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Transition Training for Parents

Our goal is to have parents/families understand transition goals, services, and activities to improve their child’s success as an adult. Every student with an IEP will have a transition plan

By the end of 9th grade or when a student turns 15, their IEP will include a transition plan. A student’s transition plan is a process that takes the student’s:

  • Strengths
  • Needs
  • Interests
  • Preferences

To develop a plan that includes post-secondary goals in three areas:

  • Career
  • Education
  • Independent Living Skills (if appropriate)

These are aligned with annual goals to create a plan that combines services, supports, and goals, and informs the classes and activities in high school and beyond to achieve that plan.

Our 10-part training series and supporting documents will cover the transition requirements and process in detail. We want to equip parents, students, and staff to design and implement a meaningful transition plan to successfully launch their teen into adulthood with the needed support and services to achieve their dreams!


  • ABLE - Achieving A Better Life Experience
  • CCB - Community-Centered Board
  • CES - Children’s Extensive Support Waiver
  • CDE - Colorado Department of Education
  • CSEAC - Colorado Special Education Advisory Committee
  • CTE - Career and Technical Education
  • DD Waiver - Developmental Disabilities Waiver
  • DVR - Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
  • EBD - Elderly, Blind and Disabled Waivers

  • ESY - Extended School Year
  • FBA - Functional Behavior Assessment
  • GPA - Grade Point Average
  • IEP - Individual Education Plan
  • ID - Identification card
  • IDD - Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities
  • IDEA - Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
  • O’Net - Occupational Information Network
  • P.E. - Physical Education

  • PT - Physical Therapy
  • ROTC - Reserve Officers’ Training Corps
  • SLS - Supported Living Services Waiver
  • SNAP - Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
  • SMART Goal - Specific Measurable Appropriate Relevant Time-Sensitive
  • SSA - Social Security Administration
  • SSI - Supplemental Security Income
  • SWAP - School to Work Alliance Program
  • 504 - Section 504 Plan

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Module 1: What is Transition?

Learn what transition planning is including the assessments, activities, course selection, services, and goals to prepare the student to be ready for adulthood. Post-secondary goals are in three areas- continuing education, career and employment, and if appropriate, independent living skills.

View Module 1



Module 1 Resources

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Module 2: Who Helps with Transition

Now that you know what a transition plan needs to include, learn how it gets implemented and who can help with the goals, skills, and activities throughout high school and into adult life.

View Module 2



Module 2 Resources

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Module 3: What are 18-21 Services? 

Post-secondary transition goals are added to the IEP by the end of 9th grade. All the other parts of the IEP continue as needed. In this session, you will learn about other aspects of preparing for adulthood as you are introduced to some of the adult services.

View Module 3



Module 3 Resources

Note on accessing after-school activities. Some after-school activities are directly connected to a class (such as a choir or band concert) and the IEP accommodations used during class may also apply and need the support of the special education team. Some activities are separate from a class (such as sports, theater, or clubs) and may require support for the student to access the activity. Families can work with their case manager to set up support.

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Module 4: Educational Opportunities

Education after high school can include 2 or 4-year colleges as well as vocational training programs while in high school and into adulthood. We’ll cover the range of options for the range of student needs and abilities.

View Module 4



Module 4 Resources

Notes: Update on Colorado colleges. Colorado Inclusive Higher Education opened three new programs- at Colorado State UniversityRegis University and Metropolitan State University (MSU). The program Cathi Allen started privately at MSU has become Inclusive Higher Education Solutions inside of MSU.

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Module 5: Employment Opportunities

With the right support, most students with IEPs can be employed. We share some of the services to help students reach their employment goals. We also share some ideas for parents to help their teens be work ready.

View Module 5




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Module 6: Success Stories

In this session, we share four stories from real young adults with a variety of disabilities, needs, preferences, and experiences.

View Module 6



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Module 7: Analyze a Transition IEP

We walk through a Colorado IEP and note how it ties together and where the elements of a student's transition plan are documented.

View Module 7



Module 7 Resources

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Module 8: PSG Planning for Adult Life

This module covers specific tips to prepare your teen for adulthood including engaging with community partners. We’ll also discuss different pathways to graduation and keeping teens in school. 

View Module 8



Module 8 Resources

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Module 9: Planning and Preparing Parents to Manage Adult Services

For some parents who have teens with significant support needs, the journey to adulthood means they are going to take on the role of a case manager to ensure the variety of services and supports needed for their loved one are in place and maintained. We’ll share tips on organizing, planning, and navigating the emotional aspects of this new, lifetime role. 

View Module 9



Module 9 Resources

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Module 10: Parent Stories

Five parents talk about what helped their children during school and how their kids, now young adults, continue to grow and learn, to advocate, and to reach their dreams. We share these stories to help parents, students, and staff create a picture of the future that is meaningful, engaging, and possible.

View Module 10




Note: Due to Conflict-Free Case Management changes, all the Colorado Medicaid Waivers for children and adults with disabilities are merging into one eligibility entity so families will learn about all the waiver options so they can make an informed decision for their loved one.

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Colorado Department of Education (CDE) disclaimer:

This CDE guidance document is meant for clarification, is not legally binding, and is not to be confused with legal advice. This guidance reflects CDE’s recommendations, but Administrative Units (AUs) may have developed policies or procedures that differ from those described herein. Be sure to refer to your local AU’s policies and procedures through the Director of Special Education. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact your legal counsel.

For more information, please contact:

Gail Lott, EdD
Principal Consultant / Secondary Transition Specialist
Email Gail Lott
Phone: (303) 501-0347

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