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Transition Services

Transition services means a coordinated set of activities for a student 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:

  • Post-secondary 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 strengthspreferences, and interests; and includes:

  • Instruction;
  • Related 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.  

(34 Code of Federal Regulations § 300.43 Transition services)   

If the child does not attend the ARD Committee Meeting where transition services are discussed, as set forth in the ARD Committee Membership framework, the local educational agency (LEA) must take other steps to ensure the child's preferences and interests are considered.    (34 Code of Federal Regulations 300.321(b)(2))

Transition services must begin for all students with disabilities by the first ARD committee meeting prior to when the student turns 14 years old.  The student, parent and his/her IEP team create a vision for the future, and then each year specific goals and services are identified to work toward that vision. (19 Texas Administrative Code § 89.1055)

Beginning with the end in mind is what Transition planning is all about. The school, parents and the student, help plan what life after high school will look like and how they will get there.  Employment is the end goal but that can look very different.

Transition planning before age 14 is critical because of high school diploma options and courses of study.  Discussions need to occur in middle school prior to 9th grade to enable the student to access high school courses needed for graduation.  When the ARD Committee team members discuss graduation options, they should refer to the graduation requirements for students with disabilities as outlined in the provisions of Texas Administration Code (TAC) 89.1070, as well as Texas assessment requirements.

Beginning with students enrolled in Grade 12 during the 2021-2022 school year, each student in Grade 12 must complete and submit a free application for the federal student aid (FASFA) or a Texas application for state financial aid (TASFA) before graduating from high school.  (TEC 74.11)

Beginning at least one year before a student reaches 18 years of age, the student's individualized education program (IEP) must include a statement that the student has been informed that, unless the student's parent or other individual has been granted guardianship of the student under the Probate Code, Chapter XIII, Guardianship, all rights granted to the parent under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Part B, other than the right to receive any notice required under IDEA, Part B, will transfer to the student upon reaching age 18. The student has been provided information and resources regarding guardianship, alternatives to guardianship, including a supported decision-making agreement under Texas Estates Code, Chapter 1357, and other supports and services that may enable the student to live independently. After the student reaches the age of 18, except as provided by subsection (b) of this section, the school district shall provide any notice required under IDEA, Part B, to both the adult student and the parent. (34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), §300.320(c) and §300.520, and Texas Education Code (TEC), §29.017)

Beginning with the end in mind is what Transition planning is all about. The school, parents and the student, help plan what life after high school will look like and how they will get there.  Employment is the end goal but that can look very different.  Transition is a process that builds on itself each year, and goals evolve and change as the student gets older and gains new insights.

Transition planning should focus on these key components:

  • Assessment specific to transition SPIN (strengths, preferences, interests and needs);
  • Instruction;
  • Related services;
  • Community experiences;
  • Employment ; and, if needed,
  • Vocational evaluation;
  • Daily living skills; and
  • Connecting with community agencies

Who’s involved in transition planning?

  • Students
  • Family
  • Special Education Teachers 
  • General Education Teachers
  • Other school staff members, such as Counselors and the Transition Specialist.
  • Agency Representatives (written consent from parent or adult student)
  • School Administrators
  • Any person you feel knows the educational needs of your child 

When is it too early to think about Transition?

It is never too early!  Many lifelong skills can start being developed early.  Exploring post high school options and community services are important to start early also.

  • Teach the child to set daily goals.
  • Assign your child chores in the home; start to develop their work ethic
  • Teach your child daily living skills such as cooking, cleaning, laundry to help them become as independent as possible.
  • Teach the child to be aware of their behavior and how it affects others.
  • Teach self-management skills.
  • Teach the student how to ask for help.
  • Allow the student to make mistakes in order for him/her to learn (use it as a teachable moment).
  • Teach the child to identify their own disability
  • Teach the child how their disability affects their learning.
  • Help the child to start setting personal long term goals.
  • Help the child to identify and understand necessary accommodations and modifications.
  • Investigate agencies that may provide support for your child now or in the future
  • Add your child to the Medicaid Waiver Interest Lists if they have any significant developmental delays.

18+ Transition Program –

Transition services are offered by Carroll Independent School District.  It is an instructional arrangement for students with disabilities 18-21 who have completed the academic graduation requirements and are working on a continuum of transitional services in order to complete implementation of their Individual Education Plan (IEP). 

Individualized supports for successful transition into the adult life are provided in the areas of employment, independent living and community/recreational activities.  Each young adult’s daily schedule is based upon his or her post-secondary goals, IEP functional goals and objectives developed with the collaboration of the student, parents, teachers and adult agencies. The program’s hours vary according to the student’s needs but the maximum time is from 9:00 to 2:00.  Based on individual Strengths, Preferences, Interests and Needs, each student will participate in employment, independent living and community/recreational activities as needed. 

The goal is to provide a seamless transition to life after high school by offering multiple opportunities to learn and use the skills necessary to function as independently as possible.  The structure should be in place so the last day of the young adult’s 18+ Transition program is like the first day of the rest of their life. 

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Transition and Employment

Karen Donegan