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What Are Transition Assessments?

 

Transition assessments play an important role throughout the Transition process for students.  The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) 2004 requires schools to develop appropriate and measurable postsecondary goals based on age-appropriate Transition assessments.

 

This important law requires the assessments to include…”the student’s preferences, strengths, interests, and needs as related to training, education, employment, and where appropriate, independent living skills.”

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3 Types of Transition Assessments

 

Formal Assessments:

These assessments are standardized and norm-referenced. They are generally used to assess the following:

  • To measure overall achievement
  • As a comparison for a student’s performance with others at their age or grade
  • To identify comparable strengths and weaknesses with peers.

 

The data is mathematically computed and summarized. Scores such as percentiles, stanines, or standard scores are mostly commonly given from this type of assessment.

 

Informal Assessments:

These assessments are content and performance focused. They include such things as:

  • Observations
  • Interviews
  • Record reviews
  • Performance reviews.

 

Informal assessments are less structured than formal assessments and may not be validated or tested for reliability.

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Casual Assessments

 

Are things that a student says or does to give information about his/her strengths, needs, and interests.

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Why Transition Assessments Are Important

 

Transition assessments guide the planning of the student’s transition IEP. A variety of assessments are needed in order to help the student understand their wants, strengths, interests, and needs as related to training, education, employment, and independent living. Transition assessments are the basis for development of the student’s postsecondary goals, IEP goals and objectives, instructional programming including accommodations, and provide a present level of academic and functional performance. The results of these assessments help prepare the student for what is needed to achieve their postsecondary goals.

Consider the Following Age Appropriate Transition Assessment Guidelines:

  • Assisstive technology or accommodations use to demonstrate the student’s abilities.
  • The assessment contributes to the development of the Transition plan.
  • The results/data from the assessment needs to be documented and interpreted for all members of the IEP team.

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