Individualized Transition Plan: A Guide
This is part of an IEP or Individualized Education Program, which is developed for all students requiring special education. The IDEA governs both the Individualized Education Program and Individualized Transition Plan.
As per IDEA, schools must include the ITP in a student’s IEP as they enter the age of sixteen. The student’s annual IEP has to contain a discussion about their needs for transition services. The IEP must contain a statement mentioning those needs depending upon their transition assessment and future goals. The statement includes factors such as academic preparation, a vocational program, or a plan to start mastering life skills or working after high school, along with a functional vocational evaluation if applicable. The school is obligated to report to the student’s parents on their progress toward fulfilling the transition goals.
Every transition planning meeting should involve the student, their family members, teachers, and anyone else having involvement in the transition plan of the student. This may also involve representatives from counseling programs, local social service agencies, medical care providers, school-to-work transition programs, and advocates.
At the high school, students having an IEP can avail of transition services through various programs. The special education staff assists a student with counseling, finding out vocational interests, vocational and educational planning, academic support, pre-vocational skills training, goal setting, and connections to certain services and programs. The student can also avail of other transition-related services such as guidance counseling, academy programs, work experience education, career center services, and vocational courses.
Parents play crucial roles in their child’s transition planning process. They can help by sharing information on their child’s experiences and life outside of school. They should also involve the child in the discussions and motivate them to promote their own wishes and needs.
The student can also take some steps to get prepared for their transition planning process. These may include identifying interests and what kind of training and education are required to pursue them with the help of the school’s career center, along with identifying skills, abilities, interests, and aptitudes by completing interest inventories. These may also involve interviewing and observing adults who are involved in the type of work that they like to do and learning about entrance requirements by visiting colleges and training institutes.