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Building a Transition Planning Frame of Mind: Tips, Tools & Techniques. 2008 Special Education Director’s Conference July 31, 2008. Susan Walter Transition Consultant Illinois State Board of Education 618-651-9028 or

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Building a Transition Planning Frame of Mind:

Tips, Tools & Techniques

2008 Special Education Director’s Conference

July 31, 2008

Susan Walter

Transition Consultant

Illinois State Board of Education

618-651-9028 or

illinois state performance plan part b years 2005 2010

State’s plan to meet performance standards on 20 indicators (Part B) - 4 are specific to secondary transition

  • % of youth who graduate
  • % of youth who drop out
  • 13. % of youth with transition components in the IEP
  • 14. % of youth who achieve post-school outcomes

Illinois State Performance Plan, Part BYears 2005 - 2010


Jack Kinder.

High achievement

always takes place

in the framework

of high expectation.

critical interrelationships

Staying in school

Critical Interrelationships

Quality IEP’s

Positive post-school outcomes


transition tree of influence

Transition Tree of Influence

1. Percent of youth with IEPs graduating from high school with a regular diploma.

Arrows indicate direction of influence and leverage across systems and indicators.

2. Percent of youth with IEPs dropping out of high school.


13. Percent of youth aged 14 ½ or above with an IEP with adequate goals and transition services

14. Percent of youth with IEPs who, within one year after graduation, have been competitively employed, enrolled in postsecondary school, or both.



Federal and State Transition Requirements

Person-Centered Transition Planning

Supporting Student Self-Determination

Transition: Centerpiece of the IEP

Implementation of Secondary Transition Best Practices

Interagency Collaboration and Transition

Adult Life Outcomes for Students with Disabilities:

A World of Opportunity

SSI and Transition Planning

Health and Medical Issues in Transition Planning

Sue Walter, 1/07, ISBE Transition

transition planning
Transition Planning
  • Dynamic process
  • Partnerships
  • Maximizing employment, integration, and community participation for youth with disabilities
transition planning in illinois

14 1/2

Transition Planning in Illinois

  • Beginning not later than the first IEP to be in effect when the child turns 14 ½, and updated annually thereafter, the IEP shall include:
  • Appropriate, measurable post-secondary goals based upon age-appropriate assessments related to education, training, employment, and, where appropriate, independent living skills
  • Transition services that are needed to assist the child in reaching those goals, including courses of study and any other needed services to be provided by entities other than the school district

23 IAC 226.230(c)

transition services
Transition Services
  • Coordinated set of activities
    • Puzzle pieces that fit together
      • Activities, services, experiences, instruction
  • Results-oriented
    • Planning begins and is guided by the result we want to see
  • Academic & Functional
    • Both…not one or the other
  • Facilitating movement
    • Continuous, coordinated movement toward the results
    • Steps match the needs and strengths of the student

Sue Walter, 2008


…based on individual child’s needs, taking into account the child’s strengths, preferences and interests…

Nothing will ever be

attempted if all

possible objections

must be first overcome.

illinois special education rules graduation or completion of program
Illinois Special Education RulesGraduation or Completion of Program
  • Student’s who require continued public school education experiences to successfully move on to their post-school goals are eligible for such services through the day before the his/her 22nd birthday.
  • Student’s who graduate with a regular high school diploma are not longer eligible for FAPE.
  • Students can still participate in the graduation ceremony
    • Regular diploma is “held” by the school district
    • Student remains eligible to receive FAPE

23 IAC 226.50(c)

illinois special education rules graduation or completion of program1
Illinois Special Education RulesGraduation or Completion of Program
  • A student with a disability who has fulfilled the minimum state graduation requirements is eligible for a regular high school diploma.
    • If the student’s IEP prescribes special education, transition planning, transition services or related services beyond that point, issuance of that diploma is deferred so that the student will continue to be eligible for those services.
    • If the student is to receive a regular high school diploma…
      • At least one year prior the parent and student receive , written notification (34 CFR 300.503) that eligibility for public school special education ends following the granting of a diploma
      • An IEP meeting may be requested to review the recommendation that the student receive a regular diploma.

