the child in reaching these goals. For example, it must help the child plan the courses of study that he or she needs to take, such as advanced placement or vocational education, so that the classes taken will help the child reach his or her postsecondary goals. A statement of transition services must also be included in each of the child’s subsequent IEPs.
■ Needed transition services
This is a results-oriented process that improves the academic and functional achievement of a child with a disability and facilitates his or her transition from school to employment and further education. Beginning when the child is age 16 (or younger, if appropriate) or age 14 if the child has autism spectrum disorder, the IEP must state what transition services are needed to help the child prepare for leaving school. This involves providing the child with a coordinated set of services to help him or her move from school to adult life. Services focus upon the child’s strengths, challenges or interests in such areas as higher education, vocational training, employment, adult services, independent living or community participation.
■ The Summary of Performance
During the final year of a student’s high school education, the school shall provide The Summary of Performance (SOP) to a student whose eligibility to receive special education services ends due to: (1) graduation from secondary school with a regular diploma; or (2) exceeding the age of eligibility. The document must include a summary of the student’s academic achievement and functional performance and recommendations on how to assist the student in meeting his or her post-secondary goals. The SOP is critical as a student transitions from high school to higher education, training and/or employment. It is also necessary, under Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, to establish a student’s eligibility for reasonable accommodations and supports in post-secondary settings, and for the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services, the Dept. of Disability Services or any agency requiring documentation to provide services and/or reasonable accommodations for a student.
SOP and Instructions..
■ Dates and places
The IEP must state when services will begin, how often they will be provided, where they will be provided and how long they will last.
■ Age of majority
Beginning at least one year before the child reaches the age of majority, age 18, the IEP must include a statement that the child has been told of any rights that will transfer to him or her at the age of majority.
■ Special education and related
The IEP must include a statement of the special education and related services, which are based on peer-reviewed research to the extent practicable, that will be provided to the child, as well as the supplementary aids, services and supports that will be provided to enable the child to benefit from special education and to participate with non-disabled peers in extra-curricular and non-academic settings. It should also include a statement of the program modifications (changes) and supports for school personnel, such as training and professional development, which will be provided to assist the child. It is important for parents to know who will be providing the services to the child and the staff and what the provider’s qualifications are.
If a child needs a particular related service in order to benefit from special education, the related service professional should be involved in developing the IEP.