Transition Agency Linkages Video

Total Life Learning by Wendy Bridgeo,‎ Beth Caruso,‎ & Mary Zatta

Cover of Total Life Learning

The Total Life Learning curriculum was developed for students ages 3 to 22 who are blind, visually impaired including those students who have additional disabilities or are deafblind. The focus is on the development of life and career goals that enable student to maximize independence, self-determination, employability, and participation in the community.

This video from Ten Sigma explores transition agency linkages, and issues such as entitlement versus eligibility.  Special educators know that the Transition IEP must include several important components, including postsecondary goals based on age-appropriate transition assessments, annual goals, transition services, and Transition agency linkages.

When discussing agency linkages, it is important to understand that they serve 2 important purposes in the IEP which are:

  • To coordinate a successful transition program for the student while in school for the areas of instruction, employment, community experience, related services, postsecondary training, adult living, daily living (if appropriate) and functional vocational evaluations (if appropriate).
  • To facilitate the student’s movement from school activities to post-school activities, which will help to ensure that the student reaches his/her postsecondary goals for the areas of postsecondary education, integrated employment, vocational education, supported employment, continuing and adult education, independent living, community participation, and adult service.

It is important to remember that some of these services can be provided by and/or paid for by outside agencies that have been coordinated with the IEP to provide the outside linkages. Another important distinction that students and parents need to understand are the rights or eligibility of the student or young adult based on their age as defined by IDEA, Section 504, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

For school age students, services are based on entitlement under IDEA, which means that the school is responsible for initiating the request for services and maintaining contact. Once a student leaves the school system (graduates from high school or ages out), their services are based on the eligibility, availability, and funding. At this age, the young adult and/or family is responsible for initiating requests for services and maintaining contact.

Schools are responsible for providing information about appropriate agency services, as much specific contact information about the agencies as possible, and sharing information such as transition fairs, speakers, videos, newsletters, emails, websites, etc.

In order to ensure that a student who is about to transition out of the school aged system doesn’t experience a lag in services (which may happen based on different agencies, availability, or funding), it is important that these contacts with outside agencies are made at the student age. 

Inside the video, we discuss the school’s responsibilities to determine who may be responsible for providing services and/or paying for services, consent for agency representatives to be invited to attend IEP meetings, contact and follow up with the participating agencies, and the potential for interagency agreements. We also explain resources to identify local and government agencies and organizations in your area.