23 IAC 226.50(c)

eligibility termination and the sop
Eligibility Termination and the SOP
  • School district must provide the child with a summary of the child’s academic achievement and functional performance, and recommendations on how to assist the child in meeting his/her postsecondary goals.
    • Graduation with a regular diploma
    • Exceeding the maximum age of eligibility

34CFR §300.305(e)(3)

so many options so little time
So many options…so little time
  • Beginning as early as possible just makes sense!
  • Recommendations from the experts –
    • Career Options, Grades 7 – 9
    • Postsecondary Options, Grades 8 – 10
    • Student Choice, Grades 8 – 10
    • Academic Planning, Grades 8 – 9
    • Personal – Social Planning and Preparation, Grades 8 – 12

Webb, K.W. (2000). Transition to postsecondary education: strategies for students with disabilities. TX: PRO-ED Series on Transit8ion.

what is a measurable post school goal
What is a MeasurablePost-School Goal?
  • A Measurable Post-School Goal –
    • Is the result of high school…what the student will achieve after leaving high school
    • Is based on the student’s strengths, preferences and interests
    • Is based on age-appropriate transition assessments

Sue Walter, 2008

when are measurable post school goals required
When are MeasurablePost-School Goals Required?
  • A measurable post-school goal is written for the following areas:
    • Education and/or training
      • Education
        • community college, university, technical/trade/vocational school
      • Training
        • vocational or career field training, independent living skill training, apprenticeship, OJT, job corp, etc.
    • Employment
      • paid employment (competitive, supported, sheltered)
      • non-paid employment (volunteer, in a training capacity)
      • military
    • Adult Living (if needed)
      • independent living skills, health/safety, financial/income, transportation/mobility, social relationships, recreation/leisure, self-advocacy/future planning

Sue Walter, 2008

minimum requirements for measurable post school goals
Minimum Requirements for Measurable Post-School Goals
  • Each transition-aged student should have a minimum of two post-school goals
    • One for education or training
    • One for employment
  • Don’t rule out Adult Living without some data that shows why you don’t need to consider it.

Sue Walter, 2008

what does a measurable post secondary goal look like
What Does a MeasurablePost-Secondary Goal Look Like?
  • A measurable post-school goal uses results oriented terms like…
    • “enrolled in,” “work,” “part-time,” “full-time”
  • Examples
    • Education
      • After graduation, Leslie will be enrolled full time in community college certificate program.
    • Training
      • After leaving high school, Bob will be enrolled part-time in an emergency medical technician training program.
    • Employment
      • After graduation from high school, Lyle will work full time community service profession.
    • Adult Living
      • Within 6 months of leaving high school, Steven will live independently in his own apartment or home.

Sue Walter, 2008

examples and non examples
Examples and Non-Examples


After graduation, Rolanda will participate in an in-home or center-based program designed to provide habilitative and vocational training with medial and therapeutic supports.


After leaving high school, Rolanda’s family plans for her to receive habilitative training through Medicaid Community Alternatives Program (CAP) services.


Allison will obtain a four-year degree from a liberal arts college with major in Child Development.


The fall after graduation from high school, Allison plans to enroll in a four-year university in the Southeast.


After graduation from high school, Lissette will complete the non-degree program at Montgomery County College.


Lissette wants to go to college.


