caseload assistants from Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities will work with transition-age youth throughout the state. This fact sheet provides a brief overview of the Ohio Transition Support Partnership initiative. 

Ohio Transition Support Partnership Fact Sheet

For more information, please contact Emilie Coen, Ohio Department of Education at or Julie Hance, Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities, at

Last Modified: 5/31/2017 7:50:51 AM