Charting a Course for the Future - A Transition Toolkit

Numerous follow-up and follow-along studies of youth with disabilities in areas such as employment, living arrangements, post-secondary education and training, and community participation have shown that these individuals do not succeed as well as young adults when compared to the general population. In order to improve these outcomes for youth with disabilities, transition services requirements were included in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA P.L. 101-476). The basic purpose of including transition components in the legislation is to better prepare students with disabilities to gain access to the supports and services necessary to reach their desired outcomes and become as independent as possible. The transition planning process should promote successful movement from school to post-secondary education and training, employment, independent living, and community participation based on students' preferences, interests and abilities.

The concept of transition is simple. First help students and their families think about their life after high school and identify desired outcomes and then to design their school and community experiences to ensure that the student gains the skills and connection necessary to achieve those outcomes. The transition services requirements of IDEA provide opportunities to:
  • Help students and families think about the future and consider what they want to do after high school.
  • Plan how to make the high school experience most relevant to the student's desired outcomes, and
  • Help students and families make connection to supports and services that they make need after high school.

Although the concept of transition is simple, the process of planning and providing transition services based on individual student needs may be challenging in our complicated systems of education with limited resources. This toolkit provides information and tools necessary in creating a comprehensive and individualized transition process.

Tab 1: Introduction

  • Introduction(PDF)
    • Table of Contents
    • About Transition
    • Purpose for Charting the Course
    • How to use Charting the Course

Tab 2: Discovering the Road to Transition

Tab 3: Identifying the Destination - Building a Body of Evidence

  • Transition Assessment - Introduction(PDF)
    • Using Transition Assessment in IEP Transition Planning
    • Career/ Vocational Assessment
    • Family Involvement
  • Methods of Gathering Information(PDF)
    • Formal Assessment
    • Informal Assessment
    • Interest Inventories
    • Situational Assessment
    • Environmental Assessment
    • Job Vocational Program Tryouts
    • Commercial Art Tryouts
    • Summarizing, Reporting and Documenting the Data
    • Examples Using Formal/Informal Assessments for Transition Planning
    • Family/ Parent Involvement in Assessment Process
    • Assessment/ Transition Meeting Tips for Parents
    • Career/ Vocational Formal Transition Assessment List
    • Career Interest Software Programs
    • Assessment Documentation Summary Sheet
  • Maintaining the Body of Evidence(PDF)
    • Transition Portfolio
    • Personnel Information Sheet
    • Credit Audit Worksheet
    • Suggested Notebook Contents

Tab 4: Designing the Map - IEP Development

  • Legal Basics(PDF)
    • IDEA Requirements
    • Transition IEP Requirements
    • Transition IEP Compliance Checklist
  • IEP Goals / Transition Meeting(PDF)
    • IEP Transition Planning Summary
    • Transition Planning Worksheet
    • Activities - Before, During, After IEP Meeting
    • Outline and Meeting Requirements
    • How to Develop the Goals - A Model
    • Transition Goals Worksheet
  • Transition Planning Examples(PDF)
    • Transition Planning Worksheet Sample
    • IEP Goals and Objectives Samples

Tab 5: Transition to Careers

  • Career Development(PDF)
    • The Process of Progression in Career Development
    • Stages of Career Development
    • Transition Continuum / Summary
  • Vocational Skills(PDF)
    • Cluster Skills
    • Career Clusters Activity
  • Fair Labor Practices (PDF)
  • Fair Labor Practices(Español) (PDF)
    • Federal Labor Laws for Young Workers - Summary
    • Labor Standards Terminology
    • Checklist for Unpaid Community Work Experiences
    • Fair Labor Standards Act
    • Community-Based Vocational Training Contract

Tab 6: Community Agencies

Tab 7: Tools, Templates, and Worksheets

  • Students
    • Credit Audit Worksheet
    • Student Activities/Honors/Awards
    • Student Transition Interview Form
    • Pocket Resume
    • Know Your Rights Pocket Guide
    • Learning Styles Inventory
  • Teachers/Transition Team(PDF)
    • Domain-Skill / Knowledge Inventory
    • Vocational Program Observation Form
    • Planning for Education After High School
    • Planning for Employment
    • Planning for Living Independently
    • Job / Student Match
    • Assessment Documentation Summary Sheet
    • Transition Portfolio
    • Personal Information Sheet
    • Transition IEP Checklist
    • Transition Planning Worksheet
    • Transition Goals Worksheet
    • Checklist for Unpaid Work Experiences
    • Community Based Vocational Training Contract
  • Parents (PDF)
  • Parents (Español) (PDF)
  • The following is a list of the items in the PARENT SECTION of the TOOLKIT:
    • Introduction
    • Questions That Should Be Answered Before Graduation
    • Before: Parent/Family Transition Assessment form
    • Parent Interview - Portfolio Inventory Form
    • Tips for Parents… helping your children plan their careers
    • Preparing your son or daughter for adulthood
    • Transition Checklist
  • Fast Facts

Tab 8: Charting a Course for the Future

See the Acknowledgements (PDF)