Learn Your Special Education Laws, Special Education Rights, and Share IEP Goal Ideas

Apr 11
Avatar of Doug Goldberg

by Doug Goldberg

When the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was reauthorized in 2004 the U. S. Department of Education through the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) required states to develop State Performance Plans based on 20 indicators. The data would be submitted annually, by each State, in Annual Performance Reports. The 13th Indicator, or Indicator 13, relates to transition services for students.

The National Technical Assistance and Dissemination Center (NSTTAC) which is funded by OSEP helps States achieve compliance with indicator 13 and have put together a checklist and a checklist frequently asked questions to help in their efforts.

As a reminder, transition services outlined in IDEA state that the IEP must include:

  • Appropriate measurable postsecondary goals based upon age-appropriate transition assessments related to training, education, employment and, where appropriate, independent living skills;
  • The transition services (including courses of study) needed to assist the child in reaching those goals; and
  • Beginning not later than one 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 Part B, if any, that will transfer to the child on reaching the age of majority under §300.520 [see 20 U.S.C. 1415(m)].

As part of the FAQ Checklist, mentioned above, prepared by the NSTTAC in 2006 it states, “students need to have at least one postsecondary goal that covers the areas of education or training, employment, and, if appropriate, independent living.” Based on the information provided in the FAQ many Schools have decided they only need to write a minimum of one transition goal to be in compliance with Indicator 13. In June of 2010, H. Douglas Cox of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Department of Education wrote to OSEP to “seek clarification of OSEP’s position on requirements for appropriate measurable postsecondary goals in individualized education programs (IEPs) under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).”

In a Letter to Cox, dated September 26, 2011 OSEP responded saying:

Therefore, OSEP will inform NSTTAC that the guidance documents referred to in your letter will need to be revised to specify that, to be consistent with the IDEA, IEPs that address transition services must include a separate postsecondary goal in the area of employment, in addition to at least one postsecondary goal in the areas of training and education. Likewise, because independent living skills are distinct from employment, we will also inform NSTTAC that it will need to revise its guidance to specify that, to be consistent with the IDEA, a student’s IEP must include a separate postsecondary goal in the area of independent living skills, where appropriate.

This is only one part of the letter and I highly recommend reading the letter in its entirety and printing out a copy to bring with you to your next IEP meeting if your child has a transition plan. While OSEP has provided guidance to NSTTAC they are still in the process of updating these documents and have not posted the new FAQ on their website yet. This is why it’s important for parents to have the Letter to Cox with them when attending their child’s IEP if transition services and goals will be discussed.

 

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2 Responses to “OSEP Provides Guidance on the Number of Transition Goals Required in an IEP”

  1. Good info. Still relevant. Effective and well-thought Transitions are vital. Like all aspects of the IEP, it should be a collaborative endeavor/goal.
    ‘Special Education Advisor’ helps Parents and their teen kids on the Autism Spectrum understand Special Education services.
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OSEP Provides Guidance on the Number of Transition Goals Required in an IEP

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