Technical Assistance to Improve Postsecondary Transition Services

Use of joint discretionary grant funding from the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) in the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) to provide technical assistance (TA) to State Education Agencies (SEAs), Local Educational Agencies (LEAs), State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies (SVRAs), and Career and Technical Education (CTE)


U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos believes in the innate potential of every student and knows that access to high-quality services are an essential part of local, State, and Federal efforts to improve outcomes for all students and youth with disabilities. OSERS is seeking input from the public, particularly SEAs, LEAs, SVRAs, parents and CTE educators, and other relevant stakeholders on how best to provide TA to States in order to improve postsecondary transition services to all students and youth with disabilities. Additionally, OSERS seeks input on how best to strengthen and expand coordination and collaboration with OSERS Parent Training and Information Centers and other relevant TA centers.

In September 2014, OSEP and RSA jointly made a 5-year award to establish and operate the National Technical Assistance Center on Improving Transition to Postsecondary Education and Employment for Students with Disabilities (NTACT/Center). The Center was funded under the TA and Dissemination Program as authorized under sections 663 and 681(d) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 U.S.C. 1463 and 1481(d), and section 303(b) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by Title IV of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C 793(b). The current project period ends on December 31, 2019.

The grant was awarded to provide TA to SEAs, LEAs, SVRAs, and other vocational rehabilitation (VR) service providers to implement evidence-based and promising practices and strategies to ensure that students with disabilities, including those with significant disabilities, exit high school ready for postsecondary success.

Specifically, the current Center has five primary goals that support State’s efforts to improve transition and postsecondary education and employment for students with disabilities:

  1. Youth and young adults with disabilities receive and participate in evidence-based and promising practices in secondary transition services and supports.
  2. SEAs and LEAs implement evidence-based and promising practices and strategies, including early warning and intervention systems to reduce dropout and increase graduation rates.
  3. Students with disabilities participate in career-related curricula so they are prepared for postsecondary employment and careers.
  4. Students with disabilities receive rigorous academic preparation so they are prepared for success in postsecondary education.
  5. SEAs, SVRAs, LEAs, and local VR offices use data-driven decision-making to develop their respective plans and reports.

As a matter of general practice, the Department regularly reviews its investments to ensure the most efficient and effective use of federal funds. Additionally, we consider feedback from the field, including feedback from TA recipients, and we want to hear directly from you what has worked well, what could be improved, and what changes should be considered as we recompete this grant. In particular, we are interested in exploring the provision of TA as it relates to future investments, and are seeking your input across four areas: 1) current challenges, 2) products (that should remain in use and new products needed to address critical needs), 3) strengthening TA, and 4) coordination and collaboration.

To help us in our review, we ask that you only address the following questions in the comment section below. To protect your privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as the name of a child or school personnel, a Social Security number, an address, a phone number or an email address in the body of your comment. Comments containing the aforementioned information, or that do not address the below questions, will not be allowed to remain on this site.

This blog will be open for comments through October 2, 2019.

  1. What challenges are you currently experiencing in serving youth with disabilities between the ages of 14 and 24 who may or may not be in school?
  2. Do the five primary goals described above accurately represent your current challenges and TA needs and support your State’s goals? If not, what do you suggest we remove, revise, or replace?
  3. What kinds of TA tools, resources, or materials developed have been the most useful and relevant to your work?
  4. What kinds of new TA tools, resources, or materials should a U.S. Department of Education-funded TA Center on transition develop in order to most efficiently and effectively support your State’s work in this area?
  5. Are there any new or emerging TA needs or topic areas that a U.S Department of Education-funded TA Center on transition should consider? If not, are there any current TA areas that could be expanded upon or repositioned to better meet your needs?
  6. Should a U.S. Department of Education-funded TA Center on transition continue to identify potential intensive TA sites through an application process or should this process be modified? If modified, what do you suggest?
  7. How can a center on transition best support States in their work of improving collaboration and coordination among SEAs, LEAs, SVRAs, CTE, Parent Information and Training Centers, and other relevant agencies and organizations?

Conclusion

OSERS appreciates your support and suggestions as we continue efforts to expand, strengthen, and improve TA to States in their work to provide high-quality transition services to all students and youth with disabilities and their families.

We look forward to receiving your comments on or before October 2, 2019.

63 Comments

  1. I feel as though there needs to be more contact with parents of students with disabilities and all school leaders, officials. teachers and staff need to be held accountable for not adhering to the guidelines outlined a students IEP and the Department of Education needs to partner with Employers that are willing to come into the schools and/or have students with disabilities shadow employees to learn on the job skills (students with disabilities learn faster and retain more information if they are hands-on), they need to be taught life skills in school, home economics should be apart of their schooling, financial aware (budgeting, the importance of having good credit, the difference in between the credit types and scores). There needs to be a committee that oversees how funding is handled on a state, local and federal level. The parents need to have more involvement when it comes to decision making and changes that need and/or will be made when it comes to students with disabilities.
    My child has not once been asked about job skills nor trained for any sort of job so something needs to be done ASAP.
    The students need to be held accounting when they miss treat students with disabilities and just get a slap on the wrist, teachers need to be trained on how to read an IEP and on how to deal with students with disabilities and each student needs to be treated as person not as if they have something wrong with them no matter the reason they have an IEP.

  2. 1. There are no supports for students with medical complexity.
    2. Agree with the goals except post-secondary education still isn’t the first thought for our kids. Also regarding drop-outs, there must be consideration of mental health issues as 50% of those students drop out. Lastly, there needs to be a focus in independent living skills and collaboration with the Centers for Independent Living.
    3. Best transition tools are from the PTI, Got Transition (health), Arc, and Boggs Center (NJ-AUCD).
    4. Transition as a lifespan issue, not starting at age 14 or 16.
    5. Lack of good programs for those who may not be able to work once school is done.
    6. Yes continue this work but look for solutions “outside the box.”
    7. Partner with CILs as well at PTIs.

  3. 1. What challenges are you currently experiencing in serving youth with disabilities between the ages of 14 and 24 who may or may not be in school? Transportation, access to adult oriented providers who are comfortable in treating a wide range conditions facing our young adults with disabilities.
    2. Do the five primary goals described above accurately represent your current challenges and TA needs and support your State’s goals? If not, what do you suggest we remove, revise, or replace? The five goals are listed as a)Youth and young adults with disabilities receive and participate in evidence-based and promising practices in secondary transition services and supports. b) SEAs and LEAs implement evidence-based and promising practices and strategies, including early warning and intervention systems to reduce dropout and increase graduation rates.
    c) Students with disabilities participate in career-related curricula so they are prepared for postsecondary employment and careers. d) Students with disabilities receive rigorous academic preparation so they are prepared for success in postsecondary education. e) SEAs, SVRAs, LEAs, and local VR offices use data-driven decision-making to develop their respective plans and reports. I would say the 2nd – 4th goals are not being met at this time.
    3. What kinds of TA tools, resources, or materials developed have been the most useful and relevant to your work? Quality improvement projects that offer CME credit and MOC credit that enlist pediatric, family medicine, and internal medicine physicians and their staff along with secondary education staff, social workers, nursing, and local hospital systems to create systems to support young adults with special health care needs would help to make improvements in this issue.
    4. What kinds of new TA tools, resources, or materials should a U.S. Department of Education-funded TA Center on transition develop in order to most efficiently and effectively support your State’s work in this area? A promotion of the resources from Got Transitions within exiting electronic record templates and prompts within electronic records to assess the readiness of youth and parents to transition the young adult to independent living.
    5. Are there any new or emerging TA needs or topic areas that a U.S Department of Education-funded TA Center on transition should consider? If not, are there any current TA areas that could be expanded upon or repositioned to better meet your needs? see #4
    6. Should a U.S. Department of Education-funded TA Center on transition continue to identify potential intensive TA sites through an application process or should this process be modified? If modified, what do you suggest? Absolutely, our youth with special health care needs and their families need continued support and guidance to allow these young adults to live, learn, work, and thrive in a welcoming and supportive environment.
    7. How can a center on transition best support States in their work of improving collaboration and coordination among SEAs, LEAs, SVRAs, CTE, Parent Information and Training Centers, and other relevant agencies and organizations? Enlist the medical community and hospital systems in these efforts.

