Transition Planning for Secondary Students with Disabilities (2nd Edition)

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9780131123779: Transition Planning for Secondary Students with Disabilities (2nd Edition)

For Transition, Secondary Special Education and Career Education/Vocational Transition courses. Redesigned to focus more directly on supporting teachers and professionals in developing and implementing transition activities, this comprehensive text provides broad coverage of transition content, organized around the four essential elements of transition: 1)context, 2)programs, 3)planning, and 4)outcomes. The coverage encompasses the full spectrum of transition, from its legislative policy base, through the maturing disability rights movement and government initiatives, to specific ideas for teaching everyday transition activities. The books goal is to advocate services based on each learners' own needs, interests, and preferences; achieving a desirable quality of life and to ensure effective transitioning.

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Beyond the meaning of everyday learning and living, all students, on varying timetables and with individual urgency, take on a future orientation during the high school years. Looming in the background is the question, "What am I going to do after high school?" The importance of high school programs and transition activities directly relates to the degree to which they provide learning and experiences that will move students toward or clarify their transition goals. For the student to have an investment in their education, meaningful participation in the "right" programs is essential. For students with disabilities, access is necessary to realize the benefits of participation in regular education, vocational education, and school-to-work programs as well as transition and special education programs. Transition Planning for Secondary Students with Disabilities (Second Edition) describes the varied transition needs of students with disabilities and the myriad options and career paths potentially available.

The purpose of education and transition is to move students towards selected postschool outcomes. Quality of life is the major benchmark of the individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) as assessed through the careers and lifestyles achieved by students. Make no mistake about it. As logical and principled as these assumptions are, there are many competing forces on the national educational agenda. For one, standardized test scores are viewed by some stakeholder groups as the major focus of educational efforts. From a transition perspective, academic achievement is considered very important, but academic achievement alone is insufficient for successful postschool outcomes. Moreover, contextualized and authentic learning in which academics are embedded shows better learner outcomes than academic subjects taught in the abstract.

Since education is a cultural process, new educators need to identify their values and determine which actions are consistent with them. Do we care whether our students enjoy successful careers, meaningful relationships, and community membership? Do we care whether students obtain the best possible foundation to launch them into their young lives? If you answered yes to these two questions, then you will be motivated to learn how transition needs can be met in an academic achievement environment and you will read this book with interest.

The Second Edition

Transition Planning for Secondary Students with Disabilities (Second Edition) provides broad coverage of transition content, ranging from the legislative-policy base to specific transition activities. A framework of four essential elements of transition provides themes to organize each chapter, connecting content across chapters and topics. The resulting integration of policy and practice systematically builds the reader's understanding and provides guidelines for daily transition activities.

The redesign of this text focused on how to support the inservice and preservice teacher or professional in developing and implementing transition activities that meet a dual criteria. Foremost, the outcomes of special education and achieving a quality of life must remain the broad educational framework from which to judge the merits of transition efforts. Just as important, the process of transition provides the means to these goals. Students achieving quality of life outcomes for themselves is partly dependent on a service system with integrity—basing services on students' needs, interests, and preferences, providing an outcome orientation and planning processes, and effectively coordinating all the services required. When these activities result in movement toward student goals, they are on the right track. The four essential elements are a quality check on whether things are being done right.

These two broad goals of transition outcomes and process were embedded in the major reorganization of the content of this text. On the surface, redundancies and the number of chapters were reduced. Also, chapters and concepts are presented in a more logical sequence. Finally, organization of the content reflects, more than the first edition, transition issues confronted at the high school level and problem-solving strategies.

Section I, Transition Contexts: Implementing Transition Systems, provides the broad background that is required to understand the complex developmental and education process that takes place from early adolescence through young adulthood. A new Chapter 1, Life Satisfaction and Productive Futures, provides an evolution of issues of adolescence, a quality-of-life framework, and the four essential elements. The field of transition is traced within a framework of the maturing disability rights movement and government initiatives. The chapter shows that requirements and the need for transition services are no longer debatable. The legislation, models, and exemplary practices that have been developed over the roughly 50 years of the modern era are described in Chapters 2 and 3, as before, but in a streamlined fashion. A more accessible format is used for the theoretical base of career development presented in Chapter 4, as well. A career development framework remains central to enabling the transition team to view the student as evolving and maturing, and to providing a general approach for fitting the student's transition goals within high school programs and preparation options.

As in the first edition, Section II, Transition Programs: Creating a Transition Perspective of Education, moves from the foundations of transition addressed in Section I to its programmatic implementation at the high school level. The four chapters in this section provide the application of career theory to career and technical education, curriculum options and course of study, and the implementation of these programs through valid assessment and effective instruction. Assessment practices show how to monitor and evaluate programs to ensure success, and instruction and the use of technology guarantee access to these programs as well as a full range of optimizing life and career opportunities.

In order to fill in the practices implied in a broad framework, Section II is completely reconceptualized and features three new chapters. As in the prior edition, the section starts with transition assessment, which is important in identifying future environments and the students' needs, interests, and preferences. Transition is unique in that the process always starts with the students' goals and their related postschool outcomes.

The three remaining chapters in succession describe and illustrate: a) a model for general education curriculum that incorporates transition, b) instructional strategies that work, and c) transition services as prescribed in IDEA. The information presented will allow transition teams to guide students toward a high school course of study consistent with their transition goals. The further application of the methods and strategies described fully informs team members to support student movement toward their goals. At times, students with disabilities will be educated and supported in completing high school courses and requirements much like other students but with necessary accommodations and transition services. However, if necessary, the transition team and teachers must make choices that implement career and technical preparation, in conjunction with academic content and life skill areas, that prepare the student for his or her individually chosen transition outcomes. When these choices are integrated and assembled across the student's profile of educational and transition strengths and needs they become an individualized curriculum.

Integrated throughout all chapters are descriptions of several of the technologies available that allow students to access the full range of curricular and postschool options that lead to a quality adult life. Team members are provided with the processes needed for investigating and making decisions about technology and transition services that will lead to long-term satisfaction with careers and chosen life styles.

Section III, Transition Planning: Planning for Transition to Adulthood, moves from a discussion of programs in rehabilitation and special, general, and career and technical education to a discussion of how these programs can be integrated into transition planning and program development for youth with disabilities. These four chapters can be viewed as a technical manual that describes how to weave policy, promising practices, and a myriad of programs and services into transition activities that promote student self-determination, effective transition planning, service coordination, and family involvement.

Chapter 9 presents an in-depth look at how students move from passive spectators to involved decision makers, and a step-by-step process for supporting students in this process. Chapter 10 describes working with families from a multicultural perspective so that professionals can best guide and support families in working with their children toward postschool goals.

With the student and family at the center of the process, Chapter 11 moves the reader through the process of developing a transition planning process, preplanning for the IEP meeting, conducting that meeting, and evaluating progress. Still included in Chapter 11 is a question and answer section that can be helpful to parents and professionals in dealing with the jargon of transition. The section concludes with Chapter 12, which talks about transition service coordination from both an individual and systemic perspective. Overall, Section III describes a planning process that places the family and the student in a central position so that exemplary practices can be supportive of their hopes for adult life in the community.

Section IV, Transition Outcomes: Achieving Quality Outcomes, makes concrete the issue of employment, postsecondary education, recreation and leisure, and independent living with fo...

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