Illinois State Board of Education Indicator 13 webpage Examples and Non-Examples for SPP/APR Indicator 13 Checklist, approved by OSEP August,2006

For more information…





Sue Walter, 2008

age appropriate transition assessments
Age-Appropriate Transition Assessments
  • For each post-secondary goal, there should be evidence that age-appropriate transition assessments – formal and/or informal – provided information on the student’s needs, taking into account strengths, preferences, and interests regarding the post-secondary goal

Sue Walter, 2008

definition of age appropriate transition assessments

Definition of Age-Appropriate Transition Assessments

“…ongoing process of collecting data on the individual’s needs, preferences, and interests as they relate to the demands of current and future working, educational, living, and personal and social environments. Assessment data serve as the common thread in the transition process and form the basis for defining goals and services to be included in the Individualized Education Program (IEP)”

Sitlington, Neubert, and Leconte. (1997). Career Development for Exceptional Individuals. 20:69-79.

nsttac guidance on age appropriate transition assessments
NSTTAC Guidance on Age-Appropriate Transition Assessments
  • Guidance from the National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center (NSTTAC)
    • Become familiar with different types of transition assessments and their characteristics
    • Select methods that assist students by helping them answer
      • Who am I?
      • What do I want in life, now and in the future?
      • What are some of life’s demands that I can meet now?
      • What are the main barriers to getting what I ant from school and community?
      • What are my options in the school and community for preparing me for what I want, now and in the future?
nsttac guidance on age appropriate transition assessments1
NSTTAC Guidance on Age-Appropriate Transition Assessments
  • Select approaches that are appropriate for students in terms of cognitive, cultural sensitivity and language comfort.
  • Always interpret and explain assessment results in formats that students and families can understand easily
  • Consider the research-based practice of using multiple assessments on an on-going basis
formal vs informal assessments
Formal VS InformalAssessments
  • Formal transition assessments
    • Adaptive behavior/daily living skills assessments
    • General and specific aptitude tests
    • Interest inventories
    • Intelligence tests
    • Temperament inventories/instruments
    • Career maturity or employability tests
  • Informal transition assessments
    • Interviews (student and family)
    • Questionnaires
    • Direct observation
    • Curriculum-based assessments
    • Environmental analysis
for example
Interest inventories

Transition surveys

Person-centered planning

Curriculum-based assessments

Structured interviews

Social histories

Career portfolios

Employability skills inventories

Assessments of post-school environments desired by the student

Adaptive behavior inventories

Life skills inventories

Aptitude tests

Personality scales

Social skills inventories

College entrance examinations

Assessment of technology needs

Vocational skills inventories

Professional assessments

For example…

Sue Walter, 2008

where to look
Where to look…

Sue Walter, 2008

courses of study
Courses of Study
  • Transition services include courses of study that focus on improving the academic and functional achievement of the child to facilitate movement from school to post-school.
    • Course of study, instructional program of study or list of courses of study should be in the IEP and should align with the student’s post-secondary goals.
      • Does a post-secondary goal require a certain minimum requirement of courses, e.g., college bound, trade school bound, etc.?
      • Does a post-secondary goal require or benefit from the successful completion of specific high school classes, e.g., a future chef planning to take and completing all cooking related classes, a future child-care provider planning to take and completing relevant classes in Family and Consumer Science, etc.
courses of study1

Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Extended

Age 14/15 Age 15/16 Age 16/17 Age 17/18 Age 18 - 21

Courses of Study

transition services coordinated set of activities
Transition ServicesCoordinated Set of Activities
  • For each post-secondary goal, in association with meeting the post-secondary goal, is there
    • (a) instruction,
    • (b) related service,
    • (c) community experience,
    • (d) development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives,
    • (e) acquisition of daily living skills, if appropriate, or
    • (f) provision of functional vocational evaluation, if appropriate

