From the moment children walk through the door on the first day of school, parents, educators, and business leaders are already dreaming of what those children will do on the day that they graduate. For students who have challenges in their learning styles, social skills, and behavior management, the transition to the world of work and higher education must be well planned. IDEA 2004 places an emphasis on postsecondary outcomes for students with disabilities. The importance of post-high school outcomes and a clear emphasis on postsecondary goals are important in increasing students’ opportunities for successful transition from their school setting. Transition requirements include:
- Preparing students to lead productive and independent adult lives;
- Providing students with effective transition services in order to promote postsecondary employment, education/training, and adult independent living (if appropriate); and,
- Meeting the unique needs of students with disabilities by preparing them for their future learning, earning, and living.
As a set of coordinated activities, transition services should focus on improving the academic and functional achievement of students, whether these activities are provided through specially designed instruction or related services, leading students to postsecondary activities. Remember, transition planning is life planning. Discussions begin with toddlers and follow a series of pathways leading to adult goal achievement. Early planning will result in future success…for the individual and the community.