Press Releases

Parents Navigate Georgia’s K–12 Education Supports, Plan for the Future

September 9, 2020 (Georgia) – As Georgia students and families get back to school and navigate virtual learning, parents of students with disabilities are working through transition planning that will set up their student for success after high school.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) mandates that schools must incorporate transition planning into a student’s individualized education plan (IEP) by the time they turn 16. A transition plan is not a separate document; it is one component of a student’s overall IEP.

Planning for transition is a natural extension of the IEP process, and dedicated professionals and devoted parents agree that collaboration and consideration of the individual are essential.

Elise James is a program specialist for transition outcomes at the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) with over 40 years of experience in special education. She explains that, according to IDEA, students’ post-secondary goals must be guided by their own interests, preferences and gifts.

“It’s really not our place to necessarily say, ‘You can’t do that,’” said James. “Our place is to provide [students" style="color:blue; text-decoration:underline" data-cke-saved-href="">inclusive post-secondary education (IPSE) programs; employment; Project SEARCH; or other pathways funded via the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency (GVRA), the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) or private pay.

District administrators are responsible for presenting options to parents, and resources vary by location. School administrators and professionals have a meaningful impact on student outcomes. In addition to assisting with transition, teachers in special education conduct lessons, collect data and facilitate IEPs for every student on their list.

To learn more about the transition process for students with disabilities and resources for parents, read the latest issue of GCDD’s Making a Difference

About the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities: The Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) is the State's leader in advancing public policy on behalf of persons with developmental disabilities. Its mission is to bring about social and policy changes that promote opportunities for persons with developmental disabilities and their families to live, learn, work, play and worship in Georgia communities.