  4. What challenges are you currently experiencing in serving youth with disabilities between the ages of 14 and 24 who may or may not be in school?
    We need more teachers and para-professionals trained to serve the unique needs. With district funding so tight based on state funding and the funding gap for all LEA’s, we are unable to offer the ongoing specialized training that staff need to support this population. When Education is cut at the federal level it is has significant impact on the services that can be provided. Parents who have advocates and lawyers file for more related services in programs that are for profit and sometimes are not the best programs because of the accountability that is in place. If funding for schools was more realistic to the need then we can retain and attract quality staff and offer robust programs.

    Do the five primary goals described above accurately represent your current challenges and TA needs and support your State’s goals? If not, what do you suggest we remove, revise, or replace?
    Our state, CA is doing a great job of promoting inclusion with the right supports so students with special needs are apart of our schools. They are in fact General Education students first and foremost. In my role, I have been able to build the capacity of administrators and teachers and this has resulted in more inclusion. We still have a long way to go to change mindsets and understand the unique ways in which students learn. Staff should have funding to attend training that keep their skills relevant and learn about opportunities. For example – Thinkcollege.net offers college opportunities for students with special needs. Students should have opportunities beginning with early intervention, and ending with opportunities to be successful in college and career. Funding is needed for Workability Coaches that support and help students identify their career or college aspirations. Pathway programs need to continue to be funded so students can begin to gain the needed skills for many of our hard to fill jobs that as a country we outsource to other countries.

    What kinds of TA tools, resources, or materials developed have been the most useful and relevant to your work?

    What kinds of new TA tools, resources, or materials should a U.S. Department of Education-funded TA Center on transition develop in order to most efficiently and effectively support your State’s work in this area? We are a large country so create a clearing house of best practices and resources that can be shared and utilized. We also need to know about successful practices that are occurring where student outcomes are high. It doesn’t make sense to re-create the wheel but share our knowledge and we all can be successful.

    Are there any new or emerging TA needs or topic areas that a U.S Department of Education-funded TA Center on transition should consider? If not, are there any current TA areas that could be expanded upon or repositioned to better meet your needs?
    The post-secondary options for students as well as Day programs that keep adults with special needs engaged and productive.

    Should a U.S. Department of Education-funded TA Center on transition continue to identify potential intensive TA sites through an application process or should this process be modified? If modified, what do you suggest? Yes – an application makes sense. Make sure the requirements are feasible to achieve. Often times applications are complicated. Provide funding and guidance to LEA’s in completing programs that are needed in their states.

    How can a center on transition best support States in their work of improving collaboration and coordination among SEAs, LEAs, SVRAs, CTE, Parent Information and Training Centers, and other relevant agencies and organizations? I have already answered it. Providing resources and best practice examples and as a country promote real inclusion. Increase funding for supporting parents and getting information out equitable.

  5. My son is 21 and in his last year of high school. We are in southeast Louisiana. The “success for all” mentality seems not to exist when it comes to young adults with more severe needs or disabilities. We were rejected by several day-hab programs because he is tube-fed and requires a little assistance in the bathroom. There is very little understanding or knowledge about HIS transition options from anyone–school, support coordinator, or parent training center. We need options for students with significant disabilities who are exiting schools. Perhaps being able to get information online about day programs so that we can compare them side-by-side, maybe in a grid format. Right now there is no option other than contacting each one by phone, which is tedious and time-consuming.

  6. As we are all aware, students with disabilities require a spectrum of transition supports, depending on their desired post-secondary outcomes. For students who require more intensive supports, are working towards a certificate of completion, and are planning to attend an adult program after graduation, there is discontinuity between the educational entitlement system and the DDA eligibility system. Although there is attrition and turnover in schools, the same concept does not exist in adult programs, which serve people throughout their lifespan. Currently there are not sufficient numbers of adult providers to continue to accept and meet the needs of the transitioning youth. Transition specialists need to be well versed on the changing landscape of the adult systems and start transition activities as soon as possible, including increased community outings and vocational activities. One of the goals missing from the paragraph above is community integration. State or region specific training for transition specialists, teachers, and families could help to address this gap. Additional research looking at the outcomes of students with disabilities who graduate with a certificate of completion could help to determine factors that impact acceptance into adult programs, address needs in the current curriculum, and improve post-secondary outcomes.

  7. The problem starts early. If all students were included they would be included in Reading curriculum and learn to read. That is a whole lot different than skill based teaching. Also social skills needed to succeed in Transition would be natural, learned with practice and great role models. We sell our students with disabilities short when we don’t give them the opportunity to succeed. We segregate them as if workshops were going to exist for them. One must have high expectations if they expect students to transition to work later.

  8. 1. Better training and funding for the case managers who are supposed to help families transition.
    2. All public, private and non-public schools need to have transition coordinators on staff to prepare students and parents.
    3. We need better Day Habilitation programs for transitioning students who are behavioral and aggressive but still have potential in an internship.
    4. Pay staff and 1 on 1’s more, they along with teachers are not paid enough.
    5. All staff working with children or adults with disabilities should have more than a high school education and a few weeks of training. Must have a background in field.
    6. It shouldn’t be so hard to find a placement when you are fully funded by the state. Options are pretty crappy and or just glorified baby sitting.

  9. I attempted to leave feedback the link does not allow for feedback
    Here is feedback that the US department of Education and Special Education should consider. Federal laws and NY state laws are in place. NY state is ranked 50 in segregation, there is no accountability the school districts are not following the law and are doing so without accountability. How in the world can Post Secondary and transitional outcomes get better when all the kids in NY state are segregated?????the districts are restrictive in GE setting access, GE Curriculum, restrictive in time spent with typical peers. When you separate these kids there will be no success at post and transitional. Look at the root of the problem no bandaids. Enforcement and accountability of inclusion and NATURALLY post secondary and transitional services will have improve results. I have been fighting for 4 years for any kind of inclusion for my sone with Down Syndrome. They will not even let him have lunch with the kids

  10. I think more investment needs to made into programs such as the city connections programs through Pittsburgh Public school. This program does a nice job at transitioning into adulthood with a focus of lifeskills and work. So many lifeskills class rooms are either too focus on career that they loose sight of lifeskills or are too focused on easy topics to train in the classroom instead of community experience. Also the OVR programs only help with career in a very limited capacity.

