"Transition" is defined as the passage from one place to another. Transition services address preparing students for adult life, including movement from school to post-secondary education, employment, and independent living. Transition is the process that requires both short-term and long-range planning and coordination between the student, parents, teachers, school administrators, adult service providers, and other professionals.

South Dakota mandates that transition services be addressed by age 16 for all students on an Individual Education Plan (IEP). This includes appropriate measureable post-secondary goals, which need to be updated annually. Depending on individual student needs transition services may begin earlier.

This Transition Program is a joint effort between the South Dakota School for the Blind (SDSBVI) and the Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired (SBVI). The Transition Specialist is available to assist students 14-21 years of age, their families, and school personnel in the development and implementation of an appropriate transition program at no cost to better prepare them for future employment and independent living.

A variety of individualized services are available through our Transition Specialist.

  • Facilitate communication between SBVI rehabilitation counselors, families, local school districts, and service provides.
  • Provide technical assistance, consultation, and training to students, parents, local school districts, and service providers.
  • Provide information on transition processes, including legal responsibilities, as well as help in the development and implementation of Individual Education Plans (IEP).
  • Provide information on post high school training, education, and independent living options.
  • Assist in preparation for potential employment.
  • Assist in securing appropriate work experience through the Project Skills Program.
  • Assist employers to evaluate potential jobs and provide suggestions for workplace modifications and adaptations.

Referrals can be made by parents, school administrators, teachers, eye care specialists, agencies, and concerned individuals.

For more information or to make a referral, please contact Kiersten Sombke, Transition Specialist at 605-626-2995, 605-626-2234 or 1-888-275-3814 or by email at

Kiersten Sombke

Kiersten Sombke
Transition Specialist
605-626-2955 or 605-626-2234

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