What is Transition?


Transition is a set of coordinated activities by the student, family, school, and occasionally other agencies to promote a successful transition from high school into adulthood and independent living. These activities are outlined within a students Individualized Educational Program (IEP).

Transition planning through the school system is mandated by the Illinois General Assembly to begin at age 14-1/2. The IEP must include “measureable post-secondary goals based upon age-appropriate transition assessments and other information available regarding the student that are related to training, education, employment, and, where appropriate, independent living skills.” (2)

The Arc of Illinois recommends that parents make sure all “goals are clear and in writing” when drafting an IEP. (3)

Because funding and availability for adult services may be limited, and that there is no guarantee that a student will be awarded funds from the PUNS list after high school, the Arc of Illinois recommends that parents have a back up plan for transition. (4)

There are many excellent resources for parents seeking to learn more about transition.
Please check out the links below to learn more.

The Arc of Illinois: Family Manual
This comprehensive 111-page guide covers a variety of topics including special education, transition, adult services, health insurance, government benefits, employment and more.

Educational Rights and Responsibilities: Understanding Special Education in Illinois
A resource for parents, teachers and administrators written by the Illinois State Board of Education that discusses the rights of children with disabilities who are receiving special education and related services.

Public Act 096-0187
This State act regulates when transition is to take place, and what components should be included in a transition plan.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
This Federal Act governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to children with disabilities.


(1) 105 ILCS 5/14-8.03 (a-5)
(2) Arc of Illinois, Family Manual, Page 2
(3) Arc of Illinois, Family Manual, Page 3