  11. I have only one major issue. Pa.. Does not have any facilities in our county, or surrounding ..that I can take my daughter with a nurse at a day program. She turned 21. No more wheelchairs, therapy, (thats a big one) day programs for more severely handicapped, and resources and case management is a joke here.

  12. It is like what challenges are we not facing as parents of students with disabilities:
    there is such double standard, the IEP team in schools dont have any clue about college level programs for students with ID, I dont know what makes people think literacy can be more functional after high school, reading is life long, I dont know how come there is so much stigma around college education for students with ID, we all went to college and got higher education which then gave us more learning and knowledge to make better decisions, the high school teams stops academic inclusion in freshman year for my son, we had to push and fight for all four years. Academics is as important as any other aspects of transition, I dont know why someone esle decides what my son should do and should’nt do, I advocate for post secondary education and college for students with ID

  13. I am commenting as a parent. The need to develop valuable academic and transition programming for twice exceptional students (high intelligence coupled with low social, executive function and emotional regulation skills) is profound. Transition plans must have concise academic, vocational and life skill goals that are individualized for the student and recognize the potential for learning throughout the lifespan. Transitioning out of K-12 education at 21 with no opportunity for continued learning and skills training is incredibly short sighted. Some students are lucky to reside in LEAs that attempt to provide transition services. They often fall short due to lack of resources to assist in curriculum development and staff training. Resources for districts and staff are fractured. There simply is no single resource to which someone can turn for help developing in these areas while continuing to learn.

    Beyond the school level, the lack of coordination among community resources is appalling. Students exiting out of districts are unaware of what state and non-profit resources are available and how to apply. Human service agencies struggle to connect with potential clients because there is very little information on who is entering the market each year at graduation.

    For transition to improve, there needs to be accountability. For example, state VRs must demonstrate what innovative solutions and programming they develop and support, precisely how WIOA funds are being used and include data in annual reporting to support their assertions. This will alleviate state VR from “sitting on” the 15% WIOA required for transition.

  14. Transition planning should be mandated to start much earlier than what IDEA suggests.

    A true transition assessment plan should be done for each student and treated like an IEP. It should be updated at least annually as skills and interests change.

    Access to various on the job training programs, whether in the school or outside of the school, should be available so students are better prepared to go to work.

    Guidance counselors should be trained to work with students on identifying post-secondary opportunities, and removing barriers to access those opportunities.

    Rehabilitation services are grossly understaffed so they are not attending most transition meetings because their schedules are made months in advance and they are invited to meetings a week or two in advance, if at all.

    Parents need to feel supported and encouraged when pursuing post secondary opportunities.

    Mandatory annual in house TA provided to each district. Pro-active vs reactive.

    Accountability for TA centers AND districts. TA centers can develop a plan of action for the district (an IEP of sorts) and implement measurable goals!

  15. 1. What challenges are you currently experiencing in serving youth with disabilities between the ages of 14 and 24 who may or may not be in school?
    I am a parent. My child recently graduated with a 3.9/4.0 GPA and experienced very little transition support during high school and virtually none currently. We continue to try to negotiate a bewildering and fragmented set of government systems with seemingly opaque rules. My student, on the autism spectrum, is very bright, wants to go to pursue higher education and meaningful work, but needs assistance in social or soft skills to better integrate into social/school/work life. Graduation should have been a joyful celebration but instead kicked off the reality and depression for my student that they are on their own. I have stopped work to fill the role of transition coach providing transportation, planning and skill building activities, and emotional wellness to avoid my student from becoming lost for years like so many other young adults on the spectrum. In our case, the relative need is small and not costly and the lack of that help is, for now at least, losing two productive and tax paying members of our society.
    2. Do the five primary goals described above accurately represent your current challenges and TA needs and support your State’s goals? If not, what do you suggest we remove, revise, or replace?
    5 goals:
    1.Youth and young adults with disabilities receive and participate in evidence-based and promising practices in secondary transition services and supports. ANSWER: In our experience this goal was not even close to being met. The school system pushed my student (and several others) off an IEP to a 504 since they got good grades and weren’t “disabled enough” for an IEP. They must feel the need to do this because of the burden to assist the students. How can we make the system more doable for all parties? Disabilities is a wide net. I’d suggest breaking down the evidence based and promising practices when implementing. Measurements (the right measurements) can help with accountability and starting much younger than 14 will spread the teaching/learning to be more manageable and effective for both the educators and students.
    2. Don’t know enough to comment.
    3. Students with disabilities participate in career-related curricula so they are prepared for postsecondary employment and careers. ANSWER: Seems like a good goal to have. We didn’t see much evidence. My student did participate in a VR summer program working at Goodwill which was helpful and that was about it. See the answer to #1. The school said that the personal finance class that all students are required to take is my student’s preparation. Trained and sufficient staff, starting earlier than 14 and individualizing at least somewhat to the type of disability would be an enhancement.
    4. Students with disabilities receive rigorous academic preparation so they are prepared for success in postsecondary education. ANSWER: There is a lot to “academic preparation”. Intellect was not an issue for my student, but executive functioning, how to successfully manage the interpersonal interactions with peers and educators was highly stressful and had little support. You can be smart enough to know the material but absolutely fail at executive functioning or if you feel ill at ease or don’t know how best to navigate in our very social world. My suggestion is think broader on this.
    5. Don’t know enough to comment.

    3. through 5. Don’t know enough to comment, but would ask for consideration in the following areas:
    -More training for students that are “2E” or twice exceptional. These high ability and high potential students are languishing because they don’t fit in the current system to address disabilities.
    -Ability to partner with non-profit organizations and or providers in the community that DO understand our students and can help them with the transition to work and or higher education. Perhaps grants to fund research/ community service provider or nonprofit / school emphasizing cross collaborative learning and capturing of information to inform promising models for wider dissemination. Similar to HRSA grants to spur innovation in rural healthcare models.
    -Public transportation is not available or practical to use in our part of the country. Assistance with either some sort of transportation or specialized or extended driving lessons may allow my student to be able to drive independently.

  16. Continue needed therapies in schools to students with SEVERE autism beyond age 16. Currently they are sent off campus to be trained for a menial jobs and they don’t need 6 years to learn how to pick up trash or fold towels.

    Provide continuing education beyond age 22 as any other human has the right to. Autism is not a static condition and these individuals can continue to progress. They have life long needs that are ignored right now.

  17. 1. What challenges are you currently experiencing in serving youth with disabilities between the ages of 14 and 24 who may or may not be in school?

    School Districts in schools need more funding to provide a more extensive work experience program for 14-22 year olds.

    2. Do the five primary goals described above accurately represent your current challenges and TA needs and support your State’s goals?

    Yes these are the goals of California and our district.
    3. What kinds of TA tools, resources, or materials developed have been the most useful and relevant to your work?

    Our District uses SEIS as do a majority of districts in California. It would be beneficial for the state if all districts used the same system as it is challenging to get special education records from districts, especially for homeless and foster youth.

    4. What kinds of new TA tools, resources, or materials should a U.S. Department of Education-funded TA Center on transition develop in order to most efficiently and effectively support your State’s work in this area?

