Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
The following are frequently asked questions.
- Who is the app for? Who designed it?
- What is a Postsecondary Transition Plan?
- What is an Age Appropriate Transition Assessment?
- What are Transition Services?
- How long can transition services be provided through school?
- What are Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS)?
- How can a student get Pre-ETS?
- What services are available from the Utah State Office of Rehabilitation (USOR)?
- How to apply for Vocational Rehabilitation Services?
- Will VR staff be the ones to provide employment services?
- What is an outside agency?
- What will change after high school?
- How can the student be an effective self-advocate with their IEP team?
Who is the app for? Who designed it?This app is intended to serve as a guide to Utah students, family members, and educators during the transition planning process. It is based on the requirements of the Utah State Board of Education Special Education Rules (USBE Special Education Rules). As a Utah student with a disability who is 14 years or older, or a family member of a transition age student, this app can help prepare for the Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting where transition planning will be discussed and the Postsecondary Transition Plan will be created. Individuals residing outside of Utah may use this free app, but the information needed for transition plans in other states may be different.
This app was originally designed by the Disability Rights Center of Kansas, a non-profit organization. The app was adapted by the Utah State Board of Education and designed to meet transition planning needs in Utah.
What is a Postsecondary Transition Plan?A postsecondary transition plan helps the student move into adult life after high school. In Utah, the school must develop a written transition plan as part of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) if the student is 14 or older. Having an effective transition plan is important to help plan for the student’s goals after high school and assure that the appropriate services and supports are obtained to meet the student's goals. A well written plan can help the student with obtaining a job, access college or further training, and independent living.
The transition plan must be focused on the student’s preferences, interests, needs, and strengths (PINS). It should also include goals and timelines for IEP team members to follow. This will help to make sure progress is being made towards the student’s transition goals. Beginning at age 14 or younger, the student should be involved in discussing their transition planning wants and needs prior to the IEP team meeting. The IEP team develops the transition plan during the IEP team meeting. The transition plan is a legal part of the IEP and must be attached to the IEP the school sends to the student and family.
What is an Age Appropriate Transition Assessment?Transition assessments help the student learn more about themselves and what they would like to do after high school. A teacher might ask family members and other teachers about the student’s skills, interests, and transition needs. Academic information, career assessments, independent living skills, community or employment experiences may help identify the skills, interests, strengths and needs the student has a they plan for additional education, training and employment after high school. The Transition Plan must be based on at least one recent age-appropriate transition assessment.
What are Transition Services?Transition services are a part of the transition plan. They are activities completed while in school to help meet the student’s goals for after high school. These activities will help the student improve on skills needed to help get a job, keep a job, go to college and live independently.
Beginning when a student is 14, the IEP must explain the transition services needed for that student. A list of classes and supports the student needs to help prepare them to move to adult life must also be provided.
How long can transition services be provided through school?Transition services are focused on the student’s needs, preferences and interests. Transition services start with transition planning at age 14 in Utah. Determined by the student's IEP team, students in Utah can continue to receive transition services until the student earns his/her regular diploma or through the end of the school year in which they turn 21. The IEP team must discuss the types of transition services needed and how long those services will be provided.
What are Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS)?Pre-Employment Transition Services, also called “Pre-ETS,” — Offered to any student with a disability — aids students in exploring and planning for successful future employment, through targeted training in:
- Career exploration
- Workplace readiness
- Counseling on postsecondary education
- Self advocacy
- Work-based learning
- Must be aged 14-21, and
- Eligible for and receiving services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) or is an individual with a disability for purposes of section 504, and
- Is enrolled in a secondary or postsecondary educational program
How can a student get Pre-ETS?Services Offered
Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Counselors and Pre-ETS Instructors:
- Attend individualized education program (IEP) meetings with parents and students
- Conduct Job Readiness workshops at schools
- Contracted Service: The Utah State Office of Rehabilitation (USOR) has contracted with community partner agencies to provide Pre-ETS instruction for eligible and potentially eligible students, helping to ensure these services are available statewide.
- Fee-for-Service: Community partner agencies provide specific Pre-ETS allowable services for eligible clients, authorized by a VR Counselor
NOTE: Receiving Pre-ETS instruction provided by a USOR-sponsored contract is the beginning of a continuum of services USOR offers to students with disabilities. Students with disabilities do not need to be a USOR-Vocational Rehabilitation client to receive Pre-ETS through our contracts but may apply for VR services at any time. However, contractors will confirm that students meet criteria to participate in their services prior to commencing with services
What services are available from the Utah State Office of Rehabilitation (USOR)?The USOR can provide many services and supports to help qualified students with disabilities move to adult life. USOR may pay for things like college classes, technical training, getting a job, developing new job skills, work-related items – such as tools, clothing, assistive technology … and so much more.
The IEP team will provide information on Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) services and may invite a VR counselor to the IEP team meeting with parent/guardian or adult student consent. It is VERY important for the student and family to apply for VR services and follow through with the responsibilities as a consumer of those services provided.
How to apply for Vocational Rehabilitation Services?If the student wants to work and has a disability that makes it difficult for them to get or keep a job, they can apply for services with VR.
- Contact your local VR office:
Find a VR office nearest you using the online Office Map or call 1-866-454-8397 (toll free)
- Attend a welcome session and/or obtain an application.
Contact a VR office to attend a welcome session in person or you can view an online Teen Welcome Session and download an Application for VR. Find out if you're eligible by completing the application and scheduling a meeting with a VR counselor
- Make an appointment to see a counselor at your local VR office.
