Transition: is the successful movement from schools to productive adult life. An effective transition process is based on individual needs and consists of coordinated activities in the following domains:
• Education is the process of obtaining and developing knowledge and skills, specifically through formal experiences. Education participation refers to the ability to access and engage in appropriate programs, andor courses, for life-long learning.
• Career is a person’s progress in any trade, profession or occupation. Career participation refers to the ability to achieve a satisfactory level of suitable and meaningful work that will provide income and/or personal satisfaction.
• Community / Independent Living are the places where people live, work and interact. Community participation refers to the ability to access resources including people, places, services and activities and contributing to the maximum extent possible.
Communication and interaction skills arethe processes of giving and receivinginformation used effectively in appropriatesettings.• Social Interaction is the ability tocompetently relate to others, exchangeinformation and accomplish tasks.• Recreation and Leisure activities are theways people spend their free time.Recreation and leisure participation refersto the ability to access and participate inactivities related to sports, hobbies, specialinterests and/or relaxation activities.
TRANSITION PLANNING BEGINS: Good transition planning can start at any age. It is recommended that transition planning begin no later than eighth grade. Some school systems are beginning to use transition planning starting at the elementary level.
THE TRANSITION CONCEPT:The concept of transition is simple and generally hasthree major components:1.Coach every student, along with his or herfamily, to think about goals for life after highschool and to develop a long-range plan to getthere.2. Design a high school experience to ensure thatthe student gains the skills and competenciesneeded toachieve his or her desired post-school goals.3. Identify and link students and families to anyneeded post-school services, supports or programsbefore the student exits the school system.
A transition plan is developed for each individual student, as a part of the IEP process, that includes annual goals and short-term objectives that focus on skills required for the student to meet identified post-school outcomes.• The plan includes instruction in living, career andsocial skills.• The plan is ongoing, started no later than age 14and updated yearly.• Adult service providers are involved long beforethe student graduates. The plan encourages thecoordinated efforts of all appropriate agencies.• The plan specifies who is responsible for eachaspect of the process, including referral toappropriate agencies, work experience, on-the-jobtraining and follow-up.
Transition is nothing magical. It is answering the right questions that are individualized for each student. Identified outcomes for students leaving the school system and entering adult life guide the process.