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Preparing for the Transition IEP

Planning for the successful transition of your child is complex. There are many issues to be addressed, time is short and the stakes are high. It takes the cooperation and involvement of parents, students, professionals and agencies. Working together, successful transition from school to adult life can occur, and perhaps more importantly, the quality of life for all involved can be enriched. For this reason, your primary responsibility is to be involved and to help provide the experiences for your child to learn new skills. Involvement is often time-consuming and challenging. Yet at the same time, it can be rewarding and presents many payoffs.

Tips for Involvement
There are several things you can do for and with your child to make a successful transition from school to work.

For your child

  • From an early age assign your child specific jobs and chores around the house. We all must perform duties around the house to help the family function in an effective manner. Your child with a disability is no different. If an allowance is involved, payment should be made based upon the successful and timely completion of assigned duties.

  • Support the school’s efforts in securing and using community-based training sites. One way to support your school’s effort in providing appropriate training is to make sure your child attends school on a regular basis. In addition, once your child is in school regularly, you can assist the school by letting your friends know of the school's attempt to find community training sites. Perhaps they have a business or know of a business owner who would be willing to let his or her business be a training site. Perhaps another friend would donate an apartment to teach independent living skills.

  • Contact your local adult service agencies and Department of Mental Health (Regional Office) to find out about services each provides.

  • Find a job outside the home for your child to do after school, on weekends and during the summer. Getting your child accustomed to following a schedule, being on time, and being around other people are valuable skills to have in the years after school.

  • Make sure that vocational training in specific jobs is built into your child’s IEP. Experiencing training in real jobs in the community has been demonstrated to be the most effective method of providing vocational training, especially to students with more severe disabilities. By the time your child is in his or her last year of school, a large portion, if not all, of the school day should be spent in vocational training in the community, hopefully in a position with wages.

  • Teach your child about his or her disability and the accommodations he or she needs. In order to be able to self-advocate, your child will need to know how his or her disability impacts the ability to succeed in meeting long-range goals. Your child also will need to know what kinds of support or accommodations that are needed to function.

With your child
Before the IEP, the student can:

  • Learn about his or her learning styles, interests and explore options that may be available after graduation

  • Create or add to a transition portfolio with employment history, volunteer experience, sample applications, employer evaluations, references, resumes, test results, names of agency representatives who have helped, etc.

  • Understand the IEP process and terms used

  • Personally invite others to the IEP meeting

  • Learn to lead the IEP meeting

  • Write out questions he or she may want to ask during the meeting


Planning for the Future

  • A Life 4 Me
    An interactive website that will help you explore the community, likes/dislikes and jobs.

  • FYI Transition
    This interactive website will help you plan where you will work and live, and who will help you.

  • HEATH Resource Center
    Among other resources, you'll find 16 online learning modules (go to the top of the page and click on Modules) focused on various aspects of life after high school.

  • I'm Determined
    The I'm Determined project, funded by the Virginia Department of Education, focuses on providing students with disabilities with direct instruction, models, and opportunities to practice skills associated with self-determined behavior beginning at the elementary level and continuing through the student's educational career.

  • It's Money Baby: How to Make it, Use it and Save it
    This website features short videos on a variety of topics about money, including banking, credit cards, credit scores and money plans.

  • Listen to Me
    This workbook will help you build your Individual Support Plan.

  • Transition Portfolio Resource
    This site provides questionnaires, inventories, rating scales, and information on self-advocacy, post-secondary education, employment, careers and technical education, independent living and community linkages.

  • What are your goals for your life after high school?
    This video is part of a post-secondary goals activity, which will help you start thinking about what you want to do after high school.

  • Youthhood
    Learn about job opportunities, health, independent living and your rights. The Youthhood site has more than 120 online activities you can complete, save, and return to at any time. These include online questionnaires to guide learning and development, quizzes to test knowledge, online journaling, and goal-planning tools.


  • Planning for College

  • Disability-Friendly Colleges
    Look through a chart of schools that have services for students with physical disabilities.

  • Going to College
    Learn about faculty expectations, accommodations, technology and other resources available to students with disabilities.

  • Learning Style Survey for College
    An online assessment will score results to inform you of your learning style for college.

  • LD Pride Transition Assessments
    Find out your learning style and use this information to plan for the future.


    Use to investigate more than 150,000 pages about online degrees and universities, and occupations.

  • Drive of Your Life
    Drive of Your Life is an online exploration game to help you learn more about yourself, higher education and careers.

  • Missouri Connections
    Take career assessments, build your portfolio and create a career plan. All middle and high schools in Missouri have been provided with a username and password. Check with your guidance counselor office for this information.

  • National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth
    You will find a variety of materials to help you be successful in finding and keeping a job.

  • My Future
    Check out interest surveys, resume and cover letter templates, tips on preparing for an interview and information about a variety of careers.

  • Real People Real Jobs
    Read about individuals with disabilities and their employment success stories.