What are Transition Services ?
Transition services are 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 post-school 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 instruction; community services; community experiences; the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives; and, if appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and provision of a functional vocational evaluation.
What is a Transition Plan?
A transition plan is a section of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) that outlines transition goals and services for the student. The transition plan is based on a high school student’s individual needs, strengths, skills, and interests. Transition planning is used to identify and develop goals that need to be accomplished during the current school year to assist the student in meeting his post-high school goals.
When Should Transition Planning Begin?
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 04) requires that in the first IEP that will be in effect when the student turns 16 years of age, his annual IEP must include a discussion about transition service needs. In South Carolina, transition begins at age 13.
What Transition Services Are Available for a High School Student with Learning Disabilities (LD) and an IEP?
At the high school level, transition services for students who have LD and an IEP are available through their special education programs and general education programs. Special education staff provides assistance with counseling, identifying vocational interests, educational and vocational planning, goal-setting, pre-vocational skills training, academic support, and linkages to specific programs and services.
Who Should Participate in IEP Meetings where Transition Planning is Discussed?
All transition planning meetings should include the students, family members, teachers, and other school staff. According to IDEA, anyone else involved in the student’s transition plan must also be invited. This might include representatives from school-to-work transition programs, local social service agencies, counseling programs, medical care providers, and advocates.
What is the Role of a High School Student in Transition Planning?
A student needs to begin thinking about what he wants to do as an adult before his first transition planning meeting takes place. This is his chance to take an active role in planning his education and make school relevant to his future.
As the district's Transition Services Specialist in conjunction with South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation, I provide pre-employment transition services to all students with disabilities who are eligible or potentially eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation Services on an ongoing basis, ensuring that each student participates at a minimum in an activity each month that includes:
- Job exploration counseling
- Work-based learning experiences, which may include in-school or after-school opportunities
- Counseling on opportunities for enrollment in comprehensive transition or postsecondary educational programs at institutions of higher education
- Workplace readiness training to develop social skills and independent living
- Instruction in self-advocacy, which may include peer mentoring
- Arrange school-based and community-based work experiences that are done through our established school-based enterprises operated by students with disabilities.