Student-Driven Transition Planning

Students should be active participants throughout the transition process.

Students should be active participants throughout the transition process.  

We believe that the student being at the center of this process leads to the most successful transition to adult life.

Case studies

Each situation is unique and the transition plan will depend on factors such as the student’s interests and abilities, the student’s geographic location, the amount of functional vision, hearing and motor abilities that the individual has, and the resources available to provide programming, training, and support.  We have chosen several case studies as examples of the process and we invite you to share your stories with us too!  Please contact us if you would like to share your story.

Transition Planning with a Focus on Work

Student wearing cap and apron in cafe

In his last two years of high school, Jack spends much of his time working on campus and in the community. Jobs have included washing dishes using the industrial washer, waiting on customers in the Perk Café, and volunteering at a local food pantry. Jack joins other students in production of a weekly radio show, he develops and practices his script in Speech and Language Arts classes. Jack attends his IEP meetings and makes suggestions for his schedule and future goals which include supported work, hopefully at a car wash! Jack works closely with the Low Vision clinic and clinicians offer consultation at each job site. Jack lives on campus and prepares basic meals in the residence and shares the recipes with his family at home.

Student Who is Deafblind Focuses on Giving Back

Heather attended the academic program and earned a High School diploma while at Perkins. She worked with a Speech and Language Therapist on strategies to best communicate with people unfamiliar with her communication style. As a young women who is deafblind, Heather learned to face the speaker and to request clarification as needed. Heather has a passion for travel and a strong interest in creating sustainable income for those in need, especially in developing countries. Her vocational jobs included work in a boutique that carried products created around the world. Heather offered explanations of the origin of craft items to interested customers. For her Senior Community Service project she created crafts of her own and had a fundraiser for a local agency supporting recent immigrants. Heather took courses at local community colleges before leaving Perkins to pursue a career as a community organizer at a four year college.

Arranging jewelry
Hanging jewelry on hooks
Sorting items in a jewelry store

Focus on Post-Secondary Education

David attended public school before coming to Perkins to develop skills that are part of the Expanded Core Curriculum. David participated in Career Exploration and Vocational Planning classes and identified Computer Programming as a career interest. He applied and interviewed for a position in the IT department where he currently assists customers with technical questions. David took a course at a local community college and an on-line course, he identified which accommodations were essential in order to access the curriculum.  The information was included in his transition portfolio along with a personal profile, resume and strategies for problem solving. While at Perkins David kept in close contact with the Commission for the Blind and received Orientation & Mobility services both at school and in the community. During that time he focused on cultivating relationships in his field of interest.  He was accepted at a four year college and is learning to navigate the campus, access the disability office and locate food in the cafeteria.

Working with SMARTbrailler
Student working with a SMARTbrailler
Student working with SMARTbrailler

These photos show David doing product testing with the Perkins SMART brailler.


Getting started with Transition Planning:

Transition Timeline: Where to Start

Student-Driven Transition Planning

Preparing for Transition Using an Activity-Based Self-Determination Curriculum

Preparing for College


Tools for Planning

Sample Forms and Assessment Tools

By Denise Fitzgerald

A student with a white cane and an instructor walk on a crosswalk.

Travel skills: assessment and skill-building for Orientation and Mobility


Technology assessment and skill-building to empower students

Young woman seated at table with others.

Learning to be the captain of your own ship: the importance of self-determination