The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 2004 requires transition services to be addressed and in effect not later than the beginning of the student’s ninth grade year or upon turning 16 years of age, whichever comes first, or younger, if determined appropriate by the IEP team, and updated annually.

Transition Services

Transition services are crucial in supporting students as they plan for post-school goals. Transition plans assist students in meeting their post-school goals, such as: gainful employment, post-secondary education or training, independent living, military, and/or group living. These plans are designed to meet individual needs as they progress through school.

IEP Requirements

Student Participation

Transition Services must be addressed on the student’s IEP no later than the beginning of the student’s ninth grade year or upon turning 16 years of age, whichever comes first, or younger, if determined appropriate by the IEP team, and updated annually.

The IEP team must actively involve the student in developing his or her IEP. If the student does not attend, steps must be taken to ensure that the student’s strengths, preferences, interests, and vision are considered as part of the IEP development. The IEP will clearly outline what the student wants to do when he or she has completed high school, how they want to live (e.g., independently, with family, in a group home), and how they want to take part in the community (e.g., transportation, recreation, etc.).

Agency Participation

When IEP meetings involve transition planning, the school district must invite a representative of any other agency likely to be responsible for providing or paying for transition services. If the agency representative did not attend, the IEP team should document their input. Agencies include, but are not limited to:

A statement of interagency responsibilities and linkages is included in the IEP, when appropriate.

Postsecondary Goal

The IEP must include an appropriate measurable post-secondary goal based upon age appropriate transition assessments related to training, education, employment, and, where appropriate, independent living skills.

To assist schools in developing appropriate and meaningful transition plans for young adults with disabilities that not only assist the young adult in meeting his or her postsecondary goals, but also help maintain compliance with federal regulations, there are several resources available. The National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center (NSTTAC), a United States Department of Education (USDE), Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) funded center, has developed several resources to aid IEP teams in developing transition plans.

Secondary Transition Services
  • Oklahoma IEP Form-Transition Services Plan and Course of Study
    • Transition Services: The student’s needed transition services are part of a long-range plan that coordinates the last years of high school (or earlier when appropriate) and the years immediately following high school. The services are focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the student with a disability to facilitate 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. The IEP team must indicate the services that will be provided to the student through implementation of the IEP (e.g., instruction, community experiences, employment and other post-school adult living objectives, daily living skills, and/or functional vocational evaluation, if appropriate).
    • Course of study: The student’s course of study, which must be updated annually, should relate directly to the student’s post-secondary goals (e.g., family and consumer science classes, instruction in daily living skills, functional math, and community-based work experience, industrial arts classes, college preparation courses, etc.). The course of study statement should address the classes, experiences, and activities that will be meaningful to the student’s future, motivate the student to complete his or her education, and support post-school outcomes.
  • Form 11: Student Summary of Performance  The school district must provide a Summary of Performance (SOP) to students who are graduating from high school with a regular diploma, or to students who are leaving high school due to exceeding the age of eligibility for a free appropriate public education (This includes students who are eligible for special education through 21 years of age). The SOP includes a summary of the student’s academic achievement and functional performance, progress toward meeting post-secondary goals, and recommendations on how to assist the student in meeting post-secondary goals. Mention of any modifications or accommodations that will enable the student to meet his or her goals is instrumental in continuing the student’s success.
Transfer of Rights

Procedural safeguard rights associated with IDEA transfer to the student at the age of majority, which is 18 years of age. The student’s IEP team should inform the student and parent on or before the 17th birthday that this change will occur. Change of rights may also occur when a student gets married or becomes legally emancipated. The IEP team must plan ahead, and assist the student and the parent in understanding and preparing for the transfer of rights that will occur.

Resources for Teachers

Scholarships, Financial Aid, and Grants

Resources for Students

Colleges, Scholarships, Financial Aid, and Grants

Resources for Parents

Thank you, Oklahoma State Department of Education, for the information that helps us better serve our families!  For more information, click on the following link,


Transition: School-to-Work

The Transition: School-to-Work Program helps students with disabilities who  are eligible for vocational rehabilitation services to prepare for employment  and life after high school. Services available through counselors in the Divisions of Vocational  Rehabilitation and Visual Services assigned to each high school include:

  • Vocational counseling and guidance assists teachers, parents and students in  developing appropriate career goals.
  • Vocational assessment and evaluation helps determine students’  employment-related strengths.
  • Work study, arranged through contracts with the schools,  provides job readiness skills,  minimum-wage work experience at the school district or in the community and high school  credits.
  • Work adjustment training is provided through contracts with the schools or purchased from community-based facilities,  and provides students with skills to help them prepare for employment.
  • On-the-job training is arranged in the community for students in the second  semester of their senior year with permanent employment as a goal.
  • Supported employment helps students in the second semester of their senior year  transition into permanent employment.
  • Job development and placement specialists help students make job searches more  successful.

