WHAT IS TRANSITION?
The passage of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) in 1990 and the subsequent reauthorization in 1997 mandate school districts to provide transition services for students with disabilities in order to improve post-school outcomes for these youth. To help meet the requirements for transition, District 205 has developed a community-based transition program. This program is called the 18-21 program because of the age-range of students involved, and is designated to support students with disabilities who may have met the requirements for graduation, but who may need to continue to work on their transition goals. IDEA defines transition services as
A coordinated set of activities for a student, designed within an outcome-oriented process, which promotes movement from school to post-school activities, including post-secondary education, vocational training, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation. The coordinated set of activities shall be based upon the individual student's needs taking into account the student's preference and interests, and shall include instruction, community experiences, the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives, and when appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation.
Providing transition services and supports in community settings to students ages 18-21 with intellectual disabilities allows students to expand their independence, self-advocacy, employment, and social and community integration during their final years of mandated public schooling.