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IDEA, Transition Planning, and the SIS


The Supports Intensity Scale - Adult Version®  (SIS-A®) assessment has been successfully used by hundreds of state and private agencies providing transition planning services for students with IDD. 


Why use the SIS-A?  

The SIS-A assesses the medical, behavioral, and life activities of a person aged 16 and above. The SIS-A is a standardized, norm-referenced tool that provides a valid assessment of the supports an individual with IDD needs to be successful in community life. 

The SIS-A measures support needs directly, and the explicit and direct information provided by the assessment scores takes the guessing away from the transition planning process.

Many tools used for transition planning are in the form of checklists and are not norm-referenced. In addition, many tools in use are more useful for developing instructional goals than identifying the supports the student requires in an adult world. 


Statement of Performance (SOP)

A student's Statement of Performance (SOP) is usually completed near the end of the final year of a student’s high school education.

To quote the IDEA, “For a child whose eligibility under special education terminates due to graduation with a regular diploma, or due to exceeding the age of eligibility, the local education agency shall provide the child with a summary of the child’s academic achievement and functional performance, which shall include recommendations on how to assist the child in meeting the child’s post secondary goals."

The SIS-A is a logical tool to use for SOPs because it is specifically designed to gauge the support needs and life goals of a person with IDD, and therefore it can make recommendations on how students should achieve goals in the community. The SIS-A can produce  a visual display of the person's areas of high and low support needs for transition planning. 


Person with rainbow hair


The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) defines transition services as a “coordinated set of activities for a child with a disability that is designed to be within a results-oriented process, that is focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the child with a  disability to facilitate the child’s movement from school to post-school activities, including  post-secondary education, vocational education, integrated employment, continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation.”

In short, IDEA requires that any student receiving special education services and turning 16, must receive services from the school to help them transition into the realm of adulthood and post-secondary education.

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