Individual Transition Plan (ITP)Linking Students with Disabilities to Post-Secondary Education, Employment, & Independent Daily Living Skills Chris Lohrman North Orange County SELPA CLohrman@ocde.us Linda O’Neal Irvine Unified School District Loneal@iusd.org
Why Should We be Concerned? • Recent research studies have documented that when compared to their non-disabled peers, students with disabilities enroll and complete post-secondary education programs at half the rate, and are employed at approximately one-third the rate of their non-disabled peers. • Less than 1% of these individuals ever become self-supporting through employment. • Three times as many individuals with disabilities live below the poverty line. • (National Center for Education Statistics, 2000; National Council on Disability, 2004; National Organization on Disability, 2004; Wagner, Newman, Cameto, & Levine, 2005)
Trends of Four Developmental DisabilitiesGrowth in Population Served by DDS from 1997 to 2007 Since 2001 a total consumer increase of 262%
What Does the Law Say? • Beginning with the adoption of the 1997 amended Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Congress mandated transition services for students with disabilities by requiring that Individual Education Program (IEP) teams discuss the transition needs of students and then document services as a coordinated set of activities.The recent reauthorization of the IDEA (2004) requires an even greater emphasis on post-secondary goals in order to guide, and then support transition to post-secondary education and employment. (Hitchings, Retish, & Horvath, 2005)
What has Changed in IDEA 2004? • Greater emphasis on transition to adulthood • Measurable post-secondary goals • Transition plan must be in effect by age 16 • Based on age appropriate assessment • Quality indicators required • Summary of Performance • Definition of transition services
Transition Services in IDEA 2004 • ...a coordinated set of activities ...designed to be 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... • (IDEA 2004)
What Remains the Same? • An expectation of coordinated services • Transition planning based on the student's interest and preferences • Transferring rights at the age of majority
IDEA 2004 Updated Regulations 2008 • The federal government is continuing to emphasis the importance of transition, in fact added a statement to clarify that that recipients of Part B funds……. make positive efforts to employ and advance qualified individuals with disabilities.
Transitional Barriers • Lack of coordination between service systems • Differing eligibility criteria between systems • Local implementation varies greatly • Limited resources in some communities • Low expectation for individuals with disabilities(O’Neal, 2009)
Research Based Best Practices in Promoting Positive Adult Outcomes • Self-Determination Training • Student Involvement in Planning • Person-Centered Planning • Age Appropriate Assessments
Self-Determination • “Self-determined people know how to choose, they know what they want and how to get it. From an awareness of personal needs, self-determined individuals choose goals, then doggedly pursue them. This involves asserting an individual’s presence, making his or her needs known, evaluating progress toward meeting goals, adjusting performance, and creating unique approaches to solve problems.” • (Martin & Marshal, 1995, p. 147)
Student Involvement in Transition Planning (IEP Planning) and Leadership Development • “Involvement in education planning, decision making, and instruction can take many forms, from students generating their own IEP goals and objectives, to tracking their progress on self-selected goals or objectives, to running their own IEP meeting.”(Whemeyer et al., 2006)
Person-Centered Planning • The goal of all person-centered approaches is to learn about people with disabilities in more effective and efficient ways to plan and create supports that can assist them in participating in and experiencing self-directed lives.(O’Brien, 2002; as cited in Wehman, 2006).
Person-Centered Planning • In person centered planning, groups of people focus on an individual and that person's vision of what they would like to do in the future. This "person-centered" team meets to identify opportunities for the student to develop personal relationships, participate in their community, increase control over their own lives, and develop the skills and abilities needed to achieve these goals. • (O’Neal, 2009)
Age Appropriate Assessment • The IDEA '04 requires: • …appropriate, measurable postsecondary goals based on age-appropriate assessments related to training, education, employment, and, where appropriate, independent living skills…
What is the Purpose of Age Appropriate Assessments? • Assist the student in identifying interests and preferences • Determine appropriate accommodations and supports • Determine appropriate instruction and activities that will assist the student in achieving post-school goals • Determine "next steps"(Blackmon, 2007) • www.calstat.org
Assessment Tools • Transition assessment is the ongoing process of collecting data on the individuals needs, preferences, and interests as they relate to the demands of current and future working, educational, living, and personal and social environments. Assessment data serve as the common thread in the transition process for defining goals and services to be included in the IEP. • (Council for Exceptional Children, Division on Career Development and Transition; as cited in Blackmon, 2007)
Transition Inventories Observations Record Reviews Interest Surveys Personality Inventories Aptitude Tests On-job Training Academic Assessments Job Evaluations Previous Goal Progress Computerized Career Systemswww.cacareerzone.orgwww.careeronestop.org College Questionnaires Labor Market Surveys Developmental Assessments The Brigance System The Vineland Examples of Assessment Tools
So Now What? • The Federal Department of Education (DOE) has determined that States are currently not meeting the expectations of the revised law. • The DOE has requested that CA and other states collect additional information to ensure compliance.
