Congress and the Pennsylvania Legislature have recognized the needs of young people with disabilities by developing and passing a series of laws and regulations to mandate and facilitate transition activities and services. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA 2004) mandates that beginning not later than the first IEP to be in effect when the child is 16 years old, appropriate measurable postsecondary goals based upon age appropriate transition assessments related to training, education, employment, and, where appropriate, independent living skills be included in the IEP.

Transition services is a term used in the IDEIA that means a coordinated set of activities for a child with a disability that is designed to be within a results-oriented process, that is focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the child with a disability to facilitate the child’s movement from school to post-school activities, including post-secondary education, vocational education, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation.