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Transition from School to Post School for Students with Disabilities

The information on this page is intended to assist schools, students and families with the transition from school to post-school. Transition planning is a process that requires a partnership among the student, family, and school district and, as appropriate, other agencies that can provide transition activities to help students with disabilities move from school to adult life.  Transition Services means a coordinated set of activities for a student with a disability designed to improve their academic and functional achievement to facilitate the student's movement from school to postschool activities. Transition planning and services are designed to prepare a student with a disability to achieve their post-secondary goals related to living, learning and earning within the community.

Committees on Special Education and school districts have specific responsibilities under federal and State law and regulations to provide appropriate transition planning and services for students with disabilities.  

New York State Transition Planning Guidance and Resources


The Transition Planning and Services for Students with Disabilities Policy Brief reminds committees on special education and school districts of their specific responsibilities under federal and State law and regulations to provide appropriate transition planning and services for students with disabilities. This guidance also identifies technical assistance resources available to assist school districts, students, and families in the transition planning process.

The Student Exit Summary provides a student with a disability a summary of the student’s academic achievement and functional performance, which must include recommendations on how to assist the student in meeting their postsecondary goals.


Transition Planning Timeline

The list provides a series of events that may need to be considered during the student's transition process. It is an optional planning tool and all items will not be applicable to all students.

NYSED Career and Technical Education

Career and Technical Education programs provide academic and technical instruction in the content areas of agriculture, business and marketing, family and consumer sciences, health sciences, trade and technical education, and technology education. The New York State Career Plan records attainment of knowledge and skills. It documents a history of achievement that students build from elementary school to high school. The Career Plan design has also incorporated the transition planning process that is highly desirable for all students and required for students with disabilities.

New York State Department of Labor Career Zone

Career Zone is a website where students can explore careers related to their strengths, skills and talents. It provides tools to use in career exploration, resumé writing and job searching as well as the option to create a portfolio and develop a career plan. 

Federal Transition Planning Resources and Guidance

U.S Department of Education's Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services (OSERS)

OSERS provides policy guidance in A Transition Guide to Postsecondary Education and Employment for Students and Youth with Disabilities (August 2020) to advance its efforts in ensuring that all students and youth with disabilities are equipped with the skills and knowledge to achieve their post-school and career goals. This transition guide will help students and youth with disabilities and their families to better understand how the state and local education agencies work together to facilitate improved outcomes for students and youth with disabilities.

The National Technical Assistance Center on Transition: The Collaborative (NTACT:C)

NTACT-C is a Technical Assistance Center co-funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) that provides information, tools, and supports to assist multiple stakeholders in delivering effective services and instruction for secondary students and out of school youth with disabilities.

State Agency Partners for Transition Planning

Adult Career & Continuing Education Services - Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR) Student and Youth Transition Services works closely with school districts, the P-12 Office of Special Education and community providers to help ensure that all eligible youth with disabilities are prepared for employment, post-secondary education and community living when they leave school.  ACCES-VR can provide a range of services to help eligible individuals reach an employment goal.

  • Memorandum of Understanding - Joint Agreement on the Provision of Transition Services between NYSED’s ACCES-VR and Office of Special Education

New York State Commission for the Blind provides pre-employment transition services to students ages 14 to 21, transition services to youth and vocational rehabilitation services for all students who are legally blind, including those with additional disabilities

The Office for Persons with Developmental Disabilities assists eligible youth with developmental disabilities develop job skills, improve living skills, be more independent and be active in the community.

Independent Living Centers (ILCs) provide an array of services that assist New Yorkers with all disabilities to live fully integrated and self-directed lives. ILCs assist with all aspects of living, learning and earning.  They identify and facilitate removal of architectural, communication and attitudinal barriers to full participation in local communities and beyond. ACCES-VR administers base funding for 41 Independent Living Centers (ILCS) throughout the state.

More Information on Transition Planning

The New York State Education Department Office of Special Education Educational Partnership is a coordinated and cohesive network of support focused on enhancing services and supports for students with disabilities from early childhood and school-age education to engagement in post-school opportunities. Visit the Educational Partnership Website to view trainings and resources related to transition planning.

Questions regarding transition planning for students with disabilities may be directed to the Special Education Policy Unit by phone at (518) 473-2878  or by emailing