All persons with disabilities can live and work as independently as possible with the appropriate supports within the classroom and community. This simple but sound premise justifies the need for comprehensive transitional planning to benefit Pennsylvania's students. The US Congress and the Pennsylvania Legislature have recognized the needs of young people with disabilities by developing and passing a series of laws and regulations to mandate and facilitate transition activities and services.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 1990 and its reauthorization, IDEA of 1997, mandate that IEPs include "A statement of needed transition services for students beginning no later than age 16 and annually thereafter (and when determined appropriate for the individual, beginning at age 14 or younger), including, when appropriate, a statement of the interagency responsibilities or linkages (or both) before the student leaves school". IDEA also calls for the participation of both parents and student in the IEP process.
Transition Planning involves a partnership of consumers, school-age services and programs, post-school services and programs and local communities that results in higher education, employment, independent living and community participation. Transition should be conceptualized as a bridge between school programs and the opportunities of adult life.
Consultants are available to provide on-site, tailored technical assistance to local school districts. Regional and Intermediate Unit consultants work together to address the needs expressed by school district personnel.