Questions to Consider as We Prepare Students for their Transition from School
T. Bush 403 days ago

As we begin preparing student for a life beyond school it is important that a systematic and planned approach is taken.  This is such an important step in students' lives and to proceed in a haphazard manner doesn't serve students or families effectively.


There are really four key areas that we consider in helping students through the transition process.  Three of them are specified explicitly on the IEP.  They are "Employment", "Postsecondary Education and Training" and "Independent Living".  The fourth area is Self-Determination and while it is not afforded direct and explicit notation on the IEP it is an important focus that is a component of all of our planning and preparation.


There are key questions to consider in each area.  Helping students to consider these questions and to develop answers and responses based upon their interests, desires, appitutdes and goals is a major part of transition planning.


Some of these key questions are obvious and others may be less so.  So, lets take a look at each area.


Questions to Consider




  • What are your career goals?
  • How will you reach those goals?
  • What supports and/or resources do you need to reach your vocational goals?


Postsecondary Education & Training


  • What postsecondary education/training options are available to you?
  • What documentation do you need to be eligible for disability related services?
  • What types of accommodations can you receive from postsecondary education/training programs?


Independent Living


  • Where do you want to live as an adult?
  • What kind of support will you need for transportation, medical issues, daily living and leisure time activities and how will you pay for what you need?
  • How will you maintain and increase your social network?


. . . and finally - Self-Determination


  • How do you make decisions and use community resources?
  • How do you talk about your disability and what you need for support?
  • What are your goals and what is your plan to reach them?


Depending on a student's age there are specific suggestion of steps and activities to be completed to help students develop and refine their answers to each of the questions presented above.


Transition Coordinators and Specialists keep these key questions in mind as they work to develop plans for students, but parents/teachers can also keep these questions at the forefront in their work with their children/students.


We all want to help our students to develop the best possible plan for their future.  Life is difficult and even more so for students and families dealing with a disability.  Working andplanning together is the key to helping every student prepare for their adult life.