Transition services and activities must be included in the development of the IEP no later than the first IEP to be in effect when the student turns 16, or younger if determined appropriate by the IEP Team, and must include appropriate measurable post-secondary goals based upon age appropriate transition assessments related to training, education, employment, and where appropriate, independent living skills.
State Requirements: (note the main difference between Federal and state requirements is the age a full Transition Plan development is required)
Texas requirements for transition services are aligned to the federal requirements included in IDEA 2004. However, state law and guidance include additional requirements for the provision of transition services for students receiving special education services in Texas. A new state law passed in the summer of 2011 requires that "appropriate state transition planning must begin for a student not later than when the student reaches 14 years of age" (SB 1788, 06/17/2011). The Texas Administrative Code (TAC) describes the following nine issues important to the development of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) for students receiving special education services.
- Appropriate student involvement in the student's transition to life outside the public school system
- If the student is younger than 18 years of age, appropriate parental involvement in the student's transition
- If the student is at least 18 years of age, appropriate parental involvement in the student's transition, if the parent is invited to participate by the student or the school district in which the student is enrolled
- Any postsecondary education options
- A functional vocational evaluation
- Employment goals and objectives
- If the student is at least 18 years of age, the availability of age-appropriate instructional environments
- Independent living goals and objectives
- Appropriate circumstances for referring a student or the student's parents to a
governmental agency for services
What We Do
"Transition refers to a change in status from behaving primarily as a student to assuming emergent adult roles in the community. These roles include employment, participating in post-secondary training/education, maintaining a home, becoming appropriately involved in the community, and experiencing satisfactory personal and social relationships. The process of enhancing transition involves the participation and coordination of school programs, adult agency services and natural supports within the community.
The foundation for transition should be laid during the elementary and middle school years, guided by the broad concept of career development. Transition planning should begin no later than age 14, and students should be encouraged, to the full extent of their capabilities, to assume a maximum amount of responsibility for such planning." (Halpern, 1994)
Transition services means working as a team with the student, parent, school staff and outside agencies or community service to develop a coordinated set of activities for a student with a disability that is based on the individual student's needs, taking into account:
- the student's strengths,
- which includes instruction,
- related services,
- community experience,
- the development of employment and other post school adult living objectives, and if appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and provision of a functional vocational evaluation.
All of these activities will be considered for each student, however specific activities will be determined by the needs of each student. Transition is a results oriented process that is focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of a child with disabilities to facilitate the movement from school to post-school activities. These activities, through state guidelines, begins on or before the student turns 14 years old with postsecondary goals in education or training, employment and if appropriate, independent living skills based on age-appropriate transition assessments and, an examination of transition issues including the appropriate courses of study based on transition goals. The IEP will include transition services which are needed to assist the student in reaching those post secondary goals.
Texas School for the Deaf posts the Texas Transition & Employment Guide on the district's website. We also provide written information and, if necessary, assistance to the parent regarding how to access the electronic version of the guide at the ARD Committee meeting at which transition is discussed.
Texas School for the Deaf Procedures:
The Texas’ Foundation Graduation Program, implemented in 2017 offers a new and flexible graduation program that allows students to pursue their interests while earning core academic credits. A student can earn an endorsement from one of the following: Arts and Humanities, Business and Industry, Public Services, STEM, Multidisciplinary Studies. In order to earn an endorsement along with the high school diploma, one has to take and earn 4 credits in total with classes within a specific career cluster.
TSD’s Career Technology Education (CTE) program offers courses along with some academic electives that allow students to pursue their interests and earn an endorsement. With this graduation program, students are able to develop the technical skills and critical thinking skills, to prepare for either workforce, technical school or 4-year college after graduation.
The CTE program collaborates with our Middle School department by giving our 8th graders the opportunity to participate in Career Exploration classes taught by our CTE teachers. Students are able to touch 8 different career clusters for 10 days each where they explore their interests and strengths within each cluster. This is to provide students with realistic and hands-on experience to help them determine their endorsement choice prior to entering high school.
Career Counseling and Academic Advising:
The Career Center, a component of the CTE program, has three full-time career counselors who provide guidance counseling, career planning, and transition planning to high school students. The career counselors also work closely with the high school and CTE teachers, focusing on transition-related topics during the advisory and ARD preparations. Workshops are regularly given to students and their parents (i.e. Senior Night, Junior Night, 8th Grade Night, ACT and FAFSA presentations). Students can seek assistance on a drop-in basis or by appointment. The Julius P. Seeger Career Center is one of the primary resources available to assist students with their academic and career planning. The Career Center has an 8-computer lab to allow students to research career and college options, create professional documents and complete various applications (scholarship, employment, and college). The Career Center is also an official site for the Texas Success Initiative test, an assessment to measure students’ college readiness in reading, writing, and math, and is accepted at every college in Texas. Texas School for the Deaf loans an office space for a Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) specialist to make their services more accessible for our students.
