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Definition of Transition

Transition is defined as:  “A change in status from behaving primarily as a student to assuming emergent adult roles in the community. These roles include employment, participating in post-secondary education, maintaining a home, becoming appropriately involved in the community, and experiencing satisfactory personal participation and coordination of school programs, adult agency services, and natural supports within the community.”


Many students with disabilities pass through adult basic education programs.  Adult students with disabilities may wish to transition to college or career as viable options.  The information here intends to explore and expand the concepts of transition as it relates to adult basic education students with disabilities.


The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) was signed into law in 2014 and replaces WIA (Workforce Investment Act of 1998).  WIOA’s purpose is to help job seekers access employment, training and education programs in order to succeed in the labor market.  WIOA amends the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to help individuals with disabilities acquire the skills they need to be successful in the workplace, including vocational rehabilitation training and services.  It is aimed at increasing opportunities, particularly for those individuals with disabilities who face barriers to employment, by connecting education and career preparation.  The main activity that supports individuals with disabilities in WIOA is integrated employment opportunities.  Integrated employment opportunities expect the same performance in a workplace setting for those who have disabilities with others that are not considered individuals with disabilities.

WIOA increases access to high quality workforce services for individuals with disabilities and prepares them for competitive employment.  Some of the components include physical and programmatic accessibility to employment, training services, support services, and vocational rehabilitation.  Vocational Rehabilitation program services will prioritize serving students with disabilities and maximize the ability of individuals with disabilities to achieve competitive employment.

The Minnesota Department of Education promotes serving populations under WIOA, including individuals most in need and eligible individuals with disabilities.  More information about WIOA law and policy information can be found at