Unlike students with IEPs, students with disabilities who have 504 plans developed under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, do not have the same right to school-based transition plans. Some schools may provide transition planning for their students with 504 plans, so be sure to check with your division. But it’s not required.
Even if your child is not able to receive school-based transition services, there are still ways that they can prepare for post-high school objectives. Your child can access Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) from the VR programs (DARS or DBVI). You don’t have to have an IEP to get Pre-ETS, nor do you have to be a VR client. Students with 504 plans may also be eligible for the PERT program at Wilson Workforce Rehabilitation Center which is described in the next section. DBVI provides services to eligible individuals including transition, independent living, and rehabilitation technology services (and more).
Your child can apply to be a VR client at any time. They may not be eligible at age 14, but when they do meet eligibility criteria, they may be able to develop a transition plan through VR and receive services before leaving high school and after. This can include assistance with attending college or other post-secondary programs. You may also be able to work with your child’s 504 coordinator to look into internships or other career preparation opportunities while your child is in high school.