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Understanding the Role of Individualized Learning Plans in Transition Planning for Youth with Disabilities

July 30, 2010 Publication

The Individualized Learning Plan (ILP) is a strategic planning tool intended to help youth identify and achieve postsecondary goals. The ILP provides students with opportunities for career development and exploration activities, and helps them choose high school courses that will prepare them to reach their postsecondary goals. ILPs can be used to link a student’s career interests with the educational steps and subjects needed to enter that career. For students receiving special education services, ILPs can also help them to become actively involved in creating their transition plan.

Research shows in order to have a successful transition from high school to employment and postsecondary education, students need to be exposed to career exploration and planning. An ILP can help all students, including those with disabilities, to create a career and academic pathway and to compile a comprehensive, multi-media online document of their skills and experiences. Instead of considering the Individualized Education Program (IEP) as the only transition-planning tool, schools and families should view the ILP as an option to expand the transition-planning sections of the IEP. This InfoBrief explains how schools and families can supplement the required Individualized Education Program (IEP) by using an optional Individualized Learning Plan (ILP) as a tool to help youth successfully transition from high school to employment and postsecondary education.

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