The Transition Advisory Board Mission is "to build Community and Educational Partnerships that will empower youth with disabilities to develop and achieve their life goals."
In the past, education has prepared students for graduation, not beyond. Community agencies and adult service providers have seen themselves on the receiving end only and not involved in the process. Young people and their families have not been empowered to design and implement their transition plan. Effective transition requires collaboration and changing roles for all. TAB can assist by building a strong working relationship between community agencies, education, support staff, students with disabilities and their families.
Laws That Guide Us
The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that a statement of needed transition services be included in the Individualized Educational Program (IEP) of each student aged 16 and older. Transition is defined as "a coordinated set of activities for a student, designed within an outcome-oriented process, that promotes movement from school to post-school activities."
More Guiding Laws
The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is the cornerstone legislation that mandates Federal, State, and Local governments assist Americans with disabilities to become more independent and self-sufficient. The Iowa Division of Vocational Rehabilitation's Policy Manual (April, 1999) states that this agency will accept referral of high school students, "provide vocational counseling and planning, coordinate with transition planning teams, and develop an Employment Plan with the client" even prior to graduation. These services will not replace or interfere with the normal transition responsibilities the school system is required to provide.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) covers all persons with disabilities and extends many of the protections of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The ADA guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in employment, public accommodations, transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications.
What We Do
- Meet regularly to discuss and explore solutions to transitional issues such as:
- Coordination of services among agencies and educators
- Sharing of information to promote linkages without compromising confidentiality
- Develop effective transition procedures
- Future Fairs
- Parent workshops on transition
- Staff development program
- To serve as a communication forum for education and service agencies involved with the transition of youth with disabilities from school to the adult/ work worlds, and to facilitate the sharing of information on transition to the community as a whole.
- To identify problems, needs, and gaps of the comprehensive transition system.
- To act as a problem-solving group by identifying potential solutions which might be implemented by members of TAB or their agencies.
- To make recommendations for changes to appropriate persons to expedite the transition process.
TAB Representatives Include:
- Case Management Services
- Community Mental Health Centers
- Community Rehabilitation Programs
- Community Residential Programs
- County Government Representatives
- Eastern Iowa Community College District
- Human/Social Service Agencies
- Illinois/Iowa Center for Independent Living
- Iowa Department for the Blind
- Iowa Department of Human Services
- Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services
- Iowa Workforce Development
- Local Post-Secondary Institutions
- Local School Districts
- Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency
- Parents of special education students
- Social Security Administration
- Young adults and family members