Planning for transition services - Another look

Secondary Transition - A Definition Based Upon Federal Rules (2004)

Transition services means a coordinated set of activities for a child with a disability that 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 postsecondary activities, including postsecondary education, vocational education, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation.

Transition services are based on the individual child's needs, taking into account the child's strengths, preferences, and interests; and include-

  1. Instruction;
  2. Related services;
  3. Community experiences;
  4. The development of employment and other postsecondary adult living objectives; and
  5. If appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and provision of a functional vocational evaluation.

IDEA (2004) does not define "functional vocational evaluation."

An operational definition follows:
Functional vocational evaluation is defined as an ongoing documentation of general work behaviors (e.g. attention to task, work rate, work organization, attendance, punctuality, & physical stamina); dexterity, following directions, working independently, or with job supports or accommodations; job interests and preferences; abilities (aptitude); and other special needs; job specific work skills, interpersonal relationships & socialization; and work related skills (e.g. independent transportation, appropriate use of break time, appropriate dress for work). Functional vocational evaluations are considered most valid when provided in a specific work environment.

Multi-year planning:
State and federal law require that transition services must be a coordinated set of activities designed within a results-oriented process. This means that all persons or agencies work together to plan and deliver the services and activities that will assist the child in achieving the measurable postsecondary goals. These services should be considered from a multi-year perspective and include all the child's high school years, eventually leading to the immediate postsecondary goals. To align specific transition services and activities with the postsecondary goals, consider the backward planning process described below:

Backward Planning: In this process the IEP team starts with the postsecondary goals in mind, and identifies what the child will need to do the year prior to graduation, two years prior to graduation, and so on back to where the child is currently. Transition services are provided by the school or other agency and transition activities are child-centered events, such as attending a career fair.

Based upon a target graduation date, Identify Potential Services and Activities -

  1. First, define each postsecondary goal in terms of the skill levels needed by the child at graduation to achieve that particular goal. Then consider the child's present levels regarding these skills (gather new or different information if needed). Next, identify services and activities that will assist the child in closing the gap toward achieving the desired postsecondary goal. Finally, describe those services and activities under the appropriate postsecondary goals in the IEP. If a service or activity supports more than one goal, list it in each goal to which it applies. For each postsecondary goal, there should be at least one transition service/activity to support the child in achieving that goal.
  2. Identify the person, their title, and the agency responsible - All of the services and activities identified to help a child achieve his or her postsecondary goals are coordinated through the IEP team process. School personnel, and appropriate adult services agencies or programs, may be responsible for providing specific activities. When services or activities assigned to outside agencies cannot be provided as planned, the IEP team must reconvene to identify other ways to address those needs.
  3. Specify the timelines for Delivery of Services As a multi-year plan, the transition services timeline identifies when the services and activities will take place and when they are to be completed. These timelines should be more specific for services or activities in the current IEP year and broader for future years. This information must include the projected beginning date for the service or activity (which could be a subsequent school year other than the current year, or it could be one single day for a career fair or other event). And it must specify the anticipated duration of the activity or service.

Last Modified: 7/5/2013 10:45:25 AM