Recent changes in IDEA 2004 have influenced how transition is identified and increased the scrutiny with which secondary transition is regarded. IDEA 2004 defines transition services as:
Section 602 (34) Transition Services: The term ‘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 move 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 upon 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 skills and, when appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation. 602(34)
IDEA 2004 goes on further in Section 614 to describe content that should be included in the IEP to address transition:
(VIII) beginning not later than 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 by the child to reach those goals, including services to be provided by other agencies when needed;
(cc) Beginning no 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). 614(d)(1)(A)(VII)
Although federal statute now requires transition planning to begin at age 16, Iowa continues to begin secondary transition planning at age 14.
Indicator 13 Description = Percent of youth with individualized education programs (IEPs) aged 14 and above with an IEP that includes appropriate measurable postsecondary goals that are annually updated and based upon an age appropriate transition assessment, transition services, including courses of study, that will reasonably enable the student to meet those postsecondary goals, and annual IEP goals related to the student’s transition services needs. There also must be evidence that the student was invited to the IEP Team meeting where transition services are to be discussed and evidence that, if appropriate, a representative of any participating agency was invited to the IEP Team meeting with the prior consent of the parent or student who has reached the age of majority.
Indicator 14 Description = Percent of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had individualized education programs (IEPs) in effect at the time they left school, and were
14A. enrolled in higher education within one year of leaving high school;
14B. enrolled in higher education or competitively employed within one year of leaving high school; or
14C. enrolled in higher education or in some other postsecondary education or training program, or competitively employed or in some other employment within one year of leaving high school.