Charting a Course for the Future – A Transition Toolkit

Colorado Department of Education

Numerous follow-up and follow-along studies of youth with disabilities in areas such as employment, living arrangements, post-secondary education and training, and community participation have shown that these individuals do not succeed as well as young adults when compared to the general population. In order to improve these outcomes for youth with disabilities, transition services requirements were included in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA P.L. 101-476). The basic purpose of including transition components in the legislation is to better prepare students with disabilities to gain access to the supports and services necessary to reach their desired outcomes and become as independent as possible. The transition planning process should promote successful movement from school to post-secondary education and training, employment, independent living, and community participation based on students’ preferences, interests and abilities.

The concept of transition is simple. First help students and their families think about their life after high school and identify desired outcomes and then to design their school and community experiences to ensure that the student gains the skills and connection necessary to achieve those outcomes. The transition services requirements of IDEA provide opportunities to:

  • Help students and families think about the future and consider what they want to do after high school.
  • Plan how to make the high school experience most relevant to the student’s desired outcomes, and
  • Help students and families make connection to supports and services that they make need after high school.

Although the concept of transition is simple, the process of planning and providing transition services based on individual student needs may be challenging in our complicated systems of education with limited resources. This toolkit provides information and tools necessary in creating a comprehensive and individualized transition process.

See more information and download the toolkit here.

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