|Seal of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Friday, November 2, 2012
Special Education Law 101 - Part VIII
This is the most recent post in the continuing series on an introduction to special education law. The series is meant to be a solid introduction for newbies as well as a good review for seasoned special ed law vets. In today's post we will be discussing the transition services that must be given when a special education student nears graduation.
The IDEA defines transition services as a coordinated set of activities designed to be a results oriented process that focuses upon the individual child’s needs, strengths and preferences. IDEA, § 602 (34). Not later than the first IEP to be in effect when the child is 16 years old and each year thereafter, the IDEA requires that the IEP contain measurable post secondary goals; the transition services needed to achieve those goals; and beginning at one year before the child reaches the age of majority, a statement that the student has been informed regarding transfer of rights. IDEA § 614 (d)(1)(A)(i)(VIII). 34 C.F.R. § 300.43, 300.320(b) Policy 2419, Ch. 5, § 2(F).
Note: When IDEA was reauthorized in 2004 the definition of transition was changed by Congress from an "outcome" oriented process to a "results" oriented process. Don't these two words mean exactly the same thing? Any thoughts?
See, Questions and Answers on Secondary Transition 57 IDELR 231 (OSERS 9/1/11); In Park Hill Sch Dist v. Dass ex rel DD & KD 655 F.3d 762, 57 IDELR 121 (8th Cir. 9/9/11), the Eighth Circuit ruled that a transition plan is required by IDEA only for 16+ students regarding life after school, but not for students returning to public school.