Post-Secondary Transition Planning
Students with disabilities should exercise their right to post-secondary education if possible. Although they may not receive the exact same accommodations they received in high school they may still receive certain accommodations for class and exams. These accommodations may include private room, large print, extended testing time, along with many other accommodations. If you are a student who is in need of accommodations it is best if you contact the institution that you are applying at and discuss your situation with them. Let them know what you received in high school, and discuss if they could offer any of the same accommodations. You are not required to share your disability with the institution, but in some situations it may be in your best interest. Secondary institutions are not allowed to ask you if you have a disability straight forward; but they may ask you questions such as "Are you in good health?" Once you are receiving services from the institution it is critical that you communicate with them informing them whether your services are working for you or not. Always keep in mind that secondary institutions do not have to provide you with special services, so be thankful for what you do receive.
Within-School Transition Planning
Transition services must be included in the student's IEP when they turn 16, but for some students it may be best to begin the transition process in middle school. Many students may need to take certain classes to help them better achieve their post-secondary education goals. Your child may also receive assessments at certain ages to determine their identify strengths and interests. Your child must also be informed of the "coming of age law" where certain rights will transfer from the parent to the child.
Within-District Transition Planning
It is vital for the district's IEP team to ensure that all transition services are being carried out. They must contact those in charge of certain services such as transportation to make sure plans are being followed according to the IEP. If plans are not being followed then you must initiate an IEP meeting to "rethink" previous strategies. This may end up with a revised IEP if the current services are not going to work. The district is responsible for any transition services that would be provided to other students with a disability.
What is Indicator 13?
Indicator 13 relates to transition services provided to the student once they are receiving a post-secondary education. It is a State Performance Plan required by IDEA representing the percent of children 16 and older who have an IEP. The IEP must contain measurable goals that are updated from year to year along with the services that will be provided in order to help the student reach their post-secondary goals. With Indicator 13 the student must be invited to the IEP Transition Services Meeting where the services would be discussed and decided upon. Indicator 13 helps to ensure that students are receiving the services agreed upon, and to make sure that the student had the option to be included when deciding which services would be needed.
What is Indicator 14?
Indicator 14 is also a State Performance Plan required by IDEA. It represents the students who are no longer in high school but had effective IEPs when they left. With Indicator 14 the student is required to be enrolled in higher education classes or "competitively" working within one year of leaving high school. Indicator 14 helps to determine how many students are putting their services received to good use and taking further steps to help them be successful in life.
ESE Transition Overview
Responsibilities of a SPED Teacher
As a SPED teacher the transition process is a process that will cover several years. You may begin the process as early as middle school depending on the student and you will want to keep up with it clear through their high school years and beyond. By the age of 16 you would want to ensure that you included their transition services in the IEP. This is a process that you will continue to work closely with the IEP team on. Even once the students graduate and go on their way it will still be your responsibility to make sure they are receiving the services they were guaranteed. If they aren't or if the services aren't working for them and you don't do anything about it could fall back on the school district and you as the SPED teacher. Always remember no matter who the student is or what they are capable of it should be your goal to help them successful in life!