Topical Guides


5. Changes the secondary transition requirements.
Beginning not later than the first IEP to be in effect when the child is 16, and updated annually thereafter, (note: eliminates age 14 requirements) the IEP must include:
  • Appropriate measurable postsecondary goals based upon age-appropriate transition assessments related to training, education, employment and, where appropriate, independent living skills; and
  • The transition services (including courses of study) needed to assist the child in reaching those goals.

Dialogue Starter - Cross-stakeholder

Reaction Questions

  1. What concern might parents and youth express, given that, transition goals do not have to be addressed on the IEP until the child is 16 years of age?

  2. IDEA 2004 provides that IEPs include post-secondary goals based upon assessment related to training, education, employment, and where appropriate, independent living skills. In your view, how might this provision impact the involvement of community agencies?

  3. IDEA 1997 provided for transition to be addressed on the IEP at 14. IDEA 2004 provides for goals to be in place by 16. How might the change in age from 14 to 16 with respect to addressing transition requirements impact IEP development?

  4. Some believe that transition planning at 14 is necessary for college bound youth to actualize that option. In your view, how might this change impact a student’s ability to enroll in college-prep coursework at the high-school level?

  5. Although transition is not required to be in place until age 16 under IDEA 2004, in your view is it wise for districts to consider an earlier start? Why? Why not?

Application Questions

  1. What polices and procedures might schools have in place to highlight the importance of transition?

  2. What information (e.g., best practices, resources, personal and professional contacts) might districts or state agencies share with teachers, parents and students to assist in their making informed decisions regarding transition?

  3. What resources and training might be helpful for students and families to understand the implications of transition before a child reaches the age of majority (age 18, or the age of majority as determined by state guidelines)?

  4. Are there policies, procedures, or best practices that could support a level of parent participation after the child reaches the age of majority?

    These questions were developed by the following stakeholders working together:

    Role: Early Childhood Professional & Advocate
    Location: Maryland
    Role: Higher Education
    Location: South Carolina
    Role: Related Services Provider
    Location: New Jersey
    Role: Parent Training & Information Professional
    Location: California
    Role: Parent
    Location: New Mexico