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Simply put, Transition is……….
First, to help students and families think about their life after high school and identify long-range goals; Second, to design the high school experience to ensure that students gain the skills and connections they need to achieve those goals; and Third, to connect with agencies that will help in implementing the desired outcomes.
What is Intent of Transition?
The intent of the transition services requirements in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA P.L. 101-476) was to improve the quality of life of young adults with disabilities. The basic purpose of the legislation is to better prepare students with disabilities to enter the workplace, go on for further training, become as independent as possible, and contribute to society. The legislation speaks to focusing Individualized Education Program (IEP) development, planning, educational programs, services, and supports toward post-school outcomes. This process should promote successful movement from school to post-secondary education, training, employment, independent living, and community participation.
Starting Transition Early
Once a student exits high school, an entitlement program, the student needs to apply for agency support, an eligibility program. Let’s understand the difference in the two programs.
Entitlement - A student with disabilities is entitled to educational services through a local school system from the time they are born until they reach the age of 22. They have the right to a free, appropriate and public education (FAPE). They have the right for educational support due to their disability under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Eligibility – Once a student leaves school he/she is no longer entitled to services. They must now apply for services, and be declared eligible for those services. For example, some agencies the requirements maybe based on the income, some on certain age requirements, and some on the type of disability. For a student to remain eligible for services, he/she must reapply annually. Some of these services have waiting lists, so it is imperative to start early.
Louisiana Rehabilitation Services (LRS)
Office for Citizens with Developmental
Disabilities (OCDD) http://new.dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/subhome/11/n/8
Social Security Administration (SSI or SSDI)
Office of Mental Health (OMH)