Transition - What Is It?
Transition describes the process by which a student moves from school to work and adult life in the community. It begins with a high school program that helps the student develop functional skills for community living and provides work training in real jobs. Transition is successful when the person enters employment or post-secondary education, lives as independently as possible, and enjoys leisure activities with a group of friends. Exactly what we want for all our children! Throughout the planning processóask questions and continue to ask questions as they occur to you!
Why All The Fuss?
We now have students graduating since the adoption of The Education for The Handicapped Act (P. L. 94-142. EHA) now known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (P. L. 105-17. IDEA). Students today are better educated, better trained, have more opportunities for integration into community activities, and have higher aspirations. So do their families!
These educational opportunities have demanded other changes. Parents, students, schools, and adult agencies must all work collaboratively to make transition successful. Parent and student involvement cannot be underestimated. Parents, better than anyone else, can help interpret and advocate for their son or daughter's preferences and needs.
Schools, parents and service agencies can and should share information. Schools provide a variety of information to adult service agencies. Adult agencies can share information and evaluations making their process more cost efficient. Parents can share any / all pertinent facts to facilitate the transition process with secondary schools, post-secondary schools, residential, vocational, and support agencies. An effective transition process can only occur when everyone focuses toward a common goal and provides the necessary supports to make the student's choice of individual lifestyle possible.