Is there evidence that the student was invited to his or her IEP Team meeting where one of the purposes was considering the postsecondary goals and transition services needed to assist in reaching those goals?
- Students must be invited to attend any IEP team meetings where transition planning will be discussed. Federal law requires this once the student turns 16, and younger if determined appropriate by the IEP team. New Hampshire rules require it at age 14, the same year that the student’s IEP must include a course of study.
- Make parents aware of this requirement and the importance of including all students in the process of their own transition planning.
- Help students be engaged and aware of the purpose of the meeting, and prior to the meeting, encourage and prepare them to participate.
- IEP meetings for students in 8th grade and above usually include some discussion about post-high school plans. Note this in the meeting purpose in the meeting invitation.
- Invitations must be clearly addressed to the student and not contain parent-focused language (e.g., phrases like For your child). No format for the invitation is specified. Schools should compose a letter or format and adopt it school-wide.
- Invitations can be hand delivered, sent via US Mail, or email (both school district and parents must have a written agreement to use email).
- Include documentation of the invitation in the student’s file.
Indicator 13 requires that students be invited, NOT that they attend. While a team can incorporate the student’s voice in planning and decision-making related to postsecondary plans without their attendance, a student benefits greatly when they attend and have been prepared to have an active role. In addition, they begin to practice the adult skills of being a part of a meeting as well as developing self-determination skills.
Helpful adults should proactively involve students in their IEP meetings as early as possible. Students can be coached to attend their meetings, at whatever level their preferences and abilities permit, and to practice skills that eventually enable them to run all or part of the meetings. Once a student becomes comfortable with attending, add responsibilities like assisting with introductions, reading or showing their postsecondary goal statements, or facilitating sharing by team members providing progress updates and present levels of academic and functional performance.
Background and overview of the requirement that a student must be invited to the IEP meeting where transition services are discussed. 6:44-minutes
- Letter is personally addressed to the student inviting him or her to the meeting.
- Language is age and comprehension-level appropriate for the student.
- Documentation exists of phone calls or other personal communication where meeting details were discussed.
- There are notes of a meeting between the student and the case manager where the meeting details were specifically discussed.
- Student name is included on meeting notification letter to parents.
- There is an informal conversation in the hallway or classroom where meeting is mentioned.
- Invitation to the meeting comes through the parents.
- Strategies to encourage IEP meeting participation:
- Disability disclosure curriculum, The 411 on Disability Disclosure, for use with high school and postsecondary students. It has a self-advocacy focus in the context of disclosing a disability in an employment situation. Developed by the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability (NCWD).
- Transition Education Resources from the Zarrow Center.