    If the state could create an affordable on-line transition curriculum, like “Unique Learning System: the most complete, current and research-based instructional support available for your special education program. Easily set up your class schedule and student data, create lesson plans, view point-of-use standards alignment and monitor progress toward mastery—all from our powerful Teacher Dashboard, designed to help you do the important work of providing every student with meaningful access to learning and lifelong opportunities,” this would assist.
    5. Are there any new or emerging TA needs or topic areas that a U.S Department of Education-funded TA Center on transition should consider? If not, are there any current TA areas that could be expanded upon or repositioned to better meet your needs?

    School Districts need more financial resources to meet the needs of our students.

    6. Should a U.S. Department of Education-funded TA Center on transition continue to identify potential intensive TA sites through an application process or should this process be modified? If modified, what do you suggest?

    Again resources to assist districts with monetary sources specifically to meet the transition needs of students is needed.

    7. How can a center on transition best support States in their work of improving collaboration and coordination among SEAs, LEAs, SVRAs, CTE, Parent Information and Training Centers, and other relevant agencies and organizations?

    What has worked to streamline resources in our district is create a Local Partnership Agreement with our local Regional Center. It takes time, and is always a work in progress, but the payoffs are significant for our adults aged 18-22. CTE classes that are designed to meet the needs of our disabled adults at local community colleges is a need in our area.

  18. Whenever we asked about transition services, we were told to wait until junior year of high school. I asked every year since my daughter turned 14. They need more people/staff trained to assist in transition services, specifically job training. They need buy in from the community, businesses to support this. Some kind of public school, private business partnership.

  19. School districts should begin a transitional education prep program and parent informational initiatives as early as 3rd grade for students with disabilities. School districts need to optimize opportunities to infuse curriculum steeped in innovative technology and resources to garner students’ interest in the use of technology. School district must establish mandatory curricula and guidelines specific to Vocation, Communication, Job-Readiness, Self-Advocacy, and/or Independent Living. A significant number of schools across the US do not have specific curriculum in which teachers and parents alike can work collaboratively to address the preferences, strengths, and weaknesses of students with disabilities continuously throughout a students’ k-12 learning experiences. Life-Plan portfolios are necessary and should become “the” reflective guide, which facilitates a focused, yet, evolving action-plan. Too often, students and parents come to the pivotal point when decisions are being considered regarding post-high school and the Transition ARD fails to meet/address the needs of the student and family. The effects of districts’ fail in addressing the needs for technology-infused Life-Plans are distressingly realized many years post-high school. With Life-Plan curriculum for students with disabilities, educators, administrators, clinical teams, and families are given a transparent guide in which meaningful connections can be made, questions addressed and resolved in ways which promote the best outcomes for students as adult learners. So, what does this look like? We all remember being asked the question, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” That question and the explicit guide to seeking plausible answers are even more crucial to students with disabilities and their care-givers. Beginning in grades 3-5, parents should exponentially be involved through case management and home visits opportunities to directly influence the outline and development of their child’s Life-Plan Portfolio, this would be in addition to and as a beneficial supplement toward the effective Annual ARD process. Each Annual ARD’s goal is to increase the likelihood of students ability to attain the highest possible levels of functional progress, self-advocacy, and independence; by providing access to a curriculum enriched with technology solutions, students and caregivers can have access and thereby become more familiar with the plethora of community resources and networking. The IEP then becomes a living document! The realistic goals and objectives aligned to students’ Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance (PLAAFP) have more clarity and in-debt meaning to parents, students, and all relevant stakeholders.

  20. Transition outcomes and services need to start earlier than ages 14 or 15.
    High school is not enough time, with all the graduation requirements, to work on soft skills, self-determination, career awareness and training.
    Students with more significant needs are many times not given opportunities to learn work skills that lead to competitive integrated employment. Rural areas need more resources and collaboration from the DD system and DVR system to assist districts with minimal financial options.

  21. 1. What types of vocational experiences and transition services can be provided to students who have significant muscular and/or cognitive limitations? Should transition services look the same for every student ages 18-21? What if the family is not interested in paid work for their youth? Should they receive school-based transition services? What might the school day look like for a range of students; in other words, should everyone be on the same schedule or should it be tailored to individual need?
    2. You might consider incorporating parents into the fifth goal.
    3. I am not a direct TA recipient.
    4. Downloadable materials describing and/or summarizing: a. best practices in transition education for ages 18-21; b. best practices for various levels of cognition c. Specific strategies tailored to vocational education, community-based education, and classroom instruction for transition programs. d. A library or database of materials. e. a website highlighting examples of effective programs

    5. Project SEARCH is growing in popularity. Two drawbacks: a. it is very expensive to implement. b. It is geared to support a handful of students who are hand-picked for success. How can this model be applied to more students who might not have the maturity and work ethic that Project SEARCH requires? How can districts address the expectations of Employment First with less money? If all students are expected to be employed, how can we address vocational education with fewer staff?

    7. Provide information via website so that information learned over the past 5 years can be shared and benefit everyone. Include success stories or processes used to support schools which might be duplicated at a local level. Share lessons learned.

  22. More awareness is needed so that schools realize that technical assistance is available. When I started teaching transition-aged (18-21) youth, our group of teachers tried to find research and guidelines. This was around 2008. We had a good program in place due to some PD when it was redesigned around 2000, but we wanted to do some fine tuning. We just couldn’t find anything. For example, what should community based instruction look like? What should the school day look like? Should it be the same length school day, realizing that some students are on the bus longer to get to the centralized site? Should students be in a classroom for several hours a day? How much time should be spent on community based instruction? How should a district manage varying levels of students, from nonverbal, paraplegic to those who have some minimal work experience or who may be ready for paid employment in the near future? With budget cuts and new administration, the program was recently redesigned as a one size fits all program which restricted teachers’ ability to tailor activities to individual needs. This type of information would be valuable.

  23. 1.There is a lack of accountability of quality of the process
    2. There is a lack of qualified and experienced providers to meet the needs of a large number of students
    3. There is a denigration of CTPs in higher education institutions
    4. Lack of understanding of the certifications that CTPs in higher ed offer and an unwillingness to provide support for them
    5. Much of the collateral success in employment beyond the specific job skills are learned by experience in integrated settings, such as CTPs in higher ed. This includes self determination, social skills, practical living, safety and transportation transportation.
    6. Expansion of the demand side, employers, needs to be considered and addressed. Just working with the supply side, without true preparation for real work contexts ( not just job skills but the collaterals needed for success) is inadequate. Social service workers do not understand private sector workplaces.
    7. Reorganizing services without expanding capacity is not going to make a dent in employment.

  24. 1. No, we basically have door #1 and door#2. Door#1 helps students try to use an agenda and all students get the same goals regardless of diagnosis, baseline or capacity with some activities that relate to social skills. Door#2 is just the agenda type work and no social skills. The agenda work includes trying to teach the students how to find their homework on-line but the system doesn’t work and information is not accessible even to the teacher so this is a full on fail.

    Giving a student a chrome book, lacking appropriate software. There is no process. Each teacher needs to be engaged with independently but there are no clear goals and no comprehension of the students capabilities because his true diagnosis of autism as Jan stated earlier in this blog, is obfuscated and actually denied by the District. What is done is opposite of what should be done and the IEP, as implemented is causing severe trauma and achieving failing grades, which no-one bothers to address and then given a C to pass to the grade and avoid having the IEP challenged.

    Access to transition services until the student demonstrates proficiency at their cognitive level.

