Transition planning begins prior to the IEP meeting. Students should have input concerning their preferences, interests, needs, and strengths [PINS], learn to advocate for themselves and be ready to set personal goals. Self-advocacy skills need to be addressed at all levels of learning and embedded in all classes and home activities. The transition from high school to postsecondary options involves identifying a student’s realizable future plan and the services needed during high school to realize adult goals. Transition planning drives much of the IEP process. A transition plan identifies the services, supports, and activities that will be provided to students in order to reasonably enable them to achieve their postsecondary goals.
In Ohio, transition planning begins at age 14, or younger if appropriate, with a future planning statement and transition services needs tied to a high school course of study. Courses of study could include:
- College Preparatory courses for graduation
- Curriculum-based upon the Ohio Learning Standards
- Curriculum-based upon the Ohio Learning Standards – Extended (OLS-E)
- Career Technical Education (CTE) program
Students and parents should be aware of the requirements of the various courses of study. These courses of study should reasonably enable the student to achieve his/her postsecondary goals. Students should be a major part of this process. Students must be invited to any IEP meeting where the transition will be discussed and if appropriate, to invite, with parental consent, a representative from an agency if their services may be needed for the post-high school success of the student. These agencies, both public and private, may be able to provide future services enabling the student to be successful in post-high school endeavors. The Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities (CCBDD
), Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities
, and the Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health Services Board of Cuyahoga County
(ADAMHS) are such agencies. Also, the IEP team should discuss the student's capacity to be employed in a competitive environment (a requirement of SB 316 and the Employment First
Generally, the school district of residence is responsible for transition planning, course of study, and transition services identified in the IEP. See Ohio’s Operating Standards
for a more complete explanation of responsibilities.