Career Development and Transition Services: A Functional Life Skills Approach (4th Edition)

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9780130485069: Career Development and Transition Services: A Functional Life Skills Approach (4th Edition)

The long-awaited revision of this classic book again offers a thorough, sensitive overview of the concepts and applications of transition education. Coverage takes a whole-life approach to meeting the functional/ transitional needs of students and adults for whom a career-oriented educational environment is optimal, including those who could benefit from community college programs. Based on the widely-used Life-Centered Career Education (LCCE) program, this book provides teaching strategies that focus on twenty-two major competency areas embracing daily living, personal/social, and occupational skills. Complete with a step-by-step program for implementing a school curriculum that teaches career and life skills, this is the book that defined the transition course in Special Education. For special education teachers.

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About the Author:

Dorn E. Brolin was a professor emeritus of educational and counseling psychology at the University of Missouri in Columbia. He received his Ph.D. in special education and rehabilitation psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1969. Dorm was the first president of the Division on Career Development and Transition (1976-1978) of The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and, in 1990, received CEC's prestigious J. E. Wallace Wallin Education of Handicapped Children Award which honors one professional each year who has made outstanding contributions to the education of children with disabilities. His professional activities and projects focused on educational consulting and writing with a major focus on validating, improving, and expanding the educational materials contained in his Life Centered Career Education (LCCE) Curriculum published by The Council for Exceptional Children.

Robert J. Loyd is an associate professor of special education at the Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, Georgia. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1987. Bob began working with Donn Brolin on the Life Centered Career Education Curriculum programs in 1983 and continues his work after Dr. Brolin's untimely passing. Bob's major contribution to Dr. Brolin's work has been the development of the Life Centered Career Educatior Curriculum for Students with Moderate Disabilities. His professional activities and projects focus on writing with a major focus on validating, improving, and expanding the educational and assessment materials for students with moderate disabilities. Dr. Loyd's major program materials include an LCCE Moderate Pictorial Knowledge Battery (PKB), LCCE Moderate Performance Assessment Batteries (PABs), 19 Competency Units, and Family Unit Notebooks (FUN).

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Beginning in the 1970s, many professionals and parents envisioned and predicted that by the twenty-first century, schools would be preparing most students with disabilities with the skills to achieve successful adult outcomes. Nevertheless, as we progress through this first decade of the twenty-first century and after more than 30 years since the enactment of the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (PL. 94-142) in 1975, we are still finding that many schools have not totally met this prognostication.

Ironically, it was during my first year of teaching special education that PL. 94-142 was enacted. I remember that we neophytes, along with experienced special educators, spent many hours analyzing the law's novel provisions and had such hopes that the programs we were developing would be the remedy for preparing all students for successful community living and working.

I am not saying that schools haven't gotten better, because there have been significant improvements made to this landmark legislation. The law's reauthorizations have continually made strides toward the integration of students into general education and instillation of more equity between the general and special education systems. But still, after more than 30 years, I am still somewhat bewildered as to why we have not significantly (a) improved the personalized transitional outcomes of young adults with disabilities, (b) prepared students to become self-determined, (c) enhanced young adults' quality of life, and (d) developed systems of reliable alliances to provide follow-along support.

Maybe I am unrealistic and naive to expect that in this period of time the field could achieve such a goal. However, we currently do have many innovative and effective field-validated functional transitional curricular methods and materials available for preparing students with special learning and/or behavior needs for achieving this critical goal.

Have state and local educational agencies responded to the cry for reform to restructure their programs to better meet the personalized transitional needs of their students with special learning and/or behavior needs? Or, are most schools still providing, or emphasizing even more, the traditional standard academic-oriented curriculum that presents unwarranted stress, frustration, and failure experiences for the many students with special learn ing and/or behavior needs? If so, why don't schools make the changes to meet the personalized transitional needs of these students who have the potential to become independent, functioning members of their communities?

If the purpose of education is to prepare all students to realize their potential so they can function successfully in society, schools will need to provide flexible options for these students who need a modified curriculum to meet their special learning and/ or behavior needs. If educators and others spend the time and effort to restructure their programs and attitudes appropriately, all students, including those requiring a modified curriculum, can become productive citizens.

Attitudes must change! Educators, family members, agency workers, employers, and most importantly the general public must believe that almost every student with serious academic learning and/or behavior difficulties can be prepared to function as productive citizens who can live and work successfully in their communities. They must believe that it is their joint responsibility to ensure that all students' potentials are realized. It is my firm belief that this goal is attainable if all stakeholders/reliable alliances develop and provide a more substantive systematic transitional program that emphasizes the appropriate blend of academic and functional skills instruction. Such a program must begin prior to the elementary years and requires the active involvement of the student's family along with many local support resources. The program must be built on the concepts of the career education movement of the 1970s and the transition approach of the 1980s that continued throughout the last part of twentieth century but which has not yet been widely adopted by the majority of schools. As the old adage goes, "Everyone is for change, unless it is they that have to do it!"

In this book, a comprehensive functional life skills curriculum model and framework is presented. This curricular approach—Life Centered Career Education (LCCE) Mild/Moderate Curriculum—has evolved over more than 25 years and has stood the test of time. LCCE provides the guidelines and specific information to interface with the academic curriculum, to form a comprehensive, functional K-12 life skills approach for students who need such an approach to become productive and independent members of their community. Numerous school districts throughout the country have adopted the model and are using its methods and materials to provide a more functional life skills approach that will eventually lead their students to a successful transition to community living and working. Examples of the efforts of several schools are presented. In addition to the LCCE Mild/Moderate Curriculum approach, several other models and curriculum materials and resources are covered so that readers may consider and secure information on them if they warrant further investigation.

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