All parents want their children to successfully navigate the transition from high school to adulthood with the greatest amount of independence and success possible. For parents of children with disabilities, this transition can be especially concerning as you consider the services and supports available to aid in this transition beyond high school. As your child nears their 16th birthday, transition planning becomes part of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process. Being involved in the planning process and drawing on the strength and expertise of a transition team is critical. Whether the goal is employment, vocational training, college, or maximizing independent living to the greatest extent possible, the transition team can help them live, work, and play in the community as fully and independently as possible. 

Check out the Key Transition Process tips for transition readiness:

Individualized Education Program (IEP): Transition services start at age 16, and the involvement of you and your child is critical to success. 

Be familiar with steps to transition planning. Understanding the process allows you and your child to participate in activities that lead to the best outcomes. Learn more

Implement transition services. Student Transition Services are required by IDEA and Pre-employment transition services are provided under the Rehabilitation Act. Coordinating transition and pre-employment services through the IEP facilitates a seamless transition.

Referral to Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) and/or other adult agencies. Take advantage of VR services available to both students in school and youth with disabilities who have graduated.

VR application process. Focus on the students’ interests and capabilities to find the best post-secondary match. Take advantage of VR assessments that lead to students’ post-secondary goals.

Individualized plan for employment (IPE). Ensure you keep track of timelines to develop and approve VR services through the IPE, so you don't miss out.

Successful completion of VR service record. Dependent upon your child's goals, success may include post-secondary education, a variety of employment options, or community/independent living support.

Be sure to talk with your EFMP Family Case Worker to learn more about the transition process and how you can help build your child’s Transition Dream Team.