New State Performance Plan (SPP) Indicator 13 • New indicator from CDE includes 8 individual questions to determine compliance with Indicator 13
State SELPA Workgroup • Over the past year, SELPA Administrators throughout CA have met monthly to develop an individual transition plan (ITP) in which accounts for the new DOE & CDE requirements, as well is sensitive to the current law, current compliance rulings, and local practice.
How Did You Prepare for the ITP • Note if the student was invited; remember this is a legal requirement. • Note if other agencies were invited; remember this is also a legal requirement.“…the LEA, to the extent appropriate, and with consent, must invite a representative of any participating agency that is likely to be responsible for providing or paying for transition services to attend the child’s IEP Team meeting.” • Other agencies can decline to come but there must be evidence of attempt to invite. • Describe how the student actually participated in the ITP process.
Age Appropriate Assessments • Describe the results of any age appropriate assessment. • Remember assessment can be formal or informal. However if you used an assessment tool that is specialized for the student and not given to all students in your district you must remember your assessment plan! • Don’t forget to also update information in the present levels of performance annually. • Remember formal assessment requires an assessment plan and a written report.
Post-Secondary Training or Education Goal • A Post-Secondary Training or Education Goal is Required of all students based on the age appropriate assessment. • Note if the goal is supporting another annual goal. • Must indicate who is responsible for the goal. (Recommend indicating ITP Team, however some districts request that you indicate adult student and parents – please verify with your administrator)
Post Secondary Employment • A Post-Secondary Employment goal is required of all students based on the age appropriate assessment. • For all post-secondary goals, they must be measurable. • Remember you are not held responsible for the student reaching the goal, but are held responsible for activities and services in preparation of the goals.
Post Secondary Independent Living (If Applicable) • A Post-Secondary Independent Living Goal is required, if necessary. • IDEA is vague on defining exactly when it is appropriate, but most people argue that this is for any student not on a diploma tract. • Most transition specialist agree that best practice is to indicate a goal for all students, and do not rely on diploma track as an indicator. • Remember assessment, drives unique goals, including post-secondary goals!
A Coordinated Set of Activities • The development of a “coordinated set of activities” has been a challenge to many special educators. Part of the challenge has to do with understanding that this “statement” is not a sentence or pull down menu from a list of possible suggestions. This “statement” is a “broad accounting of what will happen, when it will occur, who is involved and who is responsible”. • The activities/strategies are not just annual goals, short term objectives or benchmarks, or specific services. In order to write these statements and do this type of planning, special educators need to think big picture and plan beyond just 12 months, age 18, and age 22. • (O’Leary & Collison, 2007)
So Why Annual Goals Too? • CDE has interpreted the DOE request for updated compliance to also include a verification that annual goals have also been included in the IEP related to the student’s transition services needs? • Big picture…remember “coordinated set of activities.”
Annual Goals • Should include at least one annual goal that helps support a post-secondary goal • Make sure to indicate on the Annual Goal Page which area of Post-Secondary Goals it supports
Key Points to Remember Regarding Post-Secondary Goals • Post-secondary goals must be measurable • These are not the same as annual goals • Goals must be written beyond secondary school • Must review the goals annually, but do not necessarily have to change them annually • Must be based on age appropriate assessment
Services, Activities, & Community Experiences • Transition services are “a coordinated set of activities ...designed to be 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...” • The term “transition services” … • Includes instruction, related services, community experiences, the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives, and, if appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation.
Services, Activities, & Community Experiences • Not all the boxes need to be filled for each post-secondary goal. • It is the combination of the unique coordinated set of activates for an individual to support the post-secondary goals that assures compliance with the law as written. • Remember “formal services” are part of your offer of FAPE and can be rewarded as compensatory education if you do not provide as stated. • General activities and experiences are not held to the same level in terms of FAPE, but are very important in terms of coordinated set of activities. Please Note: As of 9/16/2010 State SELPA has indicated a change to the text in this area. Please look for final changes on electronic forms sometime in October. Electronic changes also expected in SEIS to how this section auto-populates.
