Transition Assessment TIPS!
When you look across the literature about transition assessment, there are a number of suggestions made that are meant to ensure that your work is compliant with federal and state mandates and of quality! Highlights from these recommendations are listed below.
- Start Early - Transition assessment should begin early and be ongoing. Use methods (a student portfolio or the transition assssment and planning folder presented here) to ensure that assessment information about a student's strengths, interests, preferences and support needs are passed along from teacher to teacher and school to school.
- Involve Students - Transition assessment is gathering information about and with a student to help them meet his/her postsecondary goals. Students involvement in the gathering, analyzing, summarizing and using information in the IEP are critical. Some students may not know how to participate in this process if their are not taught the skills they need to do so. There are a number of wonderful self-determination and transition curricula that have been shown to be effective. Please refer to the Tools Section of this training for a list.
- Involve Families - Family members know their own children best and this means that it is important to include family in transition assessment and planning. In one study (DeFur, 2001), families were asked what they thought about the transition process. Among many findings a few stand out for the purposes of our discussion about assessment and family involvement. Parents said that they want school staff who listened to what they had to add to the discussion. They also wanted school staff to respect them. Another finding was that family members felt like that school blamed them and they wanted opportunities to build trust between them and school staff instead. In the same study, the researcher asked how schools could improve their transition processes so that families could be more involved. Families responded that they would like better communication to be about listening and learning from each other, collaboration that was invited, equity in the process, caring for one another, and celebration when things were going well.
- Remember to Include Technology - Many students with disabilities can benefit from the use of Assistive Technology. It is the Team's job to be sure that students have access to the technology they need to be successful in reaching their postsecondary goals. WATI (2004) offers an assessment template for assessment and decison-making around technology. Click on the link called WATI in the Learn More Section on the right side of your screen to access the document.
Find more Tips in the Transition Assessment Guide in the Handouts section on the right side of your screen!
One thing that we have not yet addressed is what transition assessment looks like across the school years. Does assessment look different for a 14 year old than it does for a 21 year old? Our students change and grow everyday and their assessment needs change along with them.
Go to the next section to find out more about the timeline for transition assessment!