Transition to Adulthood for Students with Disabilities

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The transition to adulthood after high school graduation is a critical juncture for students with disabilities. Educators need to help parents and students start preparing for this transition long before high school, when a formal transition plan is legally required in a student’s IEP. Effective transition planning is a long-term, ongoing process that can greatly influence the lifelong outcomes of students with moderate to severe disabilities. This guide is designed to help educators, parents, and students understand requirements and best practices for the different stages of this process.

It includes sections on: relevant federal laws (IDEA, Section 504, ADA, WIOA); interest and aptitude assessments; social emotional skills; executive functioning; self-advocacy; transition planning and the IEP; assistive technology; adult living options; community-based instruction; outside agencies and services; parent engagement. Readers are directed to more in-depth resources, including over 20 online resources, for further reading and to help with implementation.

This quick-reference tool will help ensure that students with disabilities, and the families and teams that support them, set appropriately ambitious individual goals for life after high school and develop and execute a plan to achieve these goals.

By Thomas Gibbon, Ed.D. and David Bateman, Ph.D. 2018. 6 pages. ISBN 978-1-93853-980-0. #NP225.

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