Federal Law - IDEA PART B

MA Regulations 603CMR 28.00 - all sections

Federal Law - Definitions Under IDEA

Massachusetts  Advisories


The information on the following pages emphasizes key points, re-iterates answers to frequently asked questions and explains some of the processes used in Arlington from a parent’s point of view.  You must read the full text of the laws themselves to be fully informed.



There are two periods of transition during the special education process:


  1. In toddlerhood, when a child moves from early intervention into the public special education system at 3 years of age.  This aspect of transition will be addressed under “Pre-school”.
  2. In Massachusetts when the child turns 14 years of age, preparation must begin for secondary transition out of special education and into the adult world.


As your child approaches adulthood you need to start considering where they want to go in life, what job will they do?  Will they go to college?  Are they prepared to perform activities of daily living; e.g. laundry, riding public transportation, dealing with finances, whether it’s making change or balancing a checkbook.  What skills will they need to be independent, and if independence is not possible, what services will be required?     


Massachusetts regulations require transition planning start when the student is 14 years of age.  The school district must:



Under IDEA Section 300.43 Transition services are a set of activities that are results-oriented, focused on improving the academic and functional achievement to facilitate the child's movement from school to post-school activities.  This includes:




MA DESE provides a Technical Advisory Regarding Transition Services


MA DESE has created a training module regarding the MA transition process and requirements.


The Disability Law Center of Massachusetts has put together a comprehensive Online Manual for parents on transitioning here:



“Planning for Life After Special Education in Massachusetts”




FCSN Transition Topics Listserv

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