Special Education rights in New Jersey are derived from the federal law known as IDEIA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act). The New Jersey Administrative Code (NJAC 6A:14) contains the state’s regulations based upon IDEIA.
NJAC 6A:14 explains the rights of children determined to be eligible for special education and related services as well as policies and procedures the school districts must adhere to in order to comply with the law. Additionally, it illustrates procedural safeguards in case a school district and parent do not agree on a particular issue. Section 1.3 of the NJAC 6A:14 defines Transition Services as
“a coordinated set of activities for a student, designed within an outcome-oriented process, that promotes movement from school to post-school activities, including post-secondary education, vocational training, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation.”
A copy of NJAC 6A:14 is available directly from your school district or from the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) at (609) 292-0147.
Transition services should be a part of the IEP and based on the student’s individual preferences and interests. By age 16, a student’s IEP should include goals and objectives that begin to address a long range plan that emphasizes skills that are needed for adult life.
A sample of a transition IEP and its contents according to New Jersey Administration Code is available in Autism New Jersey’s Transition IEP Packet. Please Note: Your child’s IEP should differ from the examples provided in this packet.
The Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) assures the opportunity for individuals with developmental disabilities to receive quality services and supports, participate meaningfully in their communities and exercise their right to make choices.
At age 16, the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) will assess the individual for eligibility and provide transitional planning assistance. During this time, the child will receive services from both the Department of Children and Families (DCF) and DDD. All direct services (residential, in-home, behavioral, family support, etc.) will continue to be provided by DCF until age 21. After age 21, these services will be provided by DDD.
In addition, DDD will offer informational sessions and educational materials on various topics including:
- Employment and Post-secondary education
- Benefits/Legal/Financial Issues
- Housing and residential supports
- Health/Behavioral health
- DDD Adult Services
- Person Centered Planning
The Division of Vocational Rehabilitative Services (DVRS) is a state agency whose services are typically “short- term” in nature. DVRS can provide job training, education, job placement and workshop services for adults with disabilities. Additionally, DVRS can consult with school districts about providing services — such as job coaching — and then can remove themselves once the training is completed. DVRS can also perform or make a referral to someone who can perform a vocational assessment.