Students meet a minimum of once per semester with their assigned career counselors to discuss their transition planning and academic progress. Information about transition-related topics is also shared through student emails, bulletin boards, and special workshops and written notices.
For students requiring assistance with college applications, financial aid forms, and writing scholarship essays, our career counselors host a bi-weekly “after school application hour” that is typically attended by 8-15 students each session. If a student chooses to take the ACT college entrance exam, our career counselors will escort a group of students to and from the Austin-area test site on the weekend.
TSD offers Senior Seminar courses for both college-bound and workforce-bound seniors to transition from high school to their post-secondary plans successfully. The students learn about various post-secondary degree options, workforce options, community resources, accommodations, managing stress, financial aid, study strategies, and organizational skills.
Dual Credit Programs:
Career Counselors also provide assistance with arranging the logistics for the dual credit classes at Austin Community College (ACC) for the students either online or in-person. The Welding Technology, Visual Communication, and Automotive Technology programs have partnered with the Austin Community College (ACC) to offer dual credit courses for the TSD students on the TSD campus. The partnership between TSD and ACC was supported and funded by Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). The funds provided by TWC were to upgrade the equipment, software, curriculum resources that are considered current and appropriate to prepare students for the workforce or to further their education and training at ACC. Students are now able to earn both high school and college credits toward industry certificates within the ACC programs.
Transition Planning Assessments:
In accordance with IDEA, the transition services for each student must be based upon age-appropriate assessment data. We use the following assessment tools with our students: O*NET (Interest Profiler, Work Importance Locator & Ability Profiler), Holland Code, Career Cluster Assessment, Decision-Making Matrix, and Myers & Briggs Type Indicator. The majority of assessments are used in collaboration between students, career counselors, and their advisory teachers.
In addition to formal evaluations, we also use other sources of assessment data when developing transition services including report cards, student interviews, parent interviews, teacher/staff input, and worksite and supervisor observation reports for student workers.
Transition Topics during Advisory Time:
It is critical that transition planning is engaging and meaningful for students so that they can take ownership of the process. We approach this task by introducing the transition-planning concept to our students during the advisory period. The content and lesson plan is developed by the Career Counselors with the intention of having advisory teachers deliver them to the students during the advisory period. The topics focus on varying issues, such as a 4-year graduation plan, increasing career awareness through 17 different career clusters, and updating "All about Me," a slideshow presentation for the ARD meetings.
The "All about Me" slideshow covers all their assessment data, post-secondary goals, and academic progress & goals. During the ARD meeting, students are expected to begin the meeting with a presentation about their academic levels, transition planning, and self-assessment results with the ARD committee, ensuring that the ARD decisions are based on student’s post-secondary goals. By having students present, it naturally makes them more empowered and involved with their ARD meeting and most importantly, their transition plan.
Career Preparation Program:
TSD CTE programs not only emphasize college and career readiness for our students, but also the needs of employers, industry and the labor market. The CTE program also sees the value of our Deaf students having an opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills through work-based learning opportunities and experience, to minimize the disadvantages faced given their perceived disability as well as the linguistic differences between American Sign Language and English, which is effectively comparable to a second language to native signers. To emphasize, CTE is a crucially important and effective aspect in the education of TSD students, as the four year window of high school offers a unique (and unavailable elsewhere) opportunity to access diverse career opportunities to learn in a setting of full and effective communication as well as to have hands-on experiences which introduces prospective employees and employers to each other. The sum of such education plus experience equals young people who are ready, willing and able to take the next confident step to the career path of their choosing.
The CTE department collaborates with a diverse community and business partnerships to support and foster the growth of CTE programs for the students. Our Career Preparation program, which is focused on giving work experience opportunities to juniors and seniors to develop relevant employability skills relies heavily on the community and business partnerships.
TSD has established a partnership with our community who have offered work-training opportunities for our students. We have partnered with more than 50 businesses that have provided paid and unpaid work training opportunities for our high school and ACCESS Program students. Each spring, we recognize their involvement with our students with an Employer Appreciation Breakfast.
Career Day for TSD high school age students is hosted on a yearly basis. The Career Day event gives the students an opportunity to learn about various career paths from deaf professionals working in a variety of fields. Each speaker gives an overview of what a typical day looks like, how to get started in the career, and explains the challenges they faced as a deaf individual. Out-of-state college recruiters are also given the opportunity to present and talk with prospective junior and senior students about their offerings.
CTE values student competitions, as they see this as an opportunity for our diverse students to stand out and shine outside of typical sports and academic-related recognitions. The competitions also allow the students to experience an epiphany, an “Aha!” moment, seeing that they are not so much different from their hearing peers in terms of skills. TSD students in the Robotics, Welding Technology, and Culinary Arts programs participate in various student competitions annually.
