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Transition Services

In order to fulfill their role as students and to prepare them for college, post high-school learning/training, employment, work/career opportunities, and community integration, occupational therapists play a unique role in supporting students with disabilities by providing skilled services to help them acquire/optimize skills required for this next stage in their life.

What is Seconday

Visit your specific state's departement of education website for more information.

It is a bridge between school programs and the opportunities of adult life (e.g., higher education/training, employment, and independent living). The process is facilitated through the development of a transition plan, which is required by Indicator 13 from IDEA, Part B. The transition plan is developed in collaboration with the entire IEP team.

Transition Services according to IDEA:

They are a coordinated set of activities for an individual with a disability that:

A) is designed to be within a results-oriented process, that is focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the child with disability to facilitate the child's movement from school to post-school activities, including post-secondary education vocational education, integrated employment, continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation;

B) is based on the individual child's needs, taking into account the child's strengths, preferences, and interests;

C) includes instruction, related services, community experiences, the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives, and , when appropriate, acquisition of daily life skills and functional vocational evaluation.


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, certain secondary transition components must be included in the IEP. Required components include:

  1. Age-Appropriate Transition Assessments

  2. Measurable Postsecondary Goals (MPGs)

  3. Coordinated Set of Activities

  4. Course of Study

  5. Aligned Annual IEP Goals

  6. Additional Requirements (Student Invitation, Outside Agency Participation, Update Plan Annually)



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 postsecondary goals based upon age appropriate transition assessments related to training, education, employment, and, where appropriate, independent living skills; and

(2) The transition services (including courses of study) needed to assist the child in reaching those goals.

IDEA. (2017, July 12). Sec. 300. 320 Definition of individualized education program.

IEP Meeting

  • The public agency must invite a child with a disability to attend the child’s IEP Team meeting if a purpose of the meeting will be the consideration of the postsecondary goals for the child and the transition services needed to assist the child in reaching those goals

  • If the child does not attend the IEP Team meeting, the public agency must take other steps to ensure that the child’s preferences and interests are considered.

IDEA. (2017, July 12). Sec. 300. 321 IEP Team.

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