Roles in Transition Planning

The School's Role

The school serves as the initial and primary source for the preparation for transition. The involvement of teachers, guidance counselors, vocational educators, social workers, psychologist, etc., is essential to the transition planning process.

Think about what your school is doing in the following areas:

1. Vocational Assessment – What experiences and assessment techniques are being utilized to assist the student in identifying interests, abilities, and aptitudes to focus them in a proper career direction?

2. Curriculum and Instruction – Which of the following areas are addressed in the secondary program?

  • Career Awareness
  • Job Seeking/ Keeping Skills
  • Independent Living
  • Personal Living
  • Social Skills Development
  • Self Advocacy

Are these skills taught in a self-contained class, an inclusive class, or in the community?

3. Vocational Training – What vocational training experiences are offered in your secondary program?

  • In School Job Sites
  • Community-Based Work/Study
  • Supported Employment
  • Job Shadowing

4. Interagency Collaboration – Does your school provide you with information about, and assist you in making referrals to:

  • Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS)
  • Department of Developmental Services (DDS)
  • Board of Education & Services to the Blind (BESB)
  • Commission on the Deaf & Hearing Impaired (CDHI)
  • Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services (DMHAS)
  • Postsecondary Education/Training Opportunities
  • Parent Support Groups
  • Respite Care Opportunities
  • Leisure/Recreation Programs
  • Financial Planning Needs

5. Parental Involvement – What activities or programs does your school have to inform parents of the above agencies and services, to assist them in becoming stronger advocates and well informed partners in the transition planning process?

6. Follow-up Procedures – Does your school have any formal follow-up procedures to contact special education graduates to determine if their transition from school has been successful?

The Parents' Role

  • Parents are integral members of the Planning and Placement Team. You bring a wealth of information about their sons/daughters which is critical to effective transition planning.
  • Parents must become informed advocates about quality transition planning, services in the community, and agencies which can assist your sons/ daughters in achieving success and independence in their communities. Parents must understand the difference between entitlement of special education programs under IDEA, and the eligibility for services of adult agencies.
  • Parents know their community and have many contacts they can share to assist in the provision of community training alternatives and activities. Parents and students must be willing and committed to assist in the implementation of identified transition activities.
  • Parents can advocate for, and develop, initiate new programs that do not currently exist in your son's/daughter's school or community.

The Adult Agency's Role

  • Once a referral has been made to the appropriate adult service agency, the agency can become an important member of the Planning and Placement Team. They will begin to know the needs, strengths, and abilities of your son/daughter well before they exit their secondary programs.
  • Adult agency counselors know the resources in your community and can assist you in accessing many of these services.
  • Adult agency counselors know the future of the labor market and available training programs which allows them to focus school experiences in realistic directions.
  • Once a student has exited school, the agency can provide programs and services to assist your son/daughter in vocational training, job placement, and living alternatives.

The Community's Role

  • The community is the ultimate site for the student to work and live. The student seeks to become an active member of the community, and thus, the involvement of the community in the transition process is natural and logical.
  • The community is in the position to develop and support programs that assist in the transition planning process. These programs should exist in the areas of employment, residence, and recreation.
  • The community should develop a means whereby community members may become informed of the needs of their citizens with disabilities, as well as federal and state programs that offer support to business that train and hire persons with disabilities.

Connecticut Transition Task Force Parent Sub-Committee, 2005
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