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Transition from School to Independent Living

Transition is a term used in the special education field to describe the process a student with disabilities undergoes to move from one educational setting to another (e.g., middle school to high school or high school to a higher education institution), or to leave the educational system entirely and prepare for independent living and entrance into the workforce.

Transition planning is important because each new stage in the process represents unique challenges for the students and those who support them. There are many aspects to successful transition planning. This reference guide addresses some of the key concepts related to transition and provides additional resources for those with an interest in the topic. While this resource is meant to be as inclusive as possible, it is not comprehensive and should not be used as the sole resource for those interested in the subject.

This resource begins by listing the common terms used in the transition field. It then discusses transition programs and assistive technology that students can use to help with transitions. It also discusses legislation relating to transition. Because access to reading material is important for independent living, accessible reading services are listed as well. Finally, it concludes with resources and a bibliography. All topics within each section are listed in alphabetical order.

If we have omitted anything from this publication that you believe should be included, please contact the NLS Reference Section at: [email protected] or 202-707-9275.


Updated 2021

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