Transitioning Youth Information Online
Transition planning is a process mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) for all students who have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) in K-12 education. In Maryland, transition planning must begin by age 14 which is two years earlier than required by federal regulation. IDEA defines transition as "a results-oriented process that is focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the child with a disability to facilitate the child's movement from school to postsecondary activities". There are many online resources for transitioning youth, their families, and education professionals as they are navigating the post secondary planning process. Of course, the student's planning team provides the most ideal and individualized approach; however, being aware of the information and options available for Marylanders is key for all involved.
The Maryland Department of Disabilities is a member and the Secretary of the department co-chairs the Inter Agency Transition Council for Youth with Disabilities (IATC) which is a partnership of state and local government agencies, educators, family members, and advocates. The IATC's purpose is to help improve the policies and practices which affect Maryland students with disabilities preparing to transition from high school to adult services, college, employment, and independent living.
As part of the IATC, the Maryland Department of Disabilities website provides links to numerous resources available for state residents with questions about transition. One of the newest resources is the Maryland PROMISE website. While PROMISE is an ongoing federal research grant, the new online guide was designed to provide information for all Maryland youth and their families as they plan for their future post high school.
If you have specific questions about transition, please call the Maryland Department of Disabilities Constituent Services line at 410.767.3660 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to be directed to the appropriate agency or resource.