Sue Walter, 1/07, ISBE Transition

    • Self-determination skill training including self-regulation, self-awareness and choice-making
    • Enroll in tech prep program for Family and Consumer Science in junior year
    • Contact JTCC for disability documentation policies
    • Obtain, complete and submit application to community college
  • Related Services
    • Assistive Technology Evaluation
    • Occupational therapy services focusing on manual dexterity
    • Health/Social work services re: medication planning & independence
  • Community Experiences
    • Volunteer to bus tables at cousin’s restaurant
    • Contact community volunteer center to find opportunity to assist with making food baskets and serving meals
    • Investigate wellness and fitness programs at the local Y: choose one activity to begin by junior year
Development of Employment & Other PS Adult Living Objectives
    • Meet with DRS counselor for eligibility determination and resources to support entry and attendance at an in-state college
    • Participate in job-shadowing at higher-end restaurants in the community
    • Participate in summer internship
    • Register at the local PO for selective service
    • Obtain assistance on management of financial resources and legal issues
  • Acquisition of Daily Living Skills and/or Functional Vocational Evaluation
    • Regularly perform two household chores from a list provided by family
    • Learn to operate washer and dryer
    • Schedule and keep medical appointments independently (w/family assist sophomore and junior…independent senior year
  • Linkages to After Graduation Supports/Services
    • DHS/DRS local office
    • County DMV
    • Benefit Counselor (through DRS)
    • SSI regional office
    • Center for Independent Living (CIL)
    • Division of Specialized Care for Children (DSCC) for medical home counseling
annual iep goals
Annual IEP Goals
  • For each postsecondary goal, there should be at least one annual goal in the IEP that will help the student make progress toward the stated post-secondary goal.
    • In relation to the PLAAFP what does he/she need to work on to move toward the post-school goal
      • Academic?
      • Community-based experience?
      • Functional and work skills?
      • Self-determination skills?
post school goal result of transition susie will work full time at a grocery or chain store

Post-School Goal(Result of Transition)John will attend community college full-time.

Post-School Goal(Result of Transition)Susie will work full-time at a grocery or chain store.

Annual Goal

Using word processing software on a computer, John will compose a 5 paragraph essay, save it, retrieve and revise it, check for spelling and grammar errors, save the revised essay and print it.

Annual Goal

Susie will learn to follow a schedule.

Annual Goal

Susie will accurately complete job applications and a resume with correct spelling and grammar.

  • Objectives
  • Given a schedule of activities to complete during each instructional block of vocational activities, Susie will correctly complete the activity and check off as completed on her list without assistance for 5 consecutive days.
  • - Given a self-management time schedule, Susie will correctly list all activities to be completed and write in the “clock face” time at which each activity needs to occur, without assistance, for 5 consecutive days.
  • Objectives
  • Given a blank job application to complete, Susie will use a cue card which contains personal information, list of references, and previous experience to complete the application without errors.
  • Susie will use her job application cue card and a computer and its spell and grammar checking to create a resume with no errors.


- Using a computer typing program such as “Type to Learn” to learn keyboarding skills, John will type at a rate of at least 35 wpm with 4 or fewer errors.

Using Microsoft Word, John will demonstrate that he can type an already prepared essay on the computer, name the file, and save it to a floppy disk or the hard disk of the computer.

- Using Microsoft Word John will demonstrate that he can open a file which he had previously saved, edit the file, save the changes and print the file.

Sue Walter, 2008

coordination with post school service providers aka adult agencies
Coordination with Post-School Service Providers (aka adult agencies)
  • For each post-secondary goal, is there evidence of coordination between LEA and post-secondary services?
    • Is there evidence that the IEP team discussed and listed potential post-school service providers?
    • Is there evidence of family and/or student input regarding potential post-school service providers?
    • Are there transition services listed on the IEP that are likely to be provided or paid for by an outside agency?
    • Was parent consent (or child consent once the age of majority is reached) obtained to invite any outside agency?
    • Is there evidence in the IEP or the student’s file that any of the following agencies/services were invited to participate in IEP development: postsecondary education, vocational education, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living or community participation?
    • For those invited post-school service providers who declined and/or were unable to attend the IEP meeting, is there evidence that alternate forms of communication and information gathering were used to support networking/access for the IEP team and specifically the family and/or student?

Sue Walter, 2008

Illinois State Board of Education Indicator 13 Webpage

Will you be the rock that redirects the course of the river?

-- Claire Nuer.



Basic Compliance Best Practices

Dynamic Process

Maximum employment,

community intergration



and participation for


youth with disabilities

Sue Walter, 2008