Lesson 13: Transition IEP Goals to Prepare Students with Vision Loss for College

Key Considerations

When you reach age 16 as a student who is blind or low vision, your Individualized Education Program (IEP) must include post-secondary goals related to training, education, employment, and independent living skills. Your IEP should also include the amount of specialized services and instruction you need to receive to help you reach the identified goals. By age 16, you should already be learning and practicing the skills you will need to successfully transition into the post-secondary education or training option you have chosen.

Take a minute to think about all of the services and support you are currently receiving as a student with vision loss. Your teacher of students who are blind or low vision (TVI) is most likely advocating with your teachers on your behalf as well as ordering your textbooks in braille or another accessible format. When you needed to learn to navigate a new route on your school campus or in your neighborhood, your Orientation and Mobility Instructor probably took the initiative to make sure you received the training in advance. Perhaps, your parents spoke to or emailed your teachers on your behalf when you did not receive an accommodation you were entitled to as a student who is blind or low vision.

These important professionals and your family members will no longer be able to fill these roles in your education once you graduate from high school. Therefore, it is critical that you learn to be in charge of your educational needs as a student who is blind or low vision as well as acquire the skill set needed for a successful post-secondary experience. Proactively learning these important skills now (before you graduate) with the support of your teachers and parents will make navigating your first semesters of college more successful and less challenging.


Review the list of Transition Goals, which includes tasks you will be responsible for in college or career school.

Schedule a meeting with your TVI and parents to review your current IEP to determine if your goals need to be updated to include specialized instruction in some of the suggested areas. The goals can be revised to meet your individual needs as a student with vision loss.

Transition Goals

  • Independently explain your vision loss to your teachers in simple, non-medical terms. (Measured by the completion of a teacher questionnaire, which indicates the teacher’s comprehensive understanding of your needs.)
  • Independently explain the educational implications of your visual impairment and the accommodations you need to access and participate in each course to your teachers. (Measured by the completion of a teacher questionnaire, which indicates a comprehensive understanding of your needs.)
  • Prior to the beginning of the semester, independently schedule and hold a meeting with your teachers to explain your visual needs and discuss the accommodations you require to be successful. (Measured by the completion of a meeting with each teacher.)
  • Identify and utilize assistive technology to access printed and electronic course materials for all courses. (Measured by documentation of access to the materials.)
  • Independently use a scanner and Optical Character Recognition Software to access course materials on five different occasions.
  • Create a list of at least five resources for acquiring course materials in an alternate format.
  • Independently locate, download, and use at least three books in an alternate format such as an e-book or braille-ready file by the end of the first semester.
  • Identify and acquire all required reading materials for four of seven academic classes by the beginning of the semester.
  • Using an assistive technology device of your choice, create electronic folders for each class according to your schedule with 100 percent accuracy.
  • Retrieve, edit, and save electronic documents in electronic folders for four of seven classes. (Measured by teacher observation of the electronic folders and documents.)
  • Independently email electronic assignments to your teachers for four of seven classes. (Measured by documentation of emails sent to your teacher.)
  • Create a weekly schedule and set priorities to meet a deadline in advance of the due date on at least five occasions during the semester.
  • Use an electronic planner to track assignment due dates, deadlines, scheduled appointments, etc. on a daily basis. (Measured by teacher observation of the planner.)
  • Create a school newspaper ad, a poster, or a flier to solicit the volunteer assistance of a peer to be a human reader in at least one class. (Measured by the completion of the advertisement for assistance.)
  • State five professional behaviors to utilize when interacting with a human reader and demonstrate those five behaviors when a human reader reads materials to you. (Measured by teacher observation of at least three reading sessions.)
  • Create and share a schedule of planned reading sessions with a human reader by using an electronic calendar. (Measured by observation of the completed calendar by the teacher.)
  • Use a human reader to study for and pass a test on three occasions during the semester. (Measured by the test grades.)
  • Listen to a podcast or audio news broadcast on National Public Radio (NPR) and take organized notes. (Measured by scoring at least an eight out of 10 on a comprehensive quiz on five different opportunities.)
  • Independently ask permission to record an instructor’s lecture and record five lectures using digital equipment by the end of the semester.
  • Listen to a recorded class lecture and take organized notes on at least five occasions during the semester. (Measured by teacher review of the notes for efficacy.)
  • Using a digital calendar, independently create and utilize a study schedule for the semester to prepare for midterm and final exams for seven courses. (Measured by observation of the completed calendar.)
  • Independently create and give a PowerPoint presentation on at least two occasions. (Measured by completion of the presentation.)
  • Demonstrate the basic and advanced functions of a word processor to create a document, edit a document, insert information into a document, and format text within a document with 100 percent accuracy on five different observed occasions.
  • Utilize the assistance of the librarian to locate resources for a research paper using the library catalog on at least three occasions. (Measured by the completion of the research.)
  • Locate an e-journal, e-book, and Internet documentation for a research paper on at least five occasions.
  • Six weeks prior to traveling in a new setting, arrange for an orientation and mobility lesson in the community to become oriented to the unfamiliar location.
  • Apply for services from your local Vocational Rehabilitation Office at the earliest possible age. (Measured by documentation of completion of the application process.)
  • Independently arrange a visit and transportation to/from a local college or career school of your choice to meet with a representative from the Office for Students with Disabilities by the end of the semester.
  • Independently contact a post-secondary institution to find out the documentation required to document your visual impairment with the Office for Students with Disabilities and obtain copies of the necessary documentation by the end of the semester.
  • Request a formal Assistive Technology Evaluation for determination of your technology needs as a college or career school student prior to the end of your junior year in high school.
  • Verbally state the two laws that apply to you as a college or career school student who is visually impaired and five ways the laws apply to you with 100 percent accuracy.
  • Identify two steps to follow if you believe your post-secondary institution is discriminating against you as a student with a visual impairment.
  • E-mail a request to [email protected] to obtain a copy of Students with Disabilities Preparing for Post-Secondary Education: Know Your Rights and Responsibilities. (Measured by the receipt of the publication.)