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Transition Planning

Transition Workshops & Conferences

  • Planning a Life Conferences (FCSN)
    Planning a Life: Making the Most out of High School is a two day conference from the Federation for Children with Special Needs packed with Transition planning information and resources for and about students in special education ages 14-22. There are multiple dates each school year.
  • A Full Life Ahead Workshop Series
    A Full Life Ahead is a series of monthly workshops for parents and guardians of young adults with a disability. The series focuses on transition, employment, housing, friendships and other topics that will lead to interdependent, full lives in the community for young adults with disabilities. 

Transition Basics

  • TIPS: Transition Information for Parents and their Students with IEPs
    A series of brochures produced by The LINK Center – a project of the Federation for Children with Special Needs, and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE).  The transition brochures provide important information that can be found in the Transition Technical Assistance Advisories developed by ESE. The brochures will hopefully provide easy and accessible information that can be readily shared to help explain the secondary transition process, transition assessment and self-determination.
    • The Secondary Transition Planning Process
      Find information about the secondary transition planning process. Information includes important key transition terms to know, tips about student vision, transition assessment and IEP goal development, and how to work with the IEP Team to develop a strong transition plan with the Transition Planning Form and IEP.
    • Transition Assessment
    • Find information about transition assessments. Information includes important key terms to know about assessment, how assessment can look different in different settings, strategies to learn how to ask the right questions, knowing when consent is necessary, and examples for how to make sure assessment relates to a student’s vision.
    • Self-Determination
    • Find information about the importance of self-determination. Information includes tips for why self-determination is important, what skills and opportunities can help students to be more self-determined, how to share information with the school, and examples for how to practice self-determination in and out of school.

  • Transition 101: High School to Adulthood
  • How to Support the Transition to Adulthood
    An online, interactive guide from the non-profit group Exceptional Lives.
  • A Family Guide to Transition in Massachusetts (pdf)
    A guide to assist families in understanding the transition planning process for students with disabilities. Published by the Massachusetts Rehabilitiation Commission in collaboration with the Federation for Children with Special Needs.
  • What to do if you are the parent of a 14 or 15 year old?
    One-page outline on transition rights from Massachusetts Advocates for Children
  • Secondary Transition in Massachusetts
    Simple overview of from DESE
  • Transition Resources from PTI/FCSN
    This site has many links and resources on transition planning.
  • Article: "Transition Planning for College"
    Ideally, transition planning for college begins when a student enters high school to maximize options as they move through the next four years. Understanding college requirements is key to making smart decisions about high-school course selection.
  • Article: "Engage Students in Transition Planning Meetings"
    Follow these tips to create a student-focused transition planning meeting where students with disabilities can freely participate. 
  • Transition Facebook Group
    Family members of young people with disabilities can join the group to get the latest information, see inspiring stories, and connect with other families, all related to the transition from school to work and adult life. The group is hosted by a partnership of the Arc of Massachusetts, Massachusetts Families Organizing for Change, the Federation for Children with Special Needs, Easter Seals Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Autism Commission, and ICI.

Transition In-depth

Massachusetts Department of Elementary And Secondary Education (DESE) Guidance

Administrative Advisories

Technical Assistance Advisories

Massachusetts Legislation/Regulations/Guidance

IEP Implementation Guide, Transition Planning Form, Indicator 13, Chapter 688, MCAS

Elementary to Middle School

High School to College

Delay diploma/graduation?
CAUTION: If the student is 18 and the parent does not have joint decision-making rights, the student may, against the parents' wishes, accept a diploma and end his/her entitlement to sped services. Services after public school are NOT entitlements! DDS, DMH, MRC all depend on the yearly budgets written on Beacon Hill and are not obligated to service all applicants.

A MA student who is of graduation age but still requires more transition services MAY "walk" at graduation along with his/her peers. See this law for details.