Members of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) have produced this paper because they want to help people to work together to support the self-determined transition of youth to adulthood and community life. Self-determination means that people have a say in the important decisions of their own lives. Transition means moving from one place or stage of life to another.
As youth leave school, they face several transitions. These include moving from school to work or more training or education after high school; moving from a family home to community living; and moving from child-oriented health care to adult care.
Youth should be able to expect the support they need from family, community, professionals, and agencies to direct their own transitions.
There are four important ideas to think about:
- Self-determination, or a student having a say in the important decisions of his/her own life, is at the heart of transition planning.
- Everyone should understand the culture of the youth and his/her family when making and carrying out a transition plan.
- Everyone involved with the youth needs to work together.
- Transition Planning should include all the perspectives and organizations that will affect the transitioning student.