This issue of Inspiring Possibilities highlights resources that focus on the transition IEP for families of students with disabilities, students themselves, and educators. View Online.
Inspiring Possibilities - Updates from PACER's National Parent Center on Transition and Employment

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) recognizes the importance of preparing youth for success after high school. It states that transition planning for students who have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) must begin by age 16. Some states require that the process starts earlier.

New PACER Individualized Education Program (IEP) Meeting Checklist for Teachers of Transition-age Students

This new PACER checklist of practical and specific tips assists educators as they work to prepare students before their IEP meeting, engage with them as well as with colleagues during the meeting, and follow up with students afterwards. Also, see the companion document: Before Your Next IEP Meeting: Tips for Teachers of Transition-age Students which contains suggestions for teachers from parents of students with disabilities.

IEP Advocacy Tools for Students

PACER Center has developed many resources to help transition-age students actively participate in IEP meetings, advocate for themselves with confidence, and grow their decision-making skills while on their journey toward self-determination. All are free to download.

Understanding Measurable Postsecondary Goals in the IEP

As members of the IEP team, it is important that parents help identify and support their youth’s long-term goals. In this video, “Understanding Measurable Postsecondary Goals in the IEP,” a PACER advocate discusses the concept of “measurable postsecondary goals” and how they fit into transition planning for a student with a disability on an IEP. She incorporates her own experiences to highlight why this is an important concept for families to know.

A Guide to Preparing Your Child with a Disability for Life Beyond High School

Parents and youth need to understand the various parts of the IEP, how it drives academics and related services, and how decisions made during the IEP process can impact how well-prepared a youth is for life as an adult. PACER Center’s in-depth secondary transition guide for families was developed for the Minnesota Department of Education; however, much of its guidance is relevant to families of transition-age students in any state. You may want to check with your state’s parent center to see if they provide a comparable guide. In addition, the NPCTE’s Learning Center section on Middle and High School Transition Planning has helpful tip sheets, videos, success stories and more.

Transition IEP Checklist for Families in English and Spanish

This Transition IEP Checklist for parents was developed by Wisconsin FACETS. It contains general, non-state-specific information about transition and the transition IEP so it can be used in any state. The document can and should be customized to include state specific information. It is intended to provide an overview for families of considerations to make before, during, and after their youth’s Transition IEP meeting. There is also a brief User Guide for organizations on how to customize the checklist for their state. The checklist is also available in Spanish: Proceso de TransiciĆ³n del IEP. The User Guide for the Spanish version is available in both Spanish and English.

To deliver a PowerPoint training to families and youth utilizing the English version of the checklist, check out a new slide deck FACETS has just developed! The slide deck should be customized to include state-specific information. There is also a User Guide.

Transition Planning Tips for Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Youth with Disabilities

Cultural and linguistic issues may increase the complexities and challenges of the transition process. It is important that students and families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds have equal access to appropriate information, resources, services, and knowledgeable personnel throughout transition planning. This PACER resource addresses successful transition planning considerations for culturally and linguistically diverse youth, identifies supports and extra training that may be required, and suggests other culturally appropriate practices.

IEP Tip Sheet: Age of Majority

This tip sheet from the PROGRESS Center at the American Institutes for Research introduces and briefly defines the age of majority. The age of majority is defined by state law and is the age at which the child is no longer a minor and assumes the rights and responsibilities to make certain legal decisions. This tip sheet includes a summary of federal regulations, common questions, and additional resources. Check your state law for specific information about the age of majority in your state.

IEP Checklist for IEP Teams of Students with Intellectual Disabilities Bound for College

How can Individualized Education Program (IEP) teams help prepare students for success in college? Use this checklist and related resources to guide the selection of transition goals and activities that will be key factors in making the possibility of college a reality. PACER developed the checklist for Think College to help IEP teams prepare students with intellectual and developmental disabilities for inclusive postsecondary education. However, many of the ideas can be applied in an IEP meeting for any student with a disability.

Do you have a question or concern? Contact a PACER transition specialist at [email protected] or (952) 838-9000.

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PACER’s National Parent Center on Transition and Employment® provides quality information and resources for families of young adults with disabilities on transition planning, civil rights, work-based learning, career accommodations, higher education, financial aid, and much more! Whether just starting the transition planning process or searching for information on a specific topic, is a comprehensive source of information designed to support families’ varied needs.
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