Children must be prepared as they transition from early intervention to school based programs, from elementary to middle school programs, and from middle school to high school programs. One of the biggest transitions is preparing students to move from high school to work, college, or technical school. Students must have transition plans established to help prepare them for the time when they graduate from high school and transition into the work force or further educational settings. A coordinated team effort involving parents and educators is necessary for construction of an effective transition plan, and for successful transition to occur.
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The Individuals with Disabilities Act requires that beginning as early as age 14, the IEP team must establish a transition statement based on the student's course work and educational goals. When the student becomes 16 years of age, the IEP team must develop a transition statement that includes a description of interagency involvement and necessary services.
The student with a combination of vision and hearing loss may need extra time to prepare for transition to adult life. It is important for parent and teachers to consider the student's educational as well as vocational goals early, so that everyone is headed in the same direction. Independence is a key factor in achieving success in adult life. It is therefore necessary to consider the student's ability to travel independently and communicate. A student may require an interpreter as he journeys to college, or he may require special accommodations at a work site. Identifying these needs and appropriate supports should be part of the transition process.