Transition planning and intervention for students with disabilities is a process designed to promote the development of the individual's social and personal competencies, life skills, and vocational capabilities. We seek to help our students grow into successful adults with dignified lives.  This journey into adulthood encompasses four critical "C's" to minimize the bumps and detours along the way and empower our students and families.  
They are: Communication, Collaboration, Community, and Content ...

Communication - the key components of effective communication include keen listening and observation.  Listening is more than just hearing words. We desire to understand your needs for your child with an attitude of respect and acceptance and a willingness to keep an open mind and heart and see things from your frame of reference.  When gathering information and engaging in substantive questioning about your child we gain insight into both the factual and emotional aspects of your lives.  We aspire to know about your dreams for your child and what you see as his or her strengths, interests, abilities, attributes, and unique learning and support needs.  As special educators, we strive for an attitude of openness, meaningful dialogue, authentic concern, and empathy.  

Collaboration - collaboration is crucial in the development of a solid and high-quality transition plan for our students.  Collaboration is person-centered and involves direct and ongoing interaction with families, school personnel, adult service providers, funding agencies, and other community partners sharing decision making, taking responsibility, and working towards a common goal.  Each entity brings its own unique set of resources and supports to prepare the student for a productive life in the community.  The process is dynamic and results-oriented.

Community - the community is where it's at for our students with disabilities.  The effort to nurture training placements in the world of work and implement broad community-based instruction opportunities for the individual is essential to a smooth transition from high school to adult life. Research has shown that students with disabilities must be equipped with functional and community-referenced skills before exiting high school to achieve successful adult outcomes.  Effective transition requires critical partnerships with key stakeholders such as Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VR)  to help the individual with a disability acquire post-secondary education, job specific training, employment, and advance towards independent living.  

Content - individuals with disabilities need to learn both academic and adaptive skills and use them independently across contexts and to meet transition outcomes.  Infusing life skill instruction in the areas of problem solving, decision making, "survival" skills, personal/social skills, self advocacy and self-determination help to expand and "... augment the curriculum to provide students with strategies for success" (Wehmeyer 2002).  We know that for individuals with disabilities instruction must be given explicitly, cooperatively, informally (outside the academic classroom), and with opportunities to practice skills in a variety of settings and situations.                    

As mandated by federal legislation, Transition Services is a coordinated set of activities for a child with a disability that: 

(A) is designed to be 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 post-secondary education, vocational education, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation

(B) is based on the individual child’s needs, taking into account the child's strengths, preferences, and interests

(C) includes instruction, related services, community experiences, the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives, and, when appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation. 

(Source: IDEA 2004)