How should I prepare for a successful ITP meeting?
The entities and resources that a student and their family will engage with during the transition planning process will depend on the student’s goals, abilities, and needs. Because of this, there is no single step-by-step guide that applies to everyone. However, there are some solid steps that every family can take early on.
Reactivate your Regional Center case if your child had one and stopped using services as they got older.
Establish a relationship with the Department of Rehabilitation. DOR offers student services (Pre-Employment Transition Services) and Vocational Rehabilitation services, and has staff in each of their state offices dedicated to helping students with disabilities. This includes participation in a student’s IEP/ITP meeting, whether it’s in person or by phone or videoconference. DOR can help a student with job counseling, work-based learning, post-secondary education counseling, workplace readiness training, and self-advocacy training, among others. (Note that you must reach out to DOR well in advance of your first ITP meeting to determine whether their attendance is appropriate for your child — your child must be a DOR client before your school can invite DOR to the ITP on their behalf.)
Request a planning meeting with your IEP team to start talking about the transition process and thinking about goals. Once you’ve established connections with the appropriate interagency participants, ask your child’s school to invite them to the IEP meeting.
Know that this will be an ongoing process from when your child starts high school (or earlier!) until they graduate or age out at twenty-two.
Parents and guardians are also encouraged to learn more about college programs and Regional Center programs, develop meaningful goals and identify and clarify goals to set their student up for success.
The IEP/ITP team is required to invite the student to any meetings for their transition plan. And as with the Self-Determination Program, transition planning should be led by the student, which means planning with the student, not for them. Ultimately, the ITP should focus on the student’s future, with their input as the guiding force.
For a deep dive into planning for a successful ITP meeting, see Individual Transition Plan (ITP) 101.