Transitioning to Adult Services

Introduction - What are transition services?

Transition services are defined as a coordinated set of activities for a student, designed within an outcome oriented process, which promotes movement from school to post-school activities, and may include any of the following:

  • Employment (including supported employment)
  • Post-secondary education
  • Vocational training
  • Continuing and adult education
  • Adult services
  • Independent living
  • Community participation

A coordinated set of activities is based upon the individual student’s needs, taking into account the student’s preferences and interests and includes:

  • Community experiences
  • The development of employment
  • The development of other post-school adult living activities
  • When appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills
  • When appropriate, functional vocational evaluation

Who may receive transition services?

Students who qualify for special education and related services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) are eligible for transition planning and services through the local education agency. In addition, students who have been determined to have a developmental disability by a Community Centered Board (CCB), such as Imagine!, are eligible for transition planning and services through a CCB. Only those students who have been enrolled into a CCB program will have CCB transition “services” available. Adult CCB services may begin no earlier than age 18. If a student is on a waiting list for CCB services, then the CCB will only be able to participate in transition planning for future needed services.

How do you plan for transition?

IDEA contains detailed requirements for planning the education of individual students including specific instructions for the development of the Individualized Education Program. Planning to prepare youth for the transition to adult life begins by age 14. From this age on, the IEP must include a statement of “transition needs” that focus on the course of study required for the student to reach his or her identified post-school outcomes. When the student turns 16, and earlier if appropriate, lEPs must include statements of specific “transition services,” including interagency linkages.

When appropriate and feasible, the Imagine! case manager (a.k.a. service coordinator) should participate in the student’s planning meetings for transition services. A primary role of Imagine! is that of consultation and technical assistance to the schools in planning for the transition of students with developmental disabilities from school to post-school activities, including daily living skills and supported employment.

Imagine! may begin providing adult services at age 18 if the individual is enrolled and services are available. The specific types of services and level of involvement are determined based on the needs and interests of the individual and the family, availability of services, and which services may be provided in collaboration with another agency. Because a waiting list may exist for services provided through community centered boards, students and their families are encouraged to begin planning for long-term adult services at age 14, and apply to be added to the adult list for services, to ensure continuity of services when the student completes his or her public education.