It is even more complicated for young adults with disabilities. Far too many students with disabilities leave school lacking the academic, technical, and social skills necessary to find and/or maintain employment, and often the jobs they do find are low paying and offer no health benefits. Identifying the challenges students will face as adults, and preparing and assisting them to meet those demands successfully, requires careful transition planning beginning at the earliest age possible. .
Transition Services and the IEP .
The Individual Education Plan (IEP) for each student, beginning no later than age 16, must include a statement of needed transition services. Federal law permits the provision of transition services for some students at age 14 or younger, particularly for those at risk of dropping out of school before age 16, or when the provision of these services would be beneficial to any student with a disability and have a positive effect on employment and independent living outcomes. The decision to provide transition services to students younger than age 16 should be made by the IEP team. .
Broadly defined, transition is an all-inclusive process that focuses on improving a student's employment outcomes, housing options, and social networks after leaving school. The transition plan provides the framework for identifying, planning, and carrying out activities that will help a student make a successful transition to adult life. It identifies the type of skills to be learned; and which transition services will be provided, when they will be provided, and the party responsible for providing them. Involving a team of people drawn from different parts of the student's school and community life, the transition planning process focuses on the unique needs and goals of the student. .
The specific needs of the student for post-secondary services should determine who is invited to the IEP transition meeting.