    2. Absolutely missing here in our district. No support is given until a student has failed. Even up to 3 Fs out of 5, is not enough. Not until the student has all Fs will someone consider making a change in the IEP but it will be a meaningless change. Students have to leave or be homeschooled if they want an education in our district. In fact, there is an effort to drive special needs family out of the district to minimize expenses. The schools have a stack of lawyers to intimidate and take families to court to make examples out of them so families will leave or not ask for support. Search OAH and OCR for PAUSD and you will see.

    3. No. They are not included in the rich college speaker and visiting college representative programs. When asked to participate, the IEP folks said no.

    4. Absolutely not! Here’s what happens, a twice-exceptional student recognized by John Hopkins as one of international High Honors student for mathematical, verbal and spatial abilities (Among the top 20% of all John Hopkins students correlating to the top .1 of 1% of all students) enters his high school and is failed and forced to drop out before more harm is done. The schools also do not provide any life skills, social pragmatic support, no extra-curricular support and no classroom education so inclusion doesn’t work and the student is isolated and failing.

    The schools do not know how to education many special needs kids and are incapable of educating 2E autistic students. These student leave more traumatized than they entered and definitely not independent which will cost the government hundreds of thousands over a lifetime. Instead of developing into an elite performer in their area of strength, they will need to be cared for.

    If it takes extra years to gain what they did not gain in public school, charge it back to the public school. Audit schools receiving federal funds for the capacity to successfully deliver lawful education to twice-exceptional students and hold them accountable. Many IEPs do not meet the lawful requirements, either in content or in characterization.

    The Office of Administrative Hearing has bias towards the school and the judges are not knowledgeable about twice-exceptional students. All that apparently is relevant is that the kid is passed to the next grade and not about the trauma suffered to even get a C when they are capable of much more. So the system is broken and there is nowhere to go for help for these suffering children that public schools are developing into dependent adults.

    My public school system in CA (PAUSD) does not have the capability or desire to invest in providing twice-exceptional (profoundly cognitively gifted but with executive function and social deficits) students FAPE or using public funds lawfully to ensure students make progress towards independence. They are not protecting from bullying and the teachers are the first to shame them. This is public knowledge among the families and the local press but the schools continue to gaslight with renewed promises that are yet to amount to any material improvement. There is bias against special needs, minorities and low-income students so they get inferior support and perform worse than the white and non-low income group. Currently special needs students are at 20% college ready compared to the entire district rate of 60%.

    5. No. The data they do use is flawed because they manipulate it. They do no list the right diagnosis. Almost everything is other health impairment. They change the name of classes but the content is the something that already didn’t work. The IEPs are the schools story and not the students reality. They do not track failures and they say everything they offer works in court and to parents at the same time teacher’s self-report they are failing 50% of special needs kids. My district is required to provide OCR data and they are providing invalid data.

    In conclusion, no effective transition program exists. IF they graduate, they are not prepared for college or independent living.

    These students need:
    1. True and effective executive functioning support. We do not have this in our schools and it’s the foundational deficit.
    2. Protection from humiliation and denial of medically and neurologically required support.
    3. An actual transition plan. Current plan has included being able to name a couple of colleges and a subject of interest.
    4. Actual development of skills within their diagnosed abilities to be able to complete coursework successfully (cognitively they probably know more than the teacher in areas of interest).
    5. Social and emotional education within their peer-set. Often older children who are trying to catch up get put in with younger students and it doesn’t work.
    6. Equity in education. Reduce busy work and develop their strengths, don’t just warehouse them for their deficits.
    7. True inclusion — call on them in class, make an effort to understand their interests because that is their best chance at doing well. Since interests are few but deep, when class content aligns with their interests, do include them in any special activities like roleplaying historic events. Often these students are not included because the teacher doesn’t know how they feel about it and it takes too much time to complete the project if they are involved.

    Einstein was a 2E, if he had gone to our school he couldn’t have made it as a barista.

  25. We need a national middle school and high school career path CTE program to train potential disability service providers, dsp’s
    This would create an interest in potential workers , help to fill the incredible void in the dsp workforce and identify those with this passion, as these are a huge asset
    In this work space
    I feel this too would help drive up wages for these passionate workers

  26. I’m all new to this as I’m a mother to a 23 yrs old and has a anoxia brain injury and is wheelchair bound. We reside in Covington,Louisiana. She is willing to work and wants to attend some type of vocational training that would fit her according to her disability. I do not see where this is even offered in our community without having to travel 50 plus miles. This is a major problem for our area. I hoped it will be reviewed and looked at for our area.

  27. Life skills, executive functioning, and socialization are really missing from the 5 objectives. For many young adults on the spectrum, what stands between them being functional members of society aren’t the academic area, but the soft skills that most students learn incidentally but need to be specifically taught to others with delays.

  28. In our state transition is suppose to start at age 14… however no real planning or work was done until my son made it to high school. Expectations are extremely low! To many staff are happy just to get the child a job… ( bagger, or janitorial) no real in-depth training for a job that interest the child.
    Reading needs to be a priority. Teachers need to be taught how to teach multi sensory reading…

  29. As a parent of a child diagnosed on the spectrum, I believe that transitioning needs to start earlier than age 14. I believe our school need to teach more life skill requirements and business related requirements. Students are not aware of what really takes place in the working environment. They need to be taught the basics such as being on time, how to dress, how and when to speak, how to address another person, boundaries, etc. In addition, children need to learn how to open a checking/savings account, how to rent an apartment and take care of it. They need to know money management and how to budget. I think in each class, teachers should be working on the goal of transitioning. We need to work on grooming our children from an early age so that they will be prepare to transition. I think in some cases students need to focus more on job skills, communications skills, life skills rather than learning Algebra II. I think we need to focus on the overall goal and that is transitioning from high school to the work field or secondary schooling. We need to prepare our students better. We need to set high expectations and hold the students accountable.

    I think there needs to be more community based workshops and summer employment so that students can begin to understand what it is like to work and earn money. I think they also need to experience working in different field so that they may find their niche or what they like to do.

    Also there could be jobs in the school that students could do and learn different skills. A school store could be set up in which the students run it; a coffee shop could be run, students could have jobs such as housekeeping and learn to clean and vacuum an office. Student could assist in the mail room sorting mail or assisting in the nurses office.

    In addition there could be a job training class out in the community where students could go and work for several weeks and then rotate to another place so that they can find what they may want to do. Job coaches will be needed.

    Parents need assistance too. Many times people are not aware of what is available in the community. Also, some of these programs sound great but they take too long or are too overwhelmed to assist. One program I tried to use had so many steps to takes, paperwork, etc. etc. and after all the paperwork was done and all the meetings, he really has not gotten assistance.

    The agency and community could have workshops for parents. How to assist their children, what is available, where to go for help, etc. They could hold 2 or 3 session/meetings a year.

    Teachers to be trained so that they can assist in transition from the day the child starts school. During Act80 days, the school could have trainings on how to assist in the transitioning and have agencies come to the school to speak to the teachers.

    Another important resource is our vocational school. Many students are not capable or just don’t want to attend college. There is a great need to skilled laborers and our vocational school can work with the students. It would be wonderful if the students who think they maybe interested in learning a trade could spend time in each area so that they could see for themselves.