TSD works closely with many outside agencies and businesses to assist our students with their transition needs. Most prominently, we are fortunate to have a Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Counselor from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) assigned to our campus on a part time basis. The VR counselor’s office is located in the Career Center along with our three career counselors. The VR counselor works closely with students ages 16-22 to assist with post-secondary education and job placement/support.
The Travis County Services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing (TCSDHH) is another agency partnership that primarily supports our 18-22 year old population. We have arranged for our students to attend workshops, as needed, at the TCSDHH facility to address a variety of independent living skills topics.
Students in our ACCESS Program are exposed to various support agencies in Travis County. During their last year, a case manager works closely with students and families in obtaining needed and available hometown community resources. The case manager connects students with agencies across the state that offer a variety of pre-employment skill classes as well as job placement assistance at no cost to Texas residents. Once our ACCESS Program students leave TSD, they will know how to locate and access this valuable resource.
We have been in 100% compliance in providing student contact information as required for the State Performance Plan (SPP) Indicator 14 related to transition. We conduct a follow-up study for former students to gather information on their current living situation, if they were working or attending college, and any potential barriers that they had experienced. We also ask for feedback about our career and transition programs. We use this information to improve our Transition programs and services offered at TSD.
Appropriate student involvement in the student's transition to life outside the public school system includes student's participation in the ARD\IEP committee. The student will be invited to each ARD/IEP Committee meeting when transition services will be discussed.
Samples: Post-Secondary Goals (PSG)
The student's PSG is to attend college/university to pursue a career
Mary's interests/preferences are in the medical field. After High School, Mary will attend a (4 or 2) year college to earn a certification/license as a nurse and work in the nursing field. The committee agreed that Mary can take recommended core courses, as well as organic chemistry to facilitate her goal. If a Junior or Senior, a DARS representative could attend the ARD/IEP committee meeting where Mary would fill out an application to DARS. The Informal or Formal Functional Vocational Assessment was completed and utilized in transition planning. Monitoring of transition plans will be accomplished through report cards and IEP reviews during Mary's annual ARD/IEP committee meeting. If this is a graduation ARD/IEP committee meeting, the Summary of Performance would be completed and given to Mary and her mother.
The student's PSG is to get a job after high school
Jose's interests/preferences are in the auto mechanics field. After High School, Jose will get on the job training (or go to Lone Star College for Auto Mechanic Classes) to gain skills as a mechanic and work in the auto repair field. The committee agreed Jose take Auto Mechanics 1 and 2 to support that PSG. The Informal or Formal Functional Vocational Assessment was completed and utilized in transition planning. If a Junior or Senior, a DARS representative could be contacted and participate in the ARD/IEP committee meeting by telephone. The Informal or Formal Functional Vocational Assessment was completed and utilized in transition planning. Monitoring of transition plans will be accomplished through report cards and IEP review during Jose's annual ARD/IEP committee meetings. If this is a graduation ARD/IEP committee meeting, the Summary of Performance will be completed and given to Jose and his mother.
The student's PSG is to live at home and participate in supported employment
Maria's interests/preferences are in the retail field. After High School, Maria will live at home and participate in supported employment through MHIDD to continue gaining skills in being in public places with appropriate behavior, keeping her hands and feet to herself and greeting others appropriately and with support (a job coach, parent, etc.) will volunteer in a retail type of environment each week. The committee agreed that Maria could take the following courses to facilitate her PSG of working in a retail type environment. If a Junior or Senior, a DARS representative and/or a MHIDD representative could attended the ARD/IEP committee meeting and Maria's parents could work with the representative and Maria to completed an application. The Informal or Formal Functional Vocational Assessment was and utilized in transition planning. Monitoring of transition plans will be accomplished through report cards and IEP review during Maria's annual ARD/IEP committee meetings. If this is a graduation ARD/IEP committee meeting, the Summary of Performance will be completed and given to Maria and her parents. With Maria and her parents completing agency paper work, Maria will apply to link to an agency and/or participate in a day activity or sheltered workshop. Since Maria needs support with Independent Living Skills a PSG for those supports should be written also. After High School, Maria will continue building skills, with her parents support and guidance, to independently dress, brush teeth and comb hair.
For more information about transition at TSD, contact our TED Representative:
Career Technical Education Supervisor
Texas School for the Deaf
1102 S. Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78704
Texas Transition and Employment Guide - https://www.texastransition.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=2176242&type=d&pREC_ID=2262414
Texas Workforce Commission - https://www.twc.texas.gov/
Independent Living Resources - https://www.texastransition.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=2176242&type=d&pREC_ID=2181027
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