2000-S 2389
Enacted 7/20/2000

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Introduced By:  Senators Gallo and Perry Date Introduced:  February 8, 2000

It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:

SECTION 1. Section 16-24-18 of the General Laws in Chapter 16-24 entitled "Children with Disabilities" is hereby amended to read as follows:

16-24-18. Transition from school to self-sufficient adulthood for students with disabilities. -- (a) There is hereby established, within the department of elementary and secondary education, an interagency transition council, hereinafter known as the "transition council," composed of:

(1) The administrators or their designees of the following:

(i) Department of human services -- office of rehabilitation services;

(ii) Department of mental health, retardation and hospitals -- division of developmental disabilities;

(iii) Department of mental health, retardation, and hospitals -- division of mental health;

(iv) Department of children, youth, and families -- mental health services;

(v) Department of elementary and secondary education -- special education office;

(vi) Department of elementary and secondary education -- vocational and technical education;

(vii) Department of labor and training -- human resource investment council;

(viii) Department of health -- division of family health; and

(2) Commissioner of higher education or his or her designee; and

(3) Two young persons with disabilities, two parents of young persons with disabilities, and two representatives of local school districts and one transition coordinator from one of the regional educational collaboratives, appointed by the governor.

(b) The goal of the transition council is to ensure the preparedness of students with disabilities, upon leaving school, to live and work in the community.

(c) The transition council shall draft and propose periodic revisions to the cooperative agreement among the state departments and offices for the provisions of services in the transition of young persons with disabilities from school to self-sufficient adult life. The directors of the state departments and agencies shall sign the cooperative agreement and any revisions, prior to their implementation. The transition council shall oversee the implementation of the cooperative agreement. The council shall issue guidelines or instructions and recommend to the state departments and agencies appropriate directives as are necessary to effectuate the implementation of the cooperative agreement. The transition council shall develop joint plans, for state departments and agencies and local school districts for providing transition services to assist young persons with disabilities. The transition council shall, after hearing from the public, issue an annual report to the governor, children's cabinet, and general assembly on the status of transition services and recommendations for improving opportunities for young persons with disabilities to make a successful transition from school to self-sufficient adult life.

(d) Individualized transition planning will be initiated by the school district to include the young person with a disability, guardian, general education and special education personnel as appropriate, vocation technical education, and representatives of any party to the delivery and implementation of the individual plan. Transition planning will begin by age sixteen (16) and, when determined appropriate in the individualized education program, at age fourteen (14) or younger for each eligible young person with a disability and shall be reviewed and updated annually.

(e) As used in this section:

(1) "Transition services" means a coordinated set of activities for a young person with a disability, designed within an outcome oriented process, that promotes movement from school to post-school activities including postsecondary education, vocational training, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation. The activities shall be based on the needs of the individual young person with a disability, taking into account the young person with a disability's preferences and interests; and shall include needed activities in the areas of:

(i) Instruction:

(ii) Community experiences;

(iii) The development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives; and

(iv) If appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation.

(2) "Young person(s) with a disability" means those students:

(i) Evaluated in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. section 1400 et seq., as having mental retardation, hearing impairments including deafness, speech or language impairments, visual impairments including blindness, serious emotional disturbance, orthopedic impairments, autism, traumatic brain injury, other health impairments, specific learning disabilities, deaf-blindness, or multiple disabilities; or

(ii) Who because of those impairments needs special education and related services, and

(iii) Age sixteen (16) and, when determined appropriate in the individualized education program, at age fourteen (14) or younger.

SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.

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