Family Manual Fact Sheet – Special Education and Transition
IEP transition planning begins officially in Illinois at age 14 1⁄2. Students with an IEP (Individualized Education Program) can receive services through the school district up to the day before their 22nd birthday, if it is agreed upon by the IEP team and reflected in the IEP. This means that services through the school district will end on the day before the 22nd birthday or before – no matter where that date falls in the school year.
Illinois students with disabilities are allowed to participate in graduation ceremonies with their graduating class and still continue to receive transition services if it is agreed upon by the IEP team and written into the IEP. They can participate in the ceremony and continue to receive transition services as long as the IEP indicates a need for continued programming. More information about this law, known as Brittany’s Law, can be found in the Illinois School Code and on the Illinois Life Span website. Contact Illinois Life Span at Phone: 1-800-588-7002. http://www.illinoislifespan.org/publications2/documentdetails.asp?did=425
IDEA – Individuals with Disabilities Education Act – Know what’s in IDEA, the law that protects the rights of students in special education and learn as much as you can about transition. Resources you should know about include: • http://idea.ed.gov/explore/home – US Dept. of Education, Office of Special Education Programs’
IDEA website. Phone: 1-800-USA-Learn • www.wrightslaw.com – A resource for special education law and advocacy for children with
disabilities. • Educational Rights and Responsibilities: Understanding Special Education in Illinois. This booklet
from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) provides an overview of the special education process and parent rights information. You can download the booklet from their site at www.isbe.net. Go to the Special Education section or contact ISBE: 866-262-6663.
• ISBE Educational Rights Handbook In Spanish: http://www.isbe.net/spec- ed/html/parent_rights_sp.htm
Parent Training and Information Centers – There are two Parent Training and Information Centers in Illinois. They are important resources for assistance with questions regarding special education rights. They also provide training for parents and professionals on issues related to education. Have them on speed dial and mark their websites as favorites on your computer!
1. Family Matters Parent Training and Information Center – www.fmptic.org Phone: 217-347-5428 or toll free at 1-866-436-7842
2. Family Resource Center on Disabilities – www.frcd.org Phone: 312-939-3513 or toll free in IL outside the Chicago area at 1-800-952-4199
November 2011 – The Arc of Illinois Family to Family Health Information CenterDelegation of Rights for Educational Decisions – This legislation allows families to continue to take the lead in educational decision-making for their young adults with disabilities. The Delegation of Rights Form for Educational Decisions gives students with IEP’s who have reached the age of majority (18) the chance to include the important adults in their lives in the ongoing process of IEP and transition planning. Without this, districts communicate only with the student. This form allows families who want to have input but aren’t prepared to take full guardianship of their student to stay involved in the special education process. The form is available on the ISBE website at www.isbe.net within the IEP form or by clicking the following link: http://www.isbe.net/spec-ed/pdfs/nc_deleg_34-57k.pdf. IEP Form in Spanish: http://www.isbe.net/spec-ed/html/forms.htm#iep
Summary of Performance – Before a student graduates or ages out of special education services, a Summary of Performance (SOP) is provided to the student. This form summarizes the student’s school experience and is completed by the student, school and family in the final years prior to the student’s exit from high school. For more information about the SOP, please see the following link on the Illinois State Board of Education website: http://www.isbe.net/spec-ed/html/forms.htm