Secondary Transition Planning for Students with Disabilities

The purposes of IDEA include ensuring 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)]. In order to support this focus on preparing students with disabilities for further education, employment and independent living, Congress add secondary transition services requirements as a component of IDEA.

In the federal regulations, secondary transition is described as: "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 developpment of employement and other post-school adult living objectives, and if approrpriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation."

Ohio is exceeding the requirements of the Federal Regulations through the enactment of Ohio Senate Bill 316 which now requires comprehensive transition planning and provision of transition services beginning not later than the first IEP to be in effect when the child is fourteen years of age.

The information below describes the required transition activities for school-age students with disabilities that are intended to facilitate their move from special education services to community life.

(i) Appropriate measurable postsecondary goals based upon age-appropriate transition assessments related to training, education, and, if assessment data supports the need, independent living skills; and

(ii) Appropriate measurable post-secondary goals based on age-appropriate transition assessments related to employment in a competitive environment in which workers are integrated regardless of disabilities; and

(iii) The transition services including courses of study needed to assist the child in reaching those goals.

The intended outcome of this process should result in the identification of the "courses of study and other educational experiences along with transition services" that the child will need to move them towards their identified post-school visions, goals or outcomes. These may include, but are not limited to the following: required courses; elective courses; modified courses; specially designed courses; educational experiences in the school; and/or educational experiences in the community.

It is important to recognize that as the student grows and changes, so does his/her interest in school and post-school outcomes. Flexibility is a major component of all aspects of transition planning.

Agencies may be appropriate to support the secondary transition services of a child with a disability. IDEA provides additional guidance to districts on the requirements of involving agencies by stating:

If a purpose of a child’s IEP Team meeting will be the consideration of postsecondary goals for the child and the transition services needed to assist the child in reaching those goals, the LEA, to the extent appropriate, and with consent, must invite a representative of any participating agency that is likely to be responsible for providing or paying for transition services to attend the child’s IEP Team meeting. However, if the participating agency does not attend the meeting, the LEA is no longer required to take other steps to obtain participation of an agency in the planning of any transition services. [34 CFR 300.321(b)(1) and (3)] [20 U.S.C. 1414(d)(1)]

The statement of "interagency responsibilities or any needed linkages" (when appropriate) directs the IEP team to jointly plan with other agencies and service providers to ensure that the student's needs are met both during and after the student completes his or her secondary education.

Summary of Performance

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.

Resource Links for Secondary Transition

Last Modified: 8/23/2013 1:10:03 PM