Find answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about transition services. Just click on a question below to reveal the answer associated with it.
A transition plan must be in your child’s individualized education plan (IEP)] starting at age 14½.
The transition plan must have age-appropriate goals related to:
- Independent living skills
The plan must address services (including classes) to help your child reach goals. A plan should be result-oriented and based on individual strengths, preferences, interests and goals. A transition plan should include a coordinated set of activities that:
- Helps improve your child’s academic and functional achievements as he or she moves toward higher education, employment, independent living and community participation
- Is based on your child’s needs, while taking into account strengths, preferences and interests
- Includes instruction, community experiences and the acquisition of life skills and job goals
Your child should go to the IEP meeting and help plan for transition services. Consider your child’s goals and needs, and what your child wants for the future. The school must consider your child’s desires when writing the IEP. Goals should be specific and written into the IEP. Goals may include:
- Getting a job or working
- Going to a community college or a university
- Living in a dorm, an assisted-living community or an apartment
- Getting a driver’s license
- Taking the bus alone or going grocery shopping
Include written accommodations and supports so your child can meet the goals. To create an effective plan, know about your rights and talk with your child about the future.
If your child plans to work after high school, goals should include:
- Completing training in life, vocational and social skills, along with workplace etiquette
- Building skills in order to help with work
- Visiting/shadowing at possible workplaces
- Using a job coach to try different occupations
- Taking public transportation if needed for work
If your child plans to go to college after high school, transition goals may include:
- Requesting accommodations for college entrance exams
- Investigating the Disability Student Services (DSS) offices of various colleges
- Building skills necessary to self-advocate
- Completing applications for at least four schools with strong DSS offices
If your child has the academic ability to go to college, but not the functional skills (organizational, independent living, or social), you may consider a transition program, or a college program with additional support, or a structured environment with tutors.
There are several options to consider after high school, including:
- Higher education such as college or junior college, with modifications as needed
- Vocational education and job training
- Integrated employment
- Continuing adult education
- Continued community and recreational participation
- Adult services
- Social skills training to increase community involvement
- Job and skills training can include:
- Apprenticeships that have on-the-job training and work experience;
- Other options such as trade and technical schools, or competitive employment
- Supported employment, which can provide:
- A job coach who helps your child learn and perform the job and adjust to the work environment
- Assistive technology
- Specialized job training
The Vocational Rehabilitation Agency (VR) provides services to people with disabilities with a focus on career development, employment preparation, achieving independence, and integration into the workplace and community. To apply, make an appointment with the local VR and fill out an application. To be eligible for services:
- Your child must be person with a disability
- The disability must be a substantial barrier to employment
- Your child must require services to get and keep a job
For more information go to http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=29736
Your child may live:
- In an apartment or home
- At home with a parent or family member
- In a group home that has:
- Few residents, in a neighborhood, and help to increase their independence
- Staff that helps with cooking, laundry, money management, making personal choices, health and safety issues, mobility, self-medication, social skills and vocational skills
- In semi-independent living that provides:
- Supervision, care and training for the person with a disability
- In assisted living for people who need help with daily living but who do not need intensive medical help. Services can include:
- Health care management and monitoring
- Help with daily living activities such as dressing and eating
- Housekeeping and laundry
- Help with taking medication, recreational activities, security and transportation
More information about housing can be found through Housing and Urban Development.
Yes, these are among the forms of help available:
- Medicaid is a health program for low-income people with disabilities. You can apply through the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.
- Medicaid Waiver Programs allow children who would normally be institutionalized to live at home.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI) helps people with a mental or physical impairment that results in the inability to do any substantially gainful activity and can be expected to result in death or will last for longer than a year continuously. To apply, make an appointment with Social Security at 1-800-772-1213
- Food stamps (SNAP) also help low-income families buy food. Contact the Department of Human Services.
In Illinois, when your child turns 18, the rights under IDEA are transferred from you to your child. One year before your child turns 18, your child must sign a statement that he or she is aware that these rights will be transferred. These rights include:
- Making decisions about his or her education and future
- Being responsible for his or her own IEP
- Changing his or her placement
- Attending mediation
- Filing due process
- Initiating dispute resolution
- Getting notice of upcoming IEP meetings
- Giving consent to be re-evaluated
- Determining his or her eligibility for services
As the parents, you must also be notified that all rights will transfer to your child. Your child can sign a Delegation of Educational Rights Form so you have the right to make educational decisions for your child after age 18, even if your child has NOT been declared incompetent.
For more detailed information, click on the transition fact sheet, life center fact sheet, transition checklist, transition planning fact sheet, resources guide and sample delegation of rights.
- View our Transition Resources page
- Read about our case work involving transition services
- Donate to our Equality for Kids Campaign
- Get legal help
Last updated: April 11, 2014