Traditionally, students with significant disabilities, such as autism, mental retardation, or multiple disabilities, receive transition services in a public high school setting until they are 21 or 22 years old. While this is an appropriate setting for students with disabilities during ages 14-18, it may not be the most appropriate or motivating setting for older students with significant disabilities. Growing numbers of parents, researchers, and practitioners are advocating that these older students should receive transition services in the same college and community settings that are experienced by their 19-21 year old peers without disabilities.
This user-friendly book provides a base for those who design, implement, or evaluating transition services for students with significant disabilities in a college or community setting. If you've never had experience in these processes, this book will help you get started. Transition services provided in college and community settings benefit these older students by increasing their access to new environments and activities and by providing opportunities for flexible scheduling and interagency collaboration.
The book has three parts:
Part I: Planning and Development - provides a comprehensive overview of steps necessary to identify the need for and create new transition services. These steps include how to create and convene a planning committee, how to conduct needs assessment activities on current student services and community partnerships, and how to plan for new services or programs outside of the high school.
Part III: Evaluation - overviews a variety of methods used to evaluate transition services, such as compiling data on student and staff activities, gauging participant satisfaction, collecting exit data, and conducting follow-up activities.
Part II: Implementation - describes in detail how to implement new transition services, focusing both on the policy and procedural aspects of service delivery, as well as the daily operations entailed in providing such services. A thorough overview of issues such as staffing, referrals, transportation, and budgets is provided. Also, Part II emphasizes the need for matching college or community setting to the students' learning needs. Examples of how to manage scheduling student supports and monitoring student and staff activities are provided.
Each part contains reproducible copies of all blank forms that can be used by readers. In addition, each form is available on the accompanying CD-ROM in Microsoft Excel format. Users can modify each form to meet individual needs, fill out and update forms via the computer, attach and email forms to others, and maintain computer records of their planning, implementation, and evaluation efforts. The authors have created a number of profiles to illustrate how strategies suggested in this book could be implemented by a fictional public school system. Each example included is based upon real experiences incurred with school system personnel involved in this process. A list of references helps those interested in learning more about this form of transition service delivery. This is a helpful resource that school personnel, families, and students involved with transition services really need and can use.