Transition... is a Life-Long Process
What is transition?
The concept of transition is simple. It is to assist students and their families to think about their life after high school, identify desired outcomes and then design their school and community experiences to ensure that the student gains the skills and connections necessary to achieve those outcomes.
Although the concept of transition is simple (backward planning), the process of planning and providing services based on individual student needs may be challenging in our complicated systems of education and resources. Additionally, providing families and students with agency connections, community resources, and other pertinent information for post-secondary education, employment and living beyond high school can be an overwhelming process.
Leadership and organizational management author Dr. Stephen Covey stressed the importance of "beginning with the end in mind." This idea is at the heart of transition planning. If the “end” we have in mind is a workforce of educated employees, then transition planning is the “beginning.” It sets the educational course for middle and high school students with disabilities which ensures access to adult services, postsecondary education and the world of work. At the secondary level, transition planning should help drive the entire IEP.
What is the Role of the Transition Specialist?
The role of the SST8 Transition Specialist is to assist with this multi-faceted process. The primary responsibilities/goals of the Region 8 Transition Specialist include:
- Assist school district personnel by providing training and technical assistance in the transition section of the IEP
- Work with parents, families, students and school districts in secondary transition planning and implementation
- Provide resources to stakeholders
- Establish and facilitate a regional advisory council to improve collaboration, communication and outcomes for students with disabilities in the Tri-County (Summit, Medina and Portage)
- Work with all districts on State Performance Plan Indicators (1) graduation rate, (2) drop-out rate, (13) secondary transition planning (required at age 14 in Ohio) and (14) follow-up on graduates
- The Transition Specialist provides professional development training and technical assistance to districts on transition requirements and best practices. Please call or email if you would like to schedule an inservice for your staff.
About the Tri-County Regional Transition Council
The mission of the Regional Transition Council is in representing secondary transition stakeholders in schools and communities in Ohio, who are dedicated to promoting strong transition plans, practices, and programs for students with disabilities leading to successful transition from school to adult life.
The Resource Council is a collaboration of various county agencies, county transition councils, individual school transition teams, school district administrators, teachers, work study and VOSE coordinators, higher education, parents and other community members to improve post-school outcomes for youth with disabilities. Sharing information, resources, ideas and concerns provides a platform for action steps and solutions.
Although the Tri-County Regional Transition Council has been in existence for the past several years, organizers are always looking at how to improve and address the needs of youth with disabilities. A list-serv is used to provide information, activities and resources to districts and families. Contact Helen Brophy at firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the list-serv. You are not required to attend meetings to receive relevant information. However, you are welcome to attend meetings and add to our discussions.
When to Plan for Transition?
Transition planning can never start too early. Children need to become self-advocates, self-determined and independent. This includes children knowing about their disability and how it may impact their learning so they can express this to others, including teachers, peers and potential employers. Children, as much as possible, need to be included in their IEPs. Below are some tips for parents, students and ideas that teachers can incorporate into the classroom.