Bring any records or information about your disability, including records from your doctor, psychologist or school. If you do not have any information, your VR counselor will arrange an evaluation. You may bring someone with you to your appointment. You should also bring your completed application, a form of identification and your Social Security card. Your VR counselor will discuss and assess your disability and paths for employment. You may be asked to sign a Release of Information form so your counselor can obtain additional information to determine your eligibility.
To be eligible for services, you must:
- Have a disability that results in a substantial barrier to employment.
- Require vocational rehabilitation services to obtain or maintain employment.
- Benefit in terms of an employment outcome.
Your counselor has up to 60 days from the day of your appointment to determine your eligibility for services. In unique circumstances, it may take additional time to obtain the appropriate information to determine your eligibility. If you are determined to not be eligible for services, you can request a file review by calling the office in your area. Please note there may be a short wait list for services.
- Next steps if eligible.
Your VR counselor will contact you when services are available and will help you develop your Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). This plan outlines the steps to take toward obtaining employment with choices to help fulfill you goal. Together, you and your VR counselor will:
- Choose the type of employment that is best for you.
- Determine services for reaching your employment goal.
- Connect with the person or agency that offers services you need
When you become employed, your case will remain open for at least 90 days so your VR counselor can provide guidance and support during this transition to employment. You will be considered successfully employed after 90 days of employment.
Will VR staff be the ones to provide employment services?VR is the first agency the student meets with to begin their employment journey as they can help with preparing for a job. If the student qualifies, VR helps pay for employment services, but VR does not provide those services directly. Instead, VR will provide options of different providers that will help further the student’s skills in preparing for work, look at the job skills they already have, help match job skills to a job and help find and keep a job. It will be important for the student to call or meet often with their VR counselor and the agency that helped them find a job.
What is an outside agency?An outside agency is an adult agency that will assign an employee to the student to help provide resources and services. The student needs to be found eligible for an outside agency to provide services. It is important for the student, family and IEP team to work together to identify the appropriate options for outside agency support.
What will change after high school?After high school, the student has the right to reasonable accommodations at college and work under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. A college or university may not discriminate against an individual solely based on disability. They must provide reasonable accommodations to the student’s known disability. These accommodations must give the student an equal opportunity to participate in the school’s programs, activities, and services. This includes everything from the classroom to extracurricular activities. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act provide students with disabilities powerful protections from discrimination. For more information visit, https://www.ada.gov
A student must have a mental or physical impairment that:
* substantially limits one or more major life activities, or
* has a record of such impairment, or
* is regarded as having such impairment.
Below are a couple of examples of help a student may receive from a college:
* Free auxiliary aids (ex. taped texts, note takers, interpreters, closed captioning). http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/auxaids.html
* Modifications to participate and benefit from their education (ex. extra time, notes, specialized materials, audio books, special technology). There are limitations to your rights in college. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act only applies to schools that receive federal funds. Some schools do not receive financial aid or federal funding. Colleges do not have to modify class content or academic standards if it fundamentally alters their program. This simply means that colleges are not required to reduce their standards for grading or degree requirements because of a person’s disability. Colleges can request adequate medical documentation from the student that proves the need for the requested help and the connection to the student’s disabilities.
The Americans with Disability Act (ADA) helps individuals with disabilities get accommodations on the job. As an employee the individual must be able to complete the job tasks expected on the job, however if the individual needs assistance to complete the tasks, they can ask the employer for a job accommodation or a change in their job that will help them complete the job duties requested. An employer does not need to provide the individual with exactly what they want, but does need to provide the individual with some type of accommodation to meet their needs on the job.
How can the student be an effective self-advocate with their IEP team?The student should state what they want their goals to be and what they feel they need to meet those goals. Be clear. The only purpose of the IEP team is to come up with an education program for the student. That means it is all about the student’s needs. The student should give the IEP team examples of what they are asking for and how it will help them.
Remember that teamwork can help the student ask for what they want. Build strong relationships with IEP team members. The IEP team members have a lot of educational knowledge. The student is the expert about themselves. The student and their family members know the student’s needs and goals best. The student should respect school staff, but not be afraid to say what they want for their life.
Special education has many professional terms. These terms can be confusing and scary to students and parents. The student should ask the IEP team to explain any term they do not understand. Remember, no one on the IEP team knows the student’s needs, interests, likes, and goals better than the student and his or her family members.
Good transition planning requires the student and family to tell the IEP team the student’s long-term plans and goals after high school. The more the student shares their hopes and dreams with the IEP team, the better their transition goal will be.
Transition meetings must focus on what the student wants to do. It is about the student’s interests. The IEP team must listen to the student. Students may find it difficult to tell their interests, dreams, and hopes for their future to the entire IEP team. The family and student should work together to find the best way for the student to tell the IEP team what they want and need in order to move to adult life.
Here are some ideas for a student to get his or her points across to the IEP team:
* Complete the transition app survey. This provides the student with a written document. It is called the student’s “Draft Transition Plan.” The student should then share this plan with their IEP team. It contains their goals for education, training, employment and sometimes independent living after high school. It will detail recommended transition services to assist the student in reaching their goals. The student should ask for the services and things listed in the “Draft Transition Plan.”
* Write down goals for adult life prior to the IEP meeting. Share these with the team.
* Ask family members to help tell the IEP team the student’s goals.
* Self-advocate. The student should speak up for themselves in the IEP meetings. Again, no one knows the student better than the student does.