Below is the definition of transition services from the Regulations Governing Special Education in Virginia 8 Vac20 81-10 from the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE). Please note the definition is the same as IDEA.
Definition of Transition Services
A coordinated set of activities for a child with a disability that is designed within a results-oriented process, that is focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the child with a disability to facilitate the child’s movement from school to post-school activities, including postsecondary education, vocational education, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation.
Is based on the child’s needs, taking into account the child’s strengths, preferences, and interests; and instruction, related services, community experiences, the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives; and
Includes, when appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation.
Transition services for students with disabilities may be special education, if provided as specially designed instruction or related services, if they are required to assist a student with a disability to benefit from special education.
One of many things to think about when planning for transition, and should be done at an early age, is high school graduation and how to get there. Why you may ask. It’s because Virginia has several diploma options. The decisions made about diplomas and participation in standardized testing (Virginia’s Standards of Learning or SOLs) will affect transition planning and the Transition IEP.