Great question! What exactly is "transition"?

Transition can mean many different things but for this Wiki, we're talking about the transition from high school to adulthood, specifically for students receiving special education services. That also means different things for different families but this site is designed to provide information, resources, and links on a variety of transition related topics. Students who are not in special education can benefit from the various links and information provided but some of the pieces may not make sense or be relevant unless the student is in special education.


The student and what he or she wants is at the center of effective transition planning. Students MUST be included in the transition planning process; we all need to listen to and support students as they think about what they want and learn about their options.

When does it start?

In Massachusetts, students who are currently in special education must start transition planning by age 14. Teams create transition planning forms (TPF's) that outline the student's vision for the future, what their disability related needs are, and an action plan for work, school, and community participation/independent living.

What does it look like?

When we "talk transition," we often think about three things: work, school, and community participation/independent living. Some students may need support in all three areas while others may need support in just one: transition is different for everyone! The TPF will change and develop as a student gets older and has a more specific view of what he or she would like to do after leaving high school.

-A copy of the TPF form used in Massachusetts

It is very important to remember transition is a "coordinated set of activities." So what does that mean? Well, basically for students in special education that means that the student, family, school, and outside resources/providers work together to develop and activate a transition plan for the student related to his or her specific needs and goals. Different members will have different roles when determining the activities the student will be part of.

I hope this wiki will help you explore and learn more about all the great resources that available for students (and their families!) as they go through the transition process. Most of the sites have information that students can continue to benefit from even when they have left high school; adults transition all the time!