What is transition assessment?
IDEA 2004 states, "Beginning not later than the first IEP to be in effect when the child turns 16, or younger if determined appropriate by the IEP team, and updated annually, thereafter, the IEP must include- (1) Appropriate measurable post secondary goals based upon age appropriate transition assessments related to training, education, employment, and where appropriate, independent living skills" [300.320(b)(1)].
The transition assessment process for a student is ongoing and occurs over time. Information collected is documented within a student's Individualized Education Program (IEP) to support the development of identified post secondary goals in Education/Training, Employment, and where appropriate, Independent Living. The assessment process supports IEP teams in identifying the following information:
- Identifying student interests, preferences, strengths, and abilities
- Determining appropriate activities within educational, vocational, and community settings that will help students achieve their goals
- Identifying appropriate accommodations, supports, and services
- Determining "next steps" in reaching the student's long term goals.
The goal of transition assessment is to assist students, families, and professionals as they make transition planning decisions for student success in post secondary environments. The transition assessments should assist in answering three basic questions:
- Where is the student presently?
- Where is the student going?
- How does the student get there?
What Areas Do We Need to Assess?
IDEA 2004 mandates the inclusion of age-appropriate transition assessment related to training, education, employment, and where appropriate, independent living skills.
Education and Training:
- Determining academic and functional skills
- Matching academic and functional skills with career goals
- Determining the needed accommodations to be successful in school and work
- Matching career goals to appropriate post secondary setting
- Matching career goals to strengths, talents, and interests
- Interview skills
- Work skills
- Identifying the level of supervision needed
- Identifying the student’s ability to ask for help
- Task Completion
- Work experience
- Selecting a lifestyle and future living situations and developing skills to live as independently as possible
- Money management
- Personal grooming
- Health care/sexuality
- Mobility, travel skills, driver’s license
- Identifying community resources to match interests; i.e. sports, hobbies, movies
- Community participation