After graduation, DRS counselors and students continue to work toward vocational  and employment goals. Some services are available to all eligible individuals  without charge. At this point, individuals may be asked to share the cost of  some services, depending on income and financial resources.

To find the DRS  office that serves your high school, follow this link.

Oklahoma Transition Institute

In partnership with the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) Special Education Services (SES), The Department of Career and Technology Education, and other key stakeholders  from across state agencies, schools, families, businesses, and other groups, DRS  co-chairs the Oklahoma Transition Council which focuses on improving transition  planning, services, and post-school outcomes for young adults with disabilities.
The council hosts an annual Oklahoma Transition Institute (OTI), where regional transition teams from  across the state come together to learn about innovative practices and programs  and to develop a plan for how to improve transition in their local areas. All of  this work is done in partnership with the National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center (NSTTAC) who has  chosen Oklahoma as one of its targeted states. The Council has patterned its  work after a model implemented in New Mexico using the Taxonomy for Transition Programming.
To learn more about the council, OTI, or how to join a local transition team in  your area, contact the transition coordinator, by phone at  405.635.2768, or e-mail.

Project Search

DRS’ Transition: School-to-Work program works in collaboration with partners  to offer a program dedicated to providing education and employment preparation  opportunities for individuals with significant disabilities. Project SEARCH  originated with the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and is a one-year, worksite-based  school-to-work program. Participants complete between three and four rotations of 10  weeks each on various jobs within a host employment setting.
DRS has five programs at this time—two young adult programs in Oklahoma City, and three high school transition programs for seniors.  The programs include the following partners.
Young Adult Programs

  • Francis Tuttle Technology Center, Mercy Health Systems, OU-NCDET, and DRS
  • Metro Technology Centers, Chesapeake Energy Corporation, Dale Rogers Training Center, OU-NCDET, DRS

High School Transition Programs

  • Byng Public Schools, Allen Public Schools, Latta Public Schools, Roff Public Schools, Stonewall Public Schools, Vanoss Public Schools, Valley View Regional Hospital, Not Just Jobs, OU-NCDET, DRS
  • Enid Public Schools, INTEGRIS Bass Baptist Health Center, 4RKids Foundation, OU-NCDET, DRS
  • Jenks Public Schools, St. John Medical Center, DRS, Central Technology Center, OU-NCDET, DRS

The mission of this program is to maximize the potential of people with  disabilities through competitive employment in non-traditional jobs. DRS  provides individualized vocational guidance and funding for job coaches,  training, technical assistance and project management through a contract with  the NCDET-OU. For more information about Project SEARCH, contact the DRS transition  coordinator, by phone at 405.635.2768, or e-mail.

Timeline of Transition Activities

The Oklahoma Transition Council (OTC) developed a timeline of transition activities to help families, schools, and other partners begin working with children and youth to develop skills, access resources, and make strides toward preparing for life after high school.  You can access the timeline by visiting the University of Oklahoma Zarrow Center for Learning Enrichment, Timeline of Transition Activities.

Articles published in papers around the state:

Standard Print –    Read the Oklahoman about Interns working at Chesapeake   |  Large Print  |  Braille Ready – Read the Oklahoman about Interns working at Chesapeake

Standard Print – Read the Edmond Sun article about Chesapeake launches program to train young adults with disabilities  |  Large Print  |  Braille Ready – Read the Edmond Sun article about Chesapeake launches program to train young adults with disabilities

Standard Print – Read the Journal Record article about interns at Mercy Hospital   |  Large Print  |  Braille Ready – Read the Journal Record article about interns at Mercy Hospital

Standard Print – Read Tulsa World article about Project SEARCH  |  Large Print  |  Braille Ready – Tulsa World article about Project Search

Standard Print – Read Ada Evening News article about  Project SEARCH  | Large Print  | Braille Ready – Ada Evening News  article about Project SEARCH

Check out the Transition: School-to-Work folder

Folder Standard  Print  |  Folder Large Print   |  Folder  Braille

Spanish Folder Standard Print  |  Spanish Folder Large Print  |  Spanish Folder Braille Ready

Check out the Transition: School-to-Work brochure:

Brochure Standard  Print  |   Brochure  Large Print  |  Brochure  Braille

Transition: School-to-Work checklist

Checklist  Standard Print  |   Checklist Large Print  |  Checklist Braille


""  Video!

Watch the  Public Service Announcement about Transition Program.

Read the Public Service Announcement about Transition Program transcript.

Note:  You may get an error on the video at this time.  Technicians are working on this issue.

Transition: School-to-Work 5813 South Robinson Oklahoma City, OK 73109-8521
405.635.2768 Voice 800.845.8476 Toll Free
E-mail for more information.

Thank you, to our partners at the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services, for this information.

Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services 3535 N.W. 58th Street, Suite 500, Oklahoma City, OK 73112 405.951.3400 Voice/TTY 800.845.8476 Toll Free Voice/TTYEmail Us   Follow us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter   Follow us on Flickr Join DRS email list by email us at  or sign up for the list here.

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