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Exploring Careers: Information for Parents of Students With Disabilities (Pennsylvania Department of Education)


Beginning at age 14, or sooner if the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team determines that it is appropriate, transition planning becomes the foundation for the development of the IEP. Transition planning begins with exploring interests and preferences to identify the student’s goals for postsecondary training, employment, and independent living. The IEP team needs to design transition services and activities that allow students to explore careers as part of their educational program. As a parent/guardian, you provide important input and support in helping your child to explore careers and to choose a career path.

Why should my child explore careers?

As part of the transition planning process, your child needs to explore and investigate many career options. Active participation in career exploration activities will help your child become aware of the many career opportunities available and the steps needed to reach his/her career goals. Career exploration includes:

  • Understanding the work environments of interesting careers;
  • Exposing your child to careers he/she may have never considered;
  • Discovering the various types of post-high school education and training, as well as their costs; and,
  • Understanding the accommodations that may be needed to accomplish his/her career goals.


All Disabilities Employment High School Middle School Parent/Family Professional Resources Transition