What is in store for youth with disabilities after they leave school? What will happen to your child when they no longer receive the educational services or accommodations which have been mandated by federal law? These questions are important to all parents of youth with special needs. Even though disabilities may vary greatly in their severity or impact, the need to plan for the future is very important for all students. A transition plan is a required part of a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) and should be developed and in place by their 16th birthday.

Transition represents the process of moving from the public school setting, where services are provided to all eligible students through their IEP, to services in adult programs that might or might not be available based on varying eligibility criteria and funding sources. Families who begin planning early will have more time to identify concerns, overcome challenges or barriers that arise and create opportunities which will help their students achieve their goals. Planning for the future early will alleviate disappointment and anxiety as their students approach adulthood.

The Utah Parent Center has created a handbook, a series of video modules, and a series of information sheets that will help parents and their students to plan for a successful transition from school services to adult life.

Our Adult Services page includes more information that impacts transition planning.

Transition from School to Adult Life: A Parent Resource Book                                            

De NO Saber…A Saber Dónde:  Una Guía Paternal Para La Transición a la Vida Adulta

Transition to Adult Life Video Modules

The Transition to Adult Life video is available both English and Spanish versions. The video is broken up into 4 modules, and is listed below.

MODULE 1 : Changing Roles and Responsibilities; Parents and Youth Planning for the Future
MODULE 2 : IEP Requirements and Developing the School Transition Plan
MODULE 3 : Understanding and Accessing Adult Services
MODULE 4 : Other Transition Concerns—Medical Care, Financial Planning, and Employment
SPANISH : De ‘NO’ saber a donde…A ‘SABER’ a donde La transición de los Individuos con Incapacidades a la vida Adulta


Transition Action Guide

Life is full of changes. Many changes will happen smoothly, and they are hardly noticed. Other changes aren’t so smooth, and require planning and preparation. High school students have dreams for their futures and what they will do. This is the beginning of adulthood and it is an exciting time, full of opportunity, decisions and choices. The student is not alone in this process. Key supporters and resources are available, and should be utilized, to maximize the student’s opportunities.

This Transition Action Guide has been prepared to provide information to these key participants in the process of planning by teams for the transition from school to adult life for students with disabilities. In this guide you will find the requirements under the special education law for transition and principles of transition plan development. Additional sections of the guide are designed to address the unique roles, responsibilities and expectations for each of the potential transition team members. Finally, you will find a glossary, resource information and planning form.

Information Sheets

The following series of information sheets will provide information to help parents and young adults understand the transition process from school to adult life and services.