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H.R. 1350, Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 identifies important provisions regarding transition.
First, the purposes are
(1)(A) to ensure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment, and independent living.
Section 602 defines transition services: (34) TRANSITION SERVICES: means a coordinated set of activities for a child with a disability that
(A) is 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, 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; and
(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.
Section 614 addresses IEPs: (A) Individualized Education Program
(VIII) beginning not later that the first IEP to be in effect when the child is 16, and updated annually thereafter—
(aa) appropriate measurable postsecondary goals based upon age appropriate transition assessments related to training, education, employment, and, where appropriate, independent living skills;
(bb) the transition services (including courses of study) needed to assist the child in reaching those goals; and
(cc) beginning not later than 1 year before the child reaches the age of majority under State law, a statement that the child has been informed of the child's rights under this title, if any, that will transfer to the child on reaching the age of majority under section 615(m).
For more information about specific components of IDEA and transition, see http://www.ncset.org/publications/related/ideatransition.asp
This resource section is devoted to resources for parents and students needing to understand the transition process. It also includes general resources for college and career readiness for students with disabilities.