You are here

Charting a Course for the Future - A Transition Toolkit

The Transition Toolkit is currently under revision. Please check back as items are updated. 

In order to improve outcomes for youth with disabilities, transition services requirements were included in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA P.L. 101-476).  The basic purpose of including transition components in the legislation is to better prepare students with disabilities to gain access to the supports and services necessary to reach their desired outcomes and become as independent as possible. The transition planning process should promote successful movement from school to post-secondary education and training, employment, independent living, and community participation based on students’ preferences, interests, abilities and needs.

The transition services requirements of IDEA provide opportunities to:

  • Help students and families think about the future and consider what they want to do after high school;
  • Plan how to make the high school experience most relevant to the student’s desired outcomes; and
  • Help students and families make connections to supports and services they may need after high school.

The process of planning and providing transition services based on individual student needs may be challenging in our complicated systems of education with limited resources.


Tab 1: Introduction

  • Introduction (PDF) - This item is being revised. 
    • Table of Contents
    • About Transition
    • The purpose for Charting the Course
    • How to use Charting the Course

Tab 2: Discovering the Road to Transition

  • Transition Basics (PDF) 
    • A Transition Story: The Dream
    • Transition: A Process, Concept, and Definition
    • Why Focus on Transition?
    • Why Start Early?
  • Transition Planning (PDF)  - This item is being revised. 
    • Which Students Need Transition Planning and When?
    • Transition Planning Begins
    • How Do We Organize for Transition Planning?
    • The Essential Elements for Effective Transition
    • Roles and Responsibilities
    • Age Appropriate Transition Activities
    • Transition Checklist
  • Transition Terminology (PDF)  - This item is being revised. 
    • Glossary of Terms
    • Acronyms

Tab 3: Identifying the Destination - Building a Body of Evidence

  • Transition Assessment - Introduction (PDF)  - This item is being revised. 
    • Using Transition Assessment in IEP Transition Planning
    • Career/ Vocational Assessment
    • Family Involvement
  • Methods of Gathering Information (PDF)  - This item is being revised. 
    • Formal Assessment
    • Informal Assessment
    • Interest Inventories
    • Situational Assessment
    • Environmental Assessment
    • Job Vocational Program Tryouts
    • Commercial Art Tryouts
    • Summarizing, Reporting and Documenting the Data
    • Examples Using Formal/Informal Assessments for Transition Planning
    • Family/ Parent Involvement in Assessment Process
    • Assessment/ Transition Meeting Tips for Parents
    • Career/ Vocational Formal Transition Assessment List
    • Career Interest Software Programs
    • Assessment Documentation Summary Sheet
  • Maintaining the Body of Evidence (PDF)  - This item is being revised. 
    • Transition Portfolio
    • Personnel Information Sheet
    • Credit Audit Worksheet
    • Suggested Notebook Contents

Tab 4: Designing the Map - IEP Development

  • Legal Basics (PDF)  - This item is being revised. ​
    • IDEA Requirements
    • Transition IEP Requirements
    • Transition IEP Compliance Checklist
  • IEP Goals / Transition Meeting (PDF)  - This item is being revised. ​
    • IEP Transition Planning Summary
    • Transition Planning Worksheet
    • Activities - Before, During, After IEP Meeting
    • Outline and Meeting Requirements
    • How to Develop the Goals - A Model
    • Transition Goals Worksheet
  • Transition Planning Examples (PDF)  - This item is being revised. ​
    • Transition Planning Worksheet Sample
    • IEP Goals and Objectives Samples

Tab 5: Transition to Careers

  • Career Development (PDF)  - This item is being revised. ​
    • The Process of Progression in Career Development
    • Stages of Career Development
    • Transition Continuum / Summary
  • Vocational Skills (PDF)  - This item is being revised. ​
    • Cluster Skills
    • Career Clusters Activity
  • Fair Labor Practices (PDF)  - This item is being revised. ​

Tab 6: Community Agencies

  • Agency Overview  - This item is being revised. 
    • Coordination Strategies
    • Sample Questions to Ask
    • Agency Planning Chart
  • Adult and Community Agencies  - This item is being revised. 
  • Cooperative Services Handbooks:
    • Cooperative Assessment Guidelines for School Practitioners  - This item is being revised. 
    • Cooperative Planning Handbook for Youth with Developmental Disabilities (UNDER REVIEW)
    • Cooperative Services Handbook for Youth in Transition  - This item is being revised. 

Parent/Family Icon (Extra Small)Tab 7: Tools, Templates, and Worksheets

  • Students (PDF)  - This item is being revised. 
  • Students, Spanish (PDF)  - This item is being revised. 
    • Credit Audit Worksheet
    • Student Activities/Honors/Awards
    • Student Transition Interview Form
    • Pocket Resume
    • Know Your Rights Pocket Guide
    • Learning Styles Inventory
  • Teachers/Transition Team (PDF)  - This item is being revised. 
    • Domain-Skill / Knowledge Inventory
    • Vocational Program Observation Form
    • Planning for Education After High School
    • Planning for Employment
    • Planning for Living Independently
    • Job / Student Match
    • Assessment Documentation Summary Sheet
    • Transition Portfolio
    • Personal Information Sheet
    • Transition IEP Checklist
    • Transition Planning Worksheet
    • Transition Goals Worksheet
    • Checklist for Unpaid Work Experiences
    • Community Based Vocational Training Contract
  • Parents (PDF) -  This item is being revised. 
  • Career Academic Planning Guide: Preparing Today for Tomorrow (PDF)  - This item is being revised. ​
  • The following is a list of the items in the PARENT SECTION of the TOOLKIT:
    • Introduction
    • Questions That Should Be Answered Before Graduation
    • Before: Parent/Family Transition Assessment form
    • Parent Interview - Portfolio Inventory Form
    • Tips for Parents… helping your children plan their careers
    • Preparing your son or daughter for adulthood
    • Transition Checklist
  • Technical Assistance Documents
    • Adult and Community Agencies
    • Important Ages and Milestones
    • Dual Enrollment
    • Grading and Transcripts
    • Graduation and Diplomas
    • ICAP and the IEP
    • October Count
    • SWAP
    • Transition Requirements
    • Unpaid Work Experience
    • Voting Rights

Tab 8: Charting a Course for the Future

  • Publishers (PDF) - This item is being revised. 
    • Commercial Publishers
    • Vocational Assessments
    • CDE Publications
    • On-line Resources
  • Resource List (PDF)  - This item is being revised. 

See the Acknowledgements (PDF)  - This item is being revised. 


Contact Gail Lott ( 

Having trouble with this webpage?


If you have problems with broken links or accessing the content on this page, please contact the Exceptional Student Services Unit at Please copy the URL link for this page into the email when referencing the problem you are experiencing.