What Are Transition Services?

Transition services are available for students eligible for special education and 504 services. They are meant to create a smooth pathway for a young person to move from high school to a successful adult life. Transition services can include work-based learning, internships, career exploration, self-assessments, workplace readiness, and counseling.

Why Is Transition Important?

Transition planning confirms a plan is in place for taking the “next step”. These services help students with disabilities and their families think about life after high school.

Who Provides Transition Services For Students With Disabilities?

  • Your student’s school
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Services
    • Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS)
    • Bureau for Services for Blind Persons (BSBP)
  • Service providers (CMH)

All entities collaborate to provide transition services to your student

Common Questions

Answers to some of your common questions regarding Transition.

Transition Timeline

  • Learn about the Transition process and what it means for your student.
  • Obtain a Release and Consent Form for VR involvement. The school should provide this document.
  • Invite the Transition specialist or coordinator to join in the IEP.
  • Begin to explore your student’s interests and goals.
  • Determine appropriate VR agencies.
  • Outline a Transition goal.
  • Follow transition planning statements outlined in the IEP.
  • Get the student a Social Security card, if they don’t have one already.
  • The school is required to invite your student to their IEP meetings.
  • IEP teams should be reviewing and updating your Transition Goal.
  • Graduation plans must be a part of all IEPs for students 16 and over. Students in special education may attend school until the end of the academic year in which they turn age 26. Students may participate in graduation and still be eligible to continue receiving special education services, as long as they have not received a signed diploma.
  • Begin job training at school sites or in the community.
  • Explore part-time and summer employment options, if appropriate.
  • Evaluate the need for disability-related benefits and Medicaid vs. competitive employment and employer insurance.
  • Make graduation plans or certificate of completion and attendance, if appropriate.
  • Notify VR agencies for student with and without IEPs by autumn of the year before they graduate.
  • Complete your student’s assessment including cognitive, assistive technology and other related areas by the age of 18, if they plan to register with the Division of Development Disabilities (DDD-CMH).
  • Register to vote if teen will be 18 by the day of the next election.
  • Begin exploring health care financing.
  • Take college entrance exams and complete applications, if appropriate.
  • Meet and tour adult service agencies and select appropriate service providers.  Note that places usually cannot be held this early, but it may be worth identifying appropriate agencies.
  • Research different models, such as day habilitation, supported vocational, and community based day support.
  • For graduating students planning to attend college, student contacts campus student disability services to request accommodations, prior to the start of school.
  • Initiate eligibility process with adult service agencies.  Learn process specific to your state.
  • Begin voting in elections.
  • Investigate SSI/SSDI Work Incentives.
  • Notify student of rights that will transfer to him/her on reaching the age of majority at least one year before the student reaches the age of majority.
  • Assessment should be completed for both vocational and assistive technology.
  • Students should be able to define the accommodations they need for vocational or post-secondary placement.
  • Begin voting in elections.
  • Investigate SSI/SSDI Work Incentives.
  • Notify student of rights that will transfer to him/her on reaching the age of majority at least one year before the student reaches the age of majority.
  • If your student is continuing to attend a public-school program after age 18, eligibility ends at the end of the school year in which the student turns 26.
  • Can sign up for Developmental Disability (DD) services through Community Mental Health at any age, the earlier the better.

What is the Next Step?

I don’t know if my student has a Transition plan.

Answer

Talk with your student’s case manager and request a meeting to talk about your student’s Transition plan. Contact DRM and speak with an advocate.

I don’t know if my student is receiving services from MRS/BSBP?

Answer

Talk with your student’s case manager and formally request the district include MRS/BSBP services. You can also formally request services from MRS/BSBP on your own by contacting them yourself. Contact DRM and speak with an advocate for help on how to do this.

My student will be graduating soon, and the school has not discussed Transition services.

Answer

Talk with your student’s case manager and formally request an IEP meeting to discuss Transition services. Contact DRM and speak with an advocate.

My student will be receiving a Certificate of Completion and is 18. The school has not talked with us about what will happen next.

Answer

Talk with your student’s case manager and formally request an IEP meeting to discuss Transition services. Contact DRM and speak with an advocate.

My student will be receiving a diploma and MRS attended the last IEP meeting, but I am not sure what services will be provided and what the next steps are?

Answer

Talk with your student’s case manager and ask for the contact information of the MRS/BSBP counselor that attended the meeting. Contact DRM and speak with an advocate.

My student would like to participate in a work experience this summer, but we have no information about what is available?

Answer

Talk with your student’s case manager and request a meeting with MRS/BSBP to discuss what is available. Contact DRM and speak with an advocate.

I have not been asked to sign a consent form to invite an outside agency.

Answer

Talk with your student’s case manager and formally request that MRS/BSBP be invited to the IEP meeting and request a consent form be provided. Contact DRM and speak with an advocate.

MRS/BSBP has not been involved in my student’s Transition meetings.

Answer

Talk with your student’s case manager and formally request that MRS/BSBP be invited to the meetings and request a consent form be provided. Contact DRM and speak with an advocate.

Transition Advocacy Tips

If you have questions or concerns about your students access to Transition services, contact DRM.

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  1. Be involved in every step of the Transition process.
  2. Keep everything in writing. Follow up on conversations with written confirmation.
  3. Keep a Transition folder with all important documents.
  4. Ask for copies.
  5. Always work towards a solution and address any problems that come up.
  6. Attend information sessions on Transition services hosted by your school, community, or outside agencies.

How Can We Help?
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