Transition planning assists youth with the exploration of opportunities and identification of goals for life after high school. In many ways effective transition planning is like a road map – it is a series of defined paths that lead to adult life as a destination. Such destinations for youth include education, employment, independent living, and health and wellness. It is equally important for you to know that transition planning for students is required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) and Pennsylvania Special Education Regulations (Chapter 14). Transition planning for youth with disabilities needs to begin at age 14, or younger, if determined appropriate by the students’ Individualized Education Program (IEP) team. The transition planning process is based on individual students’ needs, strengths, preferences, and interests.
WHAT AREAS DOES TRANSITION PLANNING COVER?
Transition activities can fit within the following three areas:
This domain covers the skills a person needs to function independently in life, and may include such areas as cooking, transportation, budgeting, safety, technology, housing, time management, social, etc.
This domain covers skills necessary for many levels of employment (i.e. competitive, self-, customized, supported, sheltered). These skills may be in areas such as career exploration and matching, applying, being on-time, following directions, associating with colleagues, etc.
This domain covers skills and preparation needed to attend a variety of post-secondary education settings (universities, community colleges, technical school, military, etc.). These skills may be in areas such as choosing a major, class selection, assignment completion, test-taking, organization, study skills, etc.
Obviously, there is a lot of overlap between and among domains. For example, a student going into employment will need certain independent living skills to succeed on the job. Also, a student going to a college will still need job skills to support themselves through school or when they get out of school.
WHAT TYPES OF SERVICES ARE COVERED UNDER TRANSITION SERVICES?
Transition services are aimed at providing students and their families with the practical and experiential skills and knowledge that will assist in a successful transition to adult life. While transition services are provided in each of the following areas, it is important to understand that not every student with disabilities will need to receive all of these services. The available services included in the transition process are:
post school activities
activities of daily living
functional vocational evaluations
More specifically, the intent of transition services is to explore and plan a variety of areas that will allow the student with disabilities to construct a useful and practical bridge to the adult world. This planning is a process that can begin by age 14 years of age or younger (if necessary).
WHAT IS SELF DETERMINATION AND
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
One of the most significant concepts to emerge in the last few decades is the awareness of the importance of self-determination in the life of an individual with a disability. For too long, professionals made decisions for people with disabilities with little input from the individual or parents. While these decisions were motivated by good intentions, they may have overlooked the desires, hopes, and aspirations that remained hidden within the person with disabilities. As our society has become more sensitive to the needs and rights of the disabled, we have moved to the concept of self-determination as a crucial element in the design of a life plan.
Self-determination is a person's ability to control his or her own destiny. A crucial part of the concept of self-determination involves the combination of attitudes and abilities that will lead children or individuals to set goals for themselves, and to take the initiative to reach these goals. To do this one must be in charge, which is not necessarily the same thing as self-sufficiency or independence, make his or her own choices, learn to solve problems effectively, take control and responsibility for his or her life, learn to experience and cope with the consequences of making decisions on his or her own.
PLEASE CHECK OUT THESE IMPORTANT WEBSITES BELOW:
*PA Secondary Transition Website*:http://www.secondarytransition.org/
CSIU Transition Website https://sites.google.com/site/csiutransition/
*Any questions or concerns, please call Cathy Grow, Transition Coordinator at 570-649-5138 ext. 4117.
*Students are also encouraged to see their Guidance Counselor.