Tag Archives: Transition to adulthood

Iowa School District Implements Unique Transition Program

While many students with disabilities across the country meet the academic requirements to earn their highs school diploma, they so not necessarily meet the goals in their IEPs for transition to adulthood. Yet the regulations set forth in the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) stipulate that a student is not eligible for services under IDEA once a diploma has been earned and issued.  This conundrum has had special educators perplexed, parents frustrated and students confused about next steps.

One Iowa school district has a solution, thanks to a grant for transition to employment.  It has launched a program to aid students with disabilities who have met their graduation requirements but need to continue to work on transition goals.

Dubuque Community Schools soon will begin its new Summit Program for certain students who receive special-education services.

Lori Anderson, transition facilitator with the district, said the new program combines the best aspects of the district’s Lifetime Center and Super Senior programs to help guide students and their families on the path of independent learning, living and working.

Anderson said the district reviewed its career readiness and transition-based programs after receiving a Model Employment Transition Site grant in 2012. The grant’s goal is to increase the number of students with disabilities who successfully transition from school to employment. The review led to the new program.

Students who have met their graduation requirements but have an unmet Individualized Education Plan (IEP) goal or transition need are eligible for the program. They can walk with their classmates at graduation, but they will not receive their diploma until they leave the program.

Read more here.

Spotlight on Rachel Anderson, Vocational Rehabilitation Transition Specialist

Meet Rachel Anderson,Transition & Supported Employment Coordinator for the Utah State Office of Rehabilitation.  Rachel has been working with people with disabilities 023for 15 years. She began in college working with children with disabilities in an after school program, then moved on to working in residential care with adults with disabilities. After earning her degree in Social Work, Rachel became a Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Transition Counselor with the Utah State Office of Rehabilitation, first working in the Salt Lake City School District and then moving into assisting all schools/districts in the state to make the VR connection. 

I have loved, and been extremely passionate about, all of my roles working with people with disabilities. I have always been understanding, accepting and passionate about advocating for vulnerable populations, or those that need help in anyway. I am lucky to have the opportunity to work with transition aged youth in Utah, helping them gain the skills and providing opportunities for them to meet their goals, become independent and be successfully employed.
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Individual Learning Plans: “Taking the nation by storm.”

This post (December 31, 2013), featured on the website of The National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD), outlines the features of the Individual Learning Plan, or “ILP”, which is a tool that is spreading like fire across the country in school districts across the country.

There is a movement afoot – a change in focus, a change in the way many school districts around the country are attempting to prepare all youth for adulthood. Individualized Learning Plans (ILPs) are taking the nation by storm. If you haven’t heard about ILPs yet, you will no doubt hear more about them in the future. To help you get acquainted with this important new trend, here are a few basics about what ILPs are and how they work.

As of this writing, 36 states and the District of Columbia either require or use some form of an Individualized Learning Plan for students, although some states use different names for the ILP. For example, Connecticut has a “Student Success Plan,” Oregon has an “Education Plan and Profile,” and Missouri uses a “Personal Plan of Study.” Some states begin student planning as early as 6th grade, with most starting the process around 8th grade.

(NOTE:  The chart referenced above may be out of date for some states.  For example, Utah has changed it’s “SEOP”  [Student Education and Occupation Plan]to “CCRP” [College and Career Readiness Plan”]). Check your state for the most recent developments.)

The post describes the appropriateness of the ILP with IEPs and how families can become more involved.

ILPs are designed to help link a student’s career or education goals to education and enrichment opportunities in high school. They can provide a level of planning, assessment, and coordination that is beyond the intent of an Individualized Education Program (IEP)….

Many families have not yet been informed about what an ILP is, if their youth’s school district is using ILPs, and what they can do as parents to assist in the process. Families are encouraged to ask the school guidance counselor or principal if ILPs are used in their district and what the process is called. It is helpful to find out how the plan is structured, where it is housed (as a paper document or online), and when during the day the student is working on it. Ask your youth about his or her ILP and discuss how the goals stated in the ILP were identified. You may be surprised to find that the ILP allows the youth to better understand the link between what they are doing in school now and how that is preparing them for life as an adult later. Working on the ILP together also creates an opportunity for the youth and the family member(s) to have conversations about the youth’s growth into adulthood.

Read the blog post in its entirety here.

Read the policy brief on ILPs here.