Transition Related Services • Transition Service codes are taken directly from your SELPA adopted Local Plan. • Originally CDE was going to cross reference a 800 transition service code for each post-secondary goal. • At the time of this presentation that is no longer the scenario foreseen for compliance purposes. Important Update: Transition Service Code (Required) will be changed to: Transition Related Service Code as Appropriate: (Transition Related Service elements outlined on Services Page of IEP)
(820) College Awareness • College awareness is the result of acts that promote and increase student learning about higher education opportunities, information and options that are available including, but not limited to career planning, course prerequisites, admission eligibility and financial aid.
(830) Vocational Assessment, Counseling, Guidance, and Career Assessment • Organized educational programs that are directly related to the preparation of individuals for paid or unpaid employment and may include provision for work experience, job coaching, development and/or placement, and situational assessment. This includes career counseling to assist student in assessing his/her aptitudes, abilities, and interests in order to make realistic career decisions.
(840) Career Awareness • Transition services include a provision for in paragraph (1)(c)(vi), self-advocacy, career planning, and career guidance. This comment also emphasized the need for coordination between this provision and the Perkins Act to ensure that students with disabilities in middle schools will be able to access vocational education funds.
(850) Work Experience Education • Work experience education means organized educational programs that are directly related to the preparation of individuals for paid or unpaid employment, or for additional preparation for a career requiring other than a baccalaureate or advanced degree.
(855) Job Coaching • Job coaching is a service that provides assistance and guidance to an employee who may be experiencing difficulty with one or more aspects of the daily job tasks and functions. The service is provided by a job coach who is highly successful, skilled and trained on the job who can determine how the employee that is experiencing difficulty learns best and formulate a training plan to improve job performance.
(860) Mentoring • Mentoring is a sustained coaching relationship between a student and teacher through on-going involvement and offers support, guidance, encouragement and assistance as the learner encounters challenges with respect to a particular area such as acquisition of job skills. Mentoring can be either formal as in planned, structured instruction or informal that occurs naturally through friendship, counseling and collegiality in a casual, unplanned way.
(865) Agency Linkages • Service coordination and case management that facilitates the linkage of individualized education programs under this part and individualized family service plans under part C with individualized service plans under multiple Federal and State programs, such as title I of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (vocational rehabilitation), title XIX of the Social Security Act (Medicaid), and title XVI of the Social Security Act (supplemental security income).
(870) Travel Training • (includes mobility training)
(890) Other Transition Services • These services may include program coordination, case management and meetings, and crafting linkages between schools and between schools and post-secondary agencies.
Activities to Support Post Secondary Goals Important Update: Activates to Support Transition Service will be changed to: Activities to Support Post Secondary Goal: • Remember that IDEA's definition of transition services states that these are a “coordinated set of activities” designed within a results-oriented process. • Specific activities (instruction, related services, community experiences, and if appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills) are mentioned in the law which gives the IEP team insight into the range of activities to be considered in each of post-secondary domains. • If the student’s transition to the adult world is to be facilitated. A spectrum of adult activities is evident and should be noted, from community to employment, from being able to take care of oneself (e.g., daily living skills) to considering other adult objectives and undertakings.(NICHCY, 2010)
Activities to Support Transition • “activities” can be just that…general activities that all students may participate in that helps support adult transition • Do not necessarily need an IEP or DIS services to accomplish this activity • Examples: • 10th Grade Counseling • Career Day for All Students • General Education CAHSEE Prep Classes
Community Experiences to Support Transition • The term “transition services” … • Includes instruction, related services, community experiences, the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives, and, if appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation. Minor Update: Community Experiences Appropriate will be changed to: Community Experiences as Appropriate:
Examples of Community Experiences • Three visits to community college • Help at his/her local worship center • Job shadow other peers • Visit or sign-up for local recreation leagues or fitness center • Taking public transportation to access a variety of activities
Related Services • Supportive services that are required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education. Related services include transportation, developmental and corrective services, speech-language pathology and audiology services, interpreting services, psychological services, physical and occupational therapy, recreation (including therapeutic recreation), counseling services (including rehabilitation counseling), orientation and mobility services, and medical services for diagnostic or evaluation purposes. Related services also include school health services, school nurse services designed to enable a child with a disability to receive a free appropriate public education as described in the child's IEP, social work services in schools, and parent counseling and training.