< Children with Special Needs
Transition Services: Moving from
High School to Further Education and Work
can help your child make the transition into independent adulthood.
When your child reaches adulthood, he or she will transition
out of the range of educational services guaranteed under
IDEA. Beginning at least one year before your child reaches
the age of majority (18-21, depending on your state law),
the Individual Educational Program (IEP) must include a statement
that your child has been informed of any rights that will
transfer to him or her upon reaching that age.
regulations vary by state, you need to find out how your state
handles the transition to adulthood for special needs children
(see For More Information below for state
What Are Transition Services?
Transition services refer to activities meant to prepare students
with disabilities for adult life. These can include:
Your child should be fully involved in creating a transition
plan with the IEP team. He or she can work with the team to
assess abilities, skills and interests, so the plan will truly
reflect your child's future life goals.
- Developing post-high school education and career goals;
- Getting work experience while still in school;
- Receiving special instruction and related services;
- Developing employment and other post-high school adult
- Acquiring daily living skills and functional vocational
- Connecting with adult service providers such as vocational
rehabilitation agencies in your city or state;
- Post-high school education/vocational training;
- Integrated employment, internships and apprenticeships;
- Independent living; or
- Community participation.
Can I Help My Child with the Transition Plan?
Be sure to let your child's IEP team and school know if you
feel your child's transition needs are not being adequately
met by the IEP.
- Ask your child what his or her goals, skills and interests
- If your child is unsure, help him or her identify interests
Your Child Identify Interests in the Career Exploration
topic of the ACRN parent section).
- Encourage your child to attend all IEP meetings, so he
or she can be fully involved when transition services are
- Find out about other government agencies, community groups,
etc., that provide education, training, and career guidance
in your community.
- Talk with your child about what transition programs and
services he or she needs, and wants to pursue.
Services are Available to Help with Transition?
As your child moves from high school to post-high school education
and training, he or she may be eligible for:
- supplemental income;
- disability income; and
- state Department of Rehabilitation services.
This assistance can
help your child pay for schooling, and provide the services
and support necessary to complete school or succeed in the
workplace. While your child is still in high school, you can
help him or her apply for Supplemental Security Income, and
meet with the local or state Department of Rehabilitation
In addition, all public and private postsecondary institutions
are expected to comply with the Americans with Disabilities
Act (1990) and the Rehabilitation Act (1973) to provide reasonable
accommodations for students with documented disabilities who
request them. You or your child can ask for these accommodations
if they are not being provided.
It is important that you and your child explore all the options,
services and resources available to him or her, since these
services and resources can provide valuable physical, academic,
social and financial assistance to your child after high school.
For more information:
Voyages (U.S. Department of Labor)
To Work (Social Security Administration)
Accommodation Network (U.S. Department of Labor)
in the Federal Government (Office of Personnel Management)
(Office of Personnel Management)
Recruitment Program (U.S. Department of Labor)
Departments of Rehabilitation
Departments of Education
Departments of Labor and Youth Services
Security Administration Regional and Field Offices
Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities--State
Serves Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New
Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.
Regional Resource Center (MSRRC)
Serves Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, South
Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington D.C. and West Virginia.
Resource Center (SERRC)
Serves Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi,
Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Texas and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Central Regional Resource Center (NCRRC)
Serves Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri,
Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Regional Resource Center (MPRRC)
Serves Arizona, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Colorado, Kansas,
Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota,
Utah and Wyoming.
Regional Resource Center (WRRC)
Serves Alaska, American Samoa, California, Commonwealth of
the Northern Mariana Islands, Federates states of Micronesia,
Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Republic of the Marshall
Islands, Republic of Palau and Washington.
for Exceptional Children
for America's Graduates, Inc.
and Advocates Partnerships for Education
Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET)
Clearinghouse On Postsecondary Education For Individuals With
Youth Leadership Network
Assistance Alliance for Parent Center
Funding Strategies for Students with Disabilities (University
of Washington, 2003)
Back to top