Defining The Transition Plan
And The Transition Process
What is a transition plan?
Although the IEP will contain a transition statement, an entire plan is usually needed to address post-school transition. Individual Transition Planning Meetings will occur to construct the plan. A transition plan is basically a plan for the student's future. It serves as a guide to help the family, student, and involved agencies to achieve desired post school outcomes. It typically contains statements about desired outcomes (which correspond to IEP transition statements and IEP goals) and more in-depth information regarding all the steps needed to accomplish those goals. The transition plan also specifies who is responsible for each step (e.g., school personnel, family, adult service provider).
What areas are addressed in a transition plan?
Many areas may be addressed in a transition plan. Some of these include:
- Employment preparation (e.g., competitive placement, supported employment, community-based vocational training, volunteer, weekend job, develop certain work behaviors)
- Postsecondary education or vocational training (e.g., community college, vocational school)
- Transportation needs (e.g., ride a bus, cross a street, call a taxi)
- Living arrangements (e.g., group homes, live independently)
- Independent living skills (e.g., prepare meals, do household chores, dress, bathe self, budget)
- Community and Leisure participation (e.g., special interest clubs, participate in parks and recreation activities
- Social behaviors (e.g., develop appropriate social interactions, telephone use)
- Medical and health needs (e.g., medication, doctors appointments, tube feeding)
- Several other areas may be addressed (e.g., financial/income needs/legal needs)
Who makes the Transition Plan?
A team of individuals including the family, school personnel, and involved agencies meet and formulate the transition plan. It is the responsibility of the school system to put together the meeting. The transition plan should be centered on student and family preference and student need. Often, standardized tools used by schools fail to capture accurately the preferences, interests and desires of complex young adults with deafblindness and multiple disabilities. A Person Centered Plan is one good way to capture this information. (See section on Person Centered Planning) Some additional tools that can be used to get that information are included after the sample transition plans.
Who should attend the Individual Transition Planning Meeting?
- The student must be invited and the IEP report must indicate that the student was extended the opportunity to attend. (Age 14 and older).
- Parents (Includes guardians, surrogate parents)
- At least one regular education teacher if the student is, or may be, participating in the general education environment.
- At least one special education teacher
- A representative of the public agency who is qualified to provide and supervise the provision of specially designed instruction for the individual with disabilities. This individual will have knowledge of the general curriculum and the resources of the local school system.
- An individual who can interpret evaluation results and provide information on what it means for person providing instruction.
- Individuals who have special knowledge and expertise regarding the student, including related service personnel, at the discretion of the parent and school system.
Sample of additional transition participants might include the following:
- Student's employer or supervisor
- Vocational rehabilitation counselor
- Developmental disability specialist
- Representative from a participating agency, that means someone working for a state or local agency, other than the public agency responsible for a student's education, which is financially and legally responsible for providing services to the student
- Technical assistance provider from organizations such as; Georgia Sensory Assistance Project, Helen Keller National Center, National Consortium on Deafblindness (NCDB).
- If the student does not attend the meeting what is the responsibility of the school?
Steps must be taken to ensure that the committee is aware of the student's needs, interests and preferences because these must be considered in developing a transition plan. If the student does not attend, information on his/her needs, interests and preferences from interviews or discussions with the student before the meeting could be considered.
What if a representative of another agency is unable to attend?
Every effort should be made to acquire the input from the agency so that it can be included in the planning. If a representative is unable to attend it is up to the coordinator to acquire information by telephone or email. There would also be a need for follow-up contacts with the other agency to ensure that planned transition activities occur.