    I think we also need to be able to set realistic goals for our students and be honest with them. When a 11th grader says she wants to be a model but has never tried it or doesn’t even know what’s involved, we need to be realistic about her goals. If that is something she really wants, then she should be able to follow a model around for the day, go to an agency and speak with them, see what it is really all about, that it is not all glamour and glitter. I think sometimes students say “I want to be this or that without any knowledge of the steps involved and what the job is really all about. I also think we need to be realistic in that a child who is unable to walk is not going to be a ballerina or a football star. We are only setting them up for failure.

    It would also be nice if students needed additional guidance, that the school would allow them to continue for a year with the guidance department. Maybe school could have a dedicated guidance counselor for students who graduated but need assistance.

    I think the community and workplaces need to be made aware of the skills and abilities these children have to offer.

    I also think there needs to be more places that a student could go for training. Many do not have the funds for vocational secondary schools and are not aware the schools that may offer training. Parents may need assistance too. Many forms can be overwhelming to them so they don’t fill them out.

    I do believe the high schools in my area are starting to assist the students in transitioning much more than in the past. It is group effort and all need to participate starting as early as possible. It is not just the school and the student but it is the school guidance counselors, case managers, parents, the community and government agencies. Everyone needs to work as a team to reach the goal of transitioning students from the school environment to the work force.

  30. Enforcement of the existing Americans with Disabilities (ADA) and Fair Housing Act (FHA) laws needs to be at the highest level, and it is not now. Every school should be inspected annually by qualified 3rd party inspectors to verify complete ADA and FHA compliance. Transitioning to another school is challenging enough for disabled and non-disabled. We don’t need to make it harder by having poor ADA and FHA enforcement. Furthermore, schools should be required to have certified ADA Coordinators or Administrators.

  31. I have Down syndrome and most of my friends have Down’s as well. We all live in Washington where we’ve limited resources. I’m not going to list any what we do or don’t have in our state but I can tell you there’s nothing for us other than federal government agencies. In Washington, people move up to work for businesses. This is a state among others that promote much of ocean life and recreational parks. While these are wonderous parts of our state, some of what we’re looking for is an inclusive resource for people like me to fully navigate our opportunities given to us. The reason not many employers from various strategic companies hire people with disabilities is because of our incapability to use our skills we’ve attained over a course of time. For me, I’m a social butterfly with an eye for creating a whole new system for this country but as it is my skills aren’t put to use. There are many issues at play. We need the resources even if it means paying for a higher sales tax on our state. Not many people will be happy with it but it’s the solution to solve all our problems.

  32. Extended school year services are a way to provide transition services in an authentic way such as via life and workplace skills in authentic environments (e.g. the home for life skills and a place to volunteer for workplace skills) given students are off for the summer. Students will progress and prevent regression in transition skills by using summer breaks in meaningful and authentic ways. The Endrew F. case reinforces this value of progression and not just preventing regression.

  33. As a parent we have all been told what they cannot do. But when we push for better for our children it seems to feel like the flavor of the month club. We all want them to be productive but there are not things in place for this to happen. He was able to get into Project Search which was a help but when that was done. Got him a job, then he was laid off, so you have to start all over again. I am pissed to say the least. he wants to go to college like his brothers. I will see where this takes me. we as parents have to fight all the time. Please! this is what happens to us in Union County in New Jersey

  34. LIfe skills training is what I see as most lacking. Even near-typical level students, cognitively speaking, leave the educational system not knowing how to keep an apartment or even a room safely clean or how and what to cook for balanced diet meals. Also, paid and supervised internships are vital to economic success.

    • Hi Susan,
      I totally agree with that department. As I posted my response to this blog, I mentioned ‘resources’ this includes life skills. Every parent should be teaching their kids the basics of home living. I work in Educational Child Care with toddlers and preschool, I find this a very difficult task for young children when they rely on their family cultural backgrounds to live up to their parents’ values for their family. As adults, we’ve to learn these things on our own with or without training. I have a unique perspective. I have a disability while also a woman at the same time.

  35. Technical assistance will be best used if educators/schools are incentivized to use them. Meaning, if schools are held accountable for the actual post-school outcomes of their students.

    When schools are held accountable to academic test scores, schools focus on that. When principals are held accountable for graduate rates, the needle moves. No one is held accountable for the post-school outcomes of students with disabilities.

    Additionally, all states should have licensure requirements for special educators who provide transition services. I have encountered many a special educator at the high school level who still does not understand what a Summary of Performance is and how to create an actionable transition plan.
    But, schools can’t do it alone. There is a desert of services to support students once they graduate. VR is underfunded and not very successful, and there are few other services out there that provide evidence-based supports, especially in rural areas.
    I am a university professor, researcher and preparer of special education teachers.

  36. In my state of Massachusetts, students who have disabilities that prevent them from accessing grade level content are not provided with a path to graduation or provided with an appropriate assessment of transition skills as part of their state alternate assessment.

    In Massachusetts, all students need to pass the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System in order to graduate. This is a test given to students in grades 3-10 each year in the areas of ELA, Math and Science. In response to ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) students who have certain disabilities are given an alternate assessment which measures achievement in these core subjects through a portfolio teachers create. The portfolio contains work samples in the form of authentic items or videos that show the student completing work that is at entry levels. The portfolios are then graded and returned to teachers to share with students and families.

    The grade the student receives depends on the amount of progress demonstrated in each area of testing. Students do not pass or fail but are given a score for their portfolio. These assessments are very time-consuming for students and teachers and do not assess student growth or achievement in areas of transition. Work on these portfolios takes valuable time away from life skills, vocational, social, and self-advocacy training. After the process is complete, even if they receive the highest score, these students are not given a diploma.

    This practice is against the principles of FAPE as these students are not provided a path to graduation while students who pass the regular test receive a diploma for their efforts. Furthermore, they are not provided with the instruction or assessment of the critical transition curriculum they will need to succeed post high school.

    It would be beneficial for these students if they were 1. given an assessment that gave them a path to graduation as their general education peers possess and 2. are provided with an assessment that addresses the critical skills they will need and use post high school.

  37. I am concerned about lack of capacity and lack of new providers for students exiting the school system and entering adult services and the work force. Many students with special needs need support after graduation, and the numbers have increased dramatically while the availability of support has not kept up with that growth. Direct Care Providers, DCPs, must be smart, skilled, and trained. It is hard work and it must be financially rewarded in order to attract and retain staff.

    • I completely agree with you. In the area I live in there are very limited resources for support after graduation. We have so much in place while their in school and when the student graduates there is limited programming and limited levels of support available to meet their individual needs. Many students with the most significant disabilities end up sitting at home with no services. It’s very frustrating.

  38. 1. What challenges are you currently experiencing… First, there needs to be curriculum that is aligned from grades 7 thru post HS. Second, properly trained staff (teachers/job coaches/teaching assistants – grades 7 thru post HS). Third, post HS programs that are truly community-based/work-based (detached from campuses). Fourth, improved coordination and implementation of community-based learning programs (district) between state support agencies and the SEAs and LEAs.

    2. Do the five primary goals described above accurately represent your current challenges… in my district, only #4 (Students with disabilities receive rigorous academic preparation) applies. We need better state standards beyond the 4 core.

    3. What kinds of TA tools, resources, or materials developed have been the most useful and relevant to your work?… we have developed or own resources and materials. However, it is not aligned with what the district is teaching.

