Transition Time: Designing Transition Activities That Prepare Students for Vocational Education and Integrated Employment

by Debbie Grosser, M.Ed., and Dale Pennell, C.A.S.

This is the third in a four-part Link Lines series. Part I (September/October 2008) defined the domains of transition planning for which LEAs must consider students' readiness and seven kinds of activities that may be designed to address identified needs.  Part II (November/ December 2008) presented potential activities that prepare students for postsecondary education and continuing/adult education.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA) requires that IEP teams  design transition activities, one-time or short-term events that prepare students for adult life. This article illustrates activities that support students' transition to postsecondary vocational education and integrated employment environments.

Services that support the transition to postsecondary vocational education consist of activities that prepare students to complete coursework in vocational schools or programs that provide entry-level job skill training. The table below provides examples of such activities.

 Transition Activities That Prepare Students for Vocational Education
Student Needs (identified in
Present Level of Pererformance-PLoP)
 
Sample activities
student will complete
Who might support student's
completion of these activities?

Identification of aptitudes student  possesses that will support student's assessed career interest

Complete Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB)

(functional vocational evaluation activity)

School counselor schedules student to
complete the ASVAB and shares assessment results with student

Knowledge of vocational education programs that relate to postsecondary employment goal

Select and visit vocational education programs that provide entry-level job skills necessary for the student to realize his postsecondary
employment goal

(community experience activity)

Career and technical education teacher identifies potential vocational education programs that will prepare student to pursue his postsecondary employment goal

Parent arranges for student to visit selected programs

Knowledge of pre-requisite skills      that will enable student to be successful in vocational education program

Use the Internet to research sites that provide this information

(employment activity)

School media specialist assists student in identifying sites to research to obtain needed information

School counselor identifies secondary-level courses that will assist student in acquiring prerequisite skills

Knowledge of financial aid that may be available to assist students planning to attend vocational education programs

Meet with school counselor to identify potential sources for financial aid 

(adult living activity)

School counselor assists student in identifying potential financial aid sources


Services that support transition of students with disabilities to integrated employment consist of activities that enable students to successfully obtain and maintain competitive employment among people without disabilities. The table below provides illustrations of such activities.

Transition Activities That Prepare Students for Ingetrated Employment
Sample student needs (Identified in PLoP)
Sample activities
student will complete
Who will support student's completion of these activities?

Knowledge of  job modifications that can be made to enable access to job site for persons in wheelchairs

Meet with Department of  Rehabilitation Services counselor and  rehabilitation engineer to identify job site modifications to ensure wheelchair access

(related service activity)

Occupational therapist assists the parent in scheduling the meeting Parent takes student to the meeting

Knowledge of how to complete a résumé

Attend a course at the local  Workforce Development Center on résumé writing

(community experiences activity)

Transition specialist arranges for the student to attend the course

Parent takes the student to the course

Assessment of work ethic

Obtain a part-time summer job

(employment activity)

School counselor assists student in identifying available summer jobs

Parent takes the student to apply for jobs

Understanding of rights and protections provided under the Americans with Disabilities Act in relation to employment

Interview a representative of the Virginia Office of Protections and Advocacy (VOPA)

(instructional activity)

Case manager puts student in touch with a VOPA representative

 


The May/June Link Lines Transition Time will address transition activities that prepare students for independent living and community participation. 

Date: February/March 2009 Link Lines