Adapting Assessments for Students with High Support Needs

Transition assessments are key to determining a student’s postsecondary goals and developing a quality transition IEP. Admittedly, though, it can be difficult to find transition assessments that target students with significant disabilities.

As you’re searching, keep in mind: You can adapt transition assessments to fit the needs of your student. You do not have to use an assessment exactly as written. Consider these assessment adaptations for students with high support needs:

  • Use pictures instead of or in addition to questions on an assessment.
  • Read transition assessments to students.
  • Create an activity where the student discusses relative topics right before they complete the assessment.
  • Use a scribe for the student’s responses.
  • Limit multiple-choice questions to two possible responses.
  • Transfer assessments to Google Forms or another virtual method.

Using authentic and other forms of transition assessments may also help appropriately assess students. Interviews, observations, and task analyses can all be transition assessments if used to determine the student’s strengths, preferences, and interests related to their postsecondary goals.

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Happy Holidays! Tuesday’s Transition Tips will return January 5. We’ll miss you, but wish you peace, goofy board games, jigsaw puzzles, family and friends (even if it’s on Zoom), the anticipation and excitement of little ones, sprinkles on cookies, cozy naps, mugs of hot chocolate, and all the joys of the season. Stay warm and safe, everyone!