Transition Planning and the IEP

Case Studies: Age-Appropriate Transition Assessments (AATA)

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In each of the case studies included, the Age Appropriate Transition Assessment methods used were selected based on the information the team identified that was needed to refine postsecondary goals and to measure progress. The data gathered assisted the team to better understand the student’s current skills and knowledge related to the skills, knowledge or potential supports needed in the future.



As Robert approached middle school, his vision for the future became more focused on his life following high school. Excerpt from vision: “Robert wants to work with cars. He would like to be able to make simple repairs on cars or do some type of work that involves cars. Robert would like to eventually live in an apartment close to people he knows. He feels strongly that being able to go to the movies, shopping and swimming will be important parts of his adult life.” In addition to the vision, Age-Appropriate Transition Assessments (AATA) include the following items that further develop and refine future planning and identify needed transition services:

  • Review current academic and functional skills data and summarize the information in relation to the implications to adult work environments and independent living.

  • Opportunities for Robert to shadow mechanics in several body shops

  • Observations of Robert on the job site performing tasks

  • Employability checklists that focus on global or overarching employability skills

  • Assessment of life skills related to independence

  • Observing Robert’s skills using the bus (transportation assessment)

  • Other formal and informal assessment that lead the team to a better understanding of Robert’s strengths and needs

  • Connect Robert with Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities for  Pre- Employment Transition Services (Pre- ETS) specifically Work Based Learning, Workplace Readiness Training or Instruction in Self Advocacy to explore different auto stores sites and gain more hands on experience to his desired career outcome



Antonio always knew he wanted to go to college. Both of his parents attended college and have always had the vision of Antonio graduating from college. Although Antonio has several areas of interest and academic strength (i.e., math and all sciences, especially chemistry), he is not sure where he wants to concentrate his studies in college. More information is also needed about the independent living skills, social skills and problem solving skills he will need to successfully navigate a college campus. Finally, accommodations for college courses need to be identified in order that Antonio can select a college that fits his needs. Antonio’s ongoing Age Appropriate Transition Assessments include:

  • Review current academic and functional skills data and summarize the information in relation to the implications to academic requirements for college, work environments and independent living

  • Exploration of colleges and universities via web sites, phone conversations and several onsite visits

  • Visiting the Special services department at a variety of colleges to learn what accommodations can be offered that match Antonio high school accommodations

  • Checklist of accommodations for student when visiting college

  • Career interests surveys

  • Auditing a college class near his home

  • Shadowing/visiting individuals in both math and science careers

  • Observations by teachers and parents related to social interactions and problem solving

  • Interviews with Antonio and self-assessment of skills

  • Employability life skills assessment with a focus on the skills that reflect the “hidden curriculum” of the workplace and school

  • Identification of current accommodations provided to Antonio in his academic classes

  • AIR Self-Determination Assessment

  • SAT practice tests and formal SAT testing



Carla has always known that a day without music will not be a day of her life! This information alone was a place to begin AATA. The team needs to know how to incorporate music in her adult life in terms of employment, independent living and to support adult learning. Although Carla’s skills have been assessed throughout her educational career, the team has to now consider those assessments in light of her adult life and the skills she will need to be as independent as possible, to be employed and to continue to learn. Carla’s ongoing Age-Appropriate Transition Assessments include:

  • Interview and checklists completed by Carla’s family and teachers about her skills, interests, needs and supports related to daily living, leisure activities, independent living skills and socialization/communication

  • Observations of Carla’s social, communication and problem-solving skills in multiple settings such as classroom, restaurants, stores, home, fitness center, etc., and reflecting on the current level of these skills and how they compare to the skill level that she will need as an adult

  • Observation of the extent to which Carla is able to apply her academic skills in multiple environments (home, school, community)

  • Results of a variety of community-based work experiences to determine areas of interest and skill

  • Identification of employment, educational and leisure opportunities that can include and build on her interest in music

  • Incorporating the information that was derived from Charting the LifeCourse tools and process.

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