    4. What kinds of new TA tools, resources, or materials should a U.S. Department of Education-funded TA Center on transition develop… set the framework/expectations for SEAs/LEAs to follow in regard to developing secondary/post-secondary programs.

    5. Are there any new or emerging TA needs or topic areas that a U.S Department of Education-funded TA Center on transition should consider? … Along with teaching community-based and work-based skills, we also teach entrepreneurial skills. We operate several student run businesses. We need a relaxing of the rules regarding how monies (from these ventures) are used to benefit and grow students.

    6. Should a U.S. Department of Education-funded TA Center on transition continue to identify potential intensive TA sites … the short answer is yes. We need to investigate how modifying the process would improve outcomes.

    7. How can a center on transition best support States in their work of improving collaboration and coordination among SEAs, LEAs, SVRAs, CTE, Parent Information and Training Centers, and other relevant agencies and organizations?… remove barriers to allow student outcomes to improve.

  39. 1.What challenges are you currently experiencing in serving youth with disabilities between the ages of 14 and 24 who may or may not be in school? I teach a program geared towards teaching this age group independent living skills. This area is a definite challenge. Most of the curricula out there is geared towards academics and vocational, but this area is still on the IEP’s and must be addressed. Without structured programming, it becomes very difficult to teach. Everything must be thought of and designed from scratch with each unit and new year, building on the skills they learned previously.
    2.Do the five primary goals described above accurately represent your current challenges and TA needs and support your State’s goals? If not, what do you suggest we remove, revise, or replace? For the most part, yes. However, the students I work with have great difficulty with academics and are more suited to hands-on, vocational-style kinesthetic learning. “Rigorous” academic preparation would only put them off and increase their negative behaviors. This would increase their anxiety and fear. I’m not so sure everyone is up to the task of “rigorous” preparation and I think we need to look at students one by one and not lump them all together.
    3.What kinds of TA tools, resources, or materials developed have been the most useful and relevant to your work? I have followed the format of the Life Centered Career Education Curriculum, albeit loosely, but it has been difficult to really find a curricula that adequately addresses independent living skills in a manner across the board. It also needs to be sensitive to culture, race, gender, etc., and I have yet to find that. Maybe when I retire I will develop my own.
    4.What kinds of new TA tools, resources, or materials should a U.S. Department of Education-funded TA Center on transition develop in order to most efficiently and effectively support your State’s work in this area? Since independent living is on the transition section of the IEP’s, I think we need a good, solid curriculum teaching a well-rounded aspect of independent living skills. I also think we need a good assessment similar to the Life Centered Career Education one that is more sensitive to culture, race, etc. that can be used across the board, in both rural and urban districts.
    5.Are there any new or emerging TA needs or topic areas that a U.S Department of Education-funded TA Center on transition should consider? If not, are there any current TA areas that could be expanded upon or repositioned to better meet your needs? Although it is good to look at up and coming/emerging needs, how about just getting back to basics? I think that is why independent living skills are so important nowadays. We are so busy with life and with our jobs, the basics tend to go by the wayside. A lot of the parents I deal with say that they don’t think about teaching this kind of “stuff” to their special needs kids because they are “too busy” or their kids are “not interested” in it. They don’t think about the long haul when they won’t be around any longer to care to that child once they become an adult. We know that’s why the IEP and Transition piece is there, but I think we need to do a better job a getting back to basics and providing a way to show the parents that it is still important for them.
    6.Should a U.S. Department of Education-funded TA Center on transition continue to identify potential intensive TA sites through an application process or should this process be modified? If modified, what do you suggest? At this time, I think the application process is ok.
    7.How can a center on transition best support States in their work of improving collaboration and coordination among SEAs, LEAs, SVRAs, CTE, Parent Information and Training Centers, and other relevant agencies and organizations? It seems as though you need someone skilled in the areas of transition and communication to be able to act more of a liaison and be a link between the entities to foster the coordination between them. It may be difficult at first, but once up and running, would be more beneficial in the long run.

  40. 1. What challenges are you currently experiencing in serving youth with disabilities between the ages of 14 and 24 who may or may not be in school?

    As a parent of a child living with a disability:

    Considerations for post-secondary entry need to be re-evaluated to ensure students living with disabilities can meet entrance requirements. Ex. My daughter is living with a disability that impact memory recall and language. She has not been successful in trying to meet requirements for two high school language classes, for college entry, despite having 4 years and private tutoring. This is an antiquated requirement that limits options for students living with disabilities.

    Also, transition planning at 14 is too late in the process. Many states do not require transition services until age 16. There needs to be a requirement for transition planning at a much earlier age. There needs to be requirements for state Rehabilitation agencies to focus on transition work and join the IEP team at the minimum from 14 up. Ex. My daughter is 18 and a senior. We have requested state VR to join her IEP transition team since she was 16. We have still not had anyone attend or be part of the trantions process. We were told that the state VR team would not engage in the process until the senior year.

    As a result we are now facing limited post-secondary options as my daughter could not meet the language requirements. We are not fully aware of her options moving forward, as we have not had any communication from the state VR system, and not to mention her self-goals have been shattered as she thought she would be able to go to college with her peers and that option is no longer afford to her based on entrance and eligibility regulations that discriminate against individuals living with disabilities.

    As a professional in the field.
    WIOA has not clarified the role that each the School and VR agencies will play in implementing PRE-ETS. There is limited financial and time investment on both parts. Ex. The agency that I would for provides PRE-ETS to students. The school system wants to only allow 1 class period (45 minutes) per week to train students on employment skills, and are hesitant to increase due to needing to meet other core curriculum requirements. If a school system is interested in having more hours and a higher frequency of services including paid job shadowing opportunities, the state VR agency denies the request to pay for the services, due to the cost per student is “too much” and “violates the RSA process.” More clarity is needed for the federal government and state government and school systems to offer a consistent, structured, and accountable system for transition services.

    2. Do the five primary goals described above accurately represent your current challenges and TA needs and support your State’s goals? If not, what do you suggest we remove, revise, or replace?

    The five goals do support that goals, however there is a need to provide clear and consistent standards and a system of accountability on the state and school levels, to ensure positive outcomes.

    3. What kinds of TA tools, resources, or materials developed have been the most useful and relevant to your work?

    Parent resources and education are essential.
    More partnership between schools, post-secondary, and VR agencies will be essential to the long-term success.
    Increased employer and business education and outreach regarding the benefits of hiring individuals living with disabilities.
    Structured curriculum imbedded in school system education for ongoing skills development.
    Trained professionals that and conduits between the school and VR.
    Financial investment
    Standardized data analytics.
    Accountability systems at the State VR and School Level.
    Partnerships with Post-Secondary schools (inclusion programs and degreed programs)
    Partnerships with employers.

    4. What kinds of new TA tools, resources, or materials should a U.S. Department of Education-funded TA Center on transition develop in order to most efficiently and effectively support your State’s work in this area?

    Structured curriculum imbedded in school system education for ongoing skills development that is accomodating to different learning levels (reading and math) and in interactive computer based systems or systems that are representative of the employment environment to help students seamlessly and successfully transition to the workforce.

    Establishing standards and accountability metrics to monitor VR agencies and schools implementation of the services and tracking of outcomes.

