If you have any questions regarding educational transitions into adulthood, contact one of our attorneys at (203) 221-3100.

Special Education in Adulthood

Students with disabilities can receive special education services until they turn 22, unless they graduate with a regular high school diploma and meet their transition goals. This typically entitles them to transition services, a series of activities aimed at enhancing academic and functional skills for life after school. These services encompass four main areas: academic, vocational, community participation, and daily living activities.

Congress emphasizes that transition services should yield tangible outcomes. A team including parents, teachers, and other involved individuals should convene before the student turns 14 to envision where the student could be by age 22. This vision guides the identification of necessary skills and abilities, taking into account the student’s needs, strengths, interests, and preferences. Goals and objectives are then incorporated into the Individualized Education Program (IEP) to address these needs, ensuring the student’s readiness for independent living and work.

Effective Transitions

However, many school districts struggle with effective transition planning and services. Too often, IEPs focus narrowly on vocational surveys and resume writing exercises, rather than comprehensive skills development. Vocational programs may offer limited exposure to real-world work environments. This situation demands improvement, achievable only if parents hold school administrators accountable to legal requirements.

Effective transition planning should begin well before and immediately after the student turns 14, with goals and objectives geared towards fostering independence and societal contribution by age 22. Vocational services should involve practical job training with support from coaches, while community participation entails learning practical skills like shopping, banking, and using public transport. Academic preparation may involve tailored programs for college-bound students with disabilities.

Parents should anticipate resistance from districts but must advocate persistently, recognizing the critical importance of their child’s future.

Maya Murphy P.C. has proudly been included in the 2024 Edition of Best Law Firms®, ranked among the top firms in the nation. In addition, Managing Partner Joseph C. Maya has been selected to The Best Lawyers in America® 2024 for his work in Employment Law and Education Law in Connecticut. Recognition in Best Lawyers® is awarded to firms and attorneys who demonstrate excellence in the industry and is widely regarded by both clients and legal professionals as a significant honor.

Our firm in Westport, Connecticut serves clients with legal assistance all over the state, including the towns of Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bethany, Bethel, Branford, Bridgeport, Brookfield, Cheshire, Danbury, Darien, Derby, East Haven, Easton, Fairfield, Greenwich, Guilford, Hamden, Madison, Meriden, Middlebury, Milford, Monroe, Naugatuck, New Canaan, New Fairfield, New Haven, Newton, North Branford, North Haven, Norwalk, Orange, Oxford, Prospect, Redding, Ridgefield, Seymour, Shelton, Sherman, Southbury, Stamford, Stratford, Trumbull, Wallingford, Waterbury, West Haven, Weston, Westport, Wilton, and Woodbridge. In addition to assisting clients in Connecticut, our firm handles education law matters in New York as well.

If you have any questions or would like to speak to an attorney about a legal matter, please contact Joseph C. Maya and the other experienced attorneys at Maya Murphy, P.C. at (203) 221-3100 or to schedule a free initial consultation today.