The five federally mandated areas of transition planning include:
• Independent Living
• Recreation and Leisure
• Community Participation
• Jobs and Vocational Training
• Post-Secondary Education
Ensuring a successful transition requires comprehensive planning, assessment and information gathered in an organized manner. This information should include a formal standardized transition assessment instrument, such as the Enderle-Severson-J or the TPI, and informal measures, such as checklists, curriculum activities, along with student input. From this information, a plan is developed that is tailored and responsive to an individual student’s needs and preferences. All areas of adult functioning must be addressed, but not all students will have identified needs in all areas. Basically, transition services are a coordinated set of activities based on the individual student’s needs and takes into account the student’s preferences, interests, abilities, and dreams.
Good or best practice transition services should provide two very important components:
• Self-advocacy skills training, including gaining awareness of self, such as understanding one’s disability, learning and work styles, job interests, legal accommodations and supports, and next steps/future plans. Self-advocacy is having the opportunity to learn and know one’s rights and responsibilities, stand up for them, and make choices.
• Access to community organizations, jobsites, colleges/training programs, and resources that support transition. Ideally, curriculum and self-advocacy skill training are part of a community-based experiential learning program that offers students an opportunity to explore future options for adult life, employment, postsecondary education, other post-school adult living goals, and (if appropriate) the acquisition of daily living skills and a functional vocational assessment. Some examples include learning how to open and maintain a bank account, take a college placement test and/or gain work experience through either a paid or non-paid internship at a local business, visit a workforce center, or the Disability Law Center.
Where can I learn more?
LDA of Minnesota:
www.ldaminnesota.org or call 952-582-6000
LDA of America
Learning Disabilities On-line
Association on Higher Education and Disability
Job Accommodation Network (JAN)
National Transition Alliance for Youth with Disabilities
Minnesota Career Information System (MCIS)
Internet System for Education and Employment