The New Jersey Department of Education recently released a free online toolkit to help students with disabilities prepare for further education, employment and independent living after graduating from high school.
The toolkit has been created to assist school staff and students with disabilities and their families in their efforts to prepare students with disabilities for entry into a successful adult life after high school.
One of the key elements of successful transition planning is the collaboration that is needed among all the individuals and entities that are involved in preparing the student to be a successful adult. Lack of collaboration in the transition planning/individualized education program process can be a significant contributing factor in students not experiencing positive post-school outcomes.
Every member of the IEP team, including the student and parents/guardians, school and other agency staff, and others should work together in a collaborative manner so:
- Students and their parents/guardians will have and feel ownership of the IEP.
- Each member of the IEP team will take responsibility for implementing specific transition services (activities and strategies) included in the transition component of the IEP.
- Supports and services needed by the student will be both available and received by the student when needed.
- The student has the best chance to experience success upon exiting high school.
Another key component of successful transition planning is that it is a long-term, multi-year planning process. Even though IEPs must be reviewed and updated at least once every year, the thinking and planning for the student’s future requires IEP teams to take a multi-year approach when developing IEPs that include transition planning. Thinking about and appropriately planning for desired post-school outcomes is at the core of effective transition planning.