    5. Are there any new or emerging TA needs or topic areas that a U.S Department of Education-funded TA Center on transition should consider? If not, are there any current TA areas that could be expanded upon or repositioned to better meet your needs?

    See responses above.

    6. Should a U.S. Department of Education-funded TA Center on transition continue to identify potential intensive TA sites through an application process or should this process be modified? If modified, what do you suggest?

    There should be a more structured accountability system that helps guide and create consistent standards, and when states, VR agencies, and school are identified not to meet those standards TA could be provided to help them met standards.

    7. How can a center on transition best support States in their work of improving collaboration and coordination among SEAs, LEAs, SVRAs, CTE, Parent Information and Training Centers, and other relevant agencies and organizations?

    develop a standardized process that includes all stakeholders with special attention provided during those pivotal points during transition (i.e. age of transition plan, middle school to high school transition with better planning for long-term success, granducation requirements and post-secondary requirements discussed earlier so that students and parents are prepared for the high-school to post-secondary or employment fields. Stronger relationship or transition program from high school to employment (consider expanding Project Search programs as an established program for students living with disabilities transitioning from high school that are not going into post-secondary education programs, review college entrance options to ensure that individuals living with disabilities are not being discriminated against and that they have an equal opportunity to obtain degrees, stronger connection between schools and employers, possibly connect with economic development groups on a federal and state level to develop a stronger relationship with businesses so there are employment opportunities for individuals).

  41. The NYS Commission for the Blind (NYSCB) has developed excellent transition programs for youth who are primarily legally blind and often experiencing other disabilities. NYSCB contracts with private nonprofit vision rehabilitation agencies to provide community and in-home VR services beginning at age 10 and a comprehensive array of pre-ETS services beginning at age 14. Many of the programs are short term residential programs (i.e. one week pre-vocational training programs) and after school work readiness and work experience programs. Pre-college programs held on or near college campuses introduce blind youth to the expectations of college life starting at age 14 so the level of independence expected is introduced early on. We are fortunate to have a 12-15 week pre-ETS program held at a residential vocational rehabilitation center in NYS for legally blind disconnected youth (not in school and not working) that targets legally blind high school graduates or drop outs and assists them in enrolling in community college certificate programs to become state certified nurses assistants, teacher assistants, vet assistants, web design and developers, HVAC technicians, etc. These are the youth that traditionally never made it into the workforce and collected benefits. Because this is a residential program, the youth are able to access all the supports they need to succeed in these community college courses with sighted and non-disabled students and get peer support from other legally blind youth. The residential pre-ETS program offers assistive technology training, social work counseling, mobility training, study hall and homework help, a nationally recognized customer service training curriculum, fitness classes and exercise, help with positively using leisure time, time management skills and all the soft skills (emotional intelligence) to be a good team leader and good team player, emotionally mature and able to empathize with and help others. The results are very positive with half the graduates of the pre-ETS program either enrolling in college as matriculated students after the program or employed in competitive, integrated employment. An additional 25% are job seeking and on the path to work.

    Pre-ETS funding should pay for room and board for these very successful residential programs and continue to fund the five Pre-ETS goals.

    The TA Center with funding from both federal education and rehab sources should sponsor an annual national transition conference (or regional conferences) where all the stakeholders from education and rehab settings (including the nonprofit sector) can learn about the implementation of these promising programs. In the case of the NYS residential vocational rehabilitation center for blind youth, there is capacity to serve youth with legal blindness or multiple disabilities from other states but the other states don’t know that it is a resource they can use to send their blind youth to if they are not already spending their pre-ETS 15% allocation.

  42. Michigan Teacher of the Self-Contained CI program for 33 years, 20 years on Macomb County Transition Council Executive Board, and Transition Coordinator for 20 years in my school district.

    What challenges are you currently experiencing in serving youth with disabilities between the ages of 14 and 24 who may or may not be in school?

    Michigan Merit Curriculum, lack of using personal curriculum (too many hoops, so teachers, administrators don’t like using it). The curriculum is based too highly on core academics and doesn’t allow for those NOT going into college, lack of CTE programs and follow through, and lack of education and buy-in from special education teachers that are evaluated on the MMC instead of their students personal growth towards transition.

    Do the five primary goals described above accurately represent your current challenges and TA needs and support your State’s goals? If not, what do you suggest we remove, revise, or replace?

    Youth and young adults with disabilities receive and participate in evidence-based and promising practices in secondary transition services and supports. – AGREE
    SEAs and LEAs implement evidence-based and promising practices and strategies, including early warning and intervention systems to reduce dropout and increase graduation rates. – AGREE
    Students with disabilities participate in career-related curricula so they are prepared for postsecondary employment and careers. – AGREE
    Students with disabilities receive rigorous academic preparation so they are prepared for success in postsecondary education. Not an issue
    SEAs, SVRAs, LEAs, and local VR offices use data-driven decision-making to develop their respective plans and reports. – AGREE

    With all of these goals – the time, money and resources need to be in place for teachers to educate themselves and understand the importance of transition. Teachers evaluations are solely based on academic growth rather than transitional growth for each student.

    What kinds of TA tools, resources, or materials developed have been the most useful and relevant to your work?

    We used the ESTR-R (but we were told that is wasn’t a formal assessment) we created an ESTR-R tool that went along with the ESTR-R assessment, to help teachers understand what their students actually were aware of and able to do. Resources for Transition Assessments are limited – I have used the Discovery Method with many of my students and found that to be the most useful – but that takes TIME and MONEY.

    What kinds of new TA tools, resources, or materials should a U.S. Department of Education-funded TA Center on transition develop in order to most efficiently and effectively support your State’s work in this area?

    THE DISCOVERY PROCESS

    Are there any new or emerging TA needs or topic areas that a U.S Department of Education-funded TA Center on transition should consider? If not, are there any current TA areas that could be expanded upon or repositioned to better meet your needs?

    I work closely with employment agencies that help persons with disabilities get jobs – there are a few important points that affect the job search and getting employment –
    1. TRANSPORTATION ISSUES
    2. PARENT UNDERSTANDING AND BUY-IN
    3. AFRAID OF LOSING SSI
    4. SOFT SKILLS AREN’T TAUGHT IN SCHOOL ANYMORE – SO THEY ARE LACKING.

    Should a U.S. Department of Education-funded TA Center on transition continue to identify potential intensive TA sites through an application process or should this process be modified? If modified, what do you suggest?

    Our County Intermediate School District used to receive funding for Transition Training (and it was only $5,000), the county never ‘hired’ a tradition transition coordinator – but instead used an administrator from their payroll and just added it on as part of their job – so needless to say, transition is NOT a high priority in my county. There needs to be a Transition Coordinator hired soley for Transition – to help support each district in our county, and allow for training of all teachers. It’s always about the money and resources =(

    How can a center on transition best support States in their work of improving collaboration and coordination among SEAs, LEAs, SVRAs, CTE, Parent Information and Training Centers, and other relevant agencies and organizations?

    Make TRANSITION a PRIORITY in education for ALL STUDENTS. Teach soft skills, transportation skills and parent education on transition. Make it a priority where you will put more money in personnel and education.

  43. Post-Secondary Transition – Responses to OSEP Questions
    1. What challenges are you currently experiencing in serving youth with disabilities between the ages of 14 and 24 who may or may not be in school?
    Accessing students can be a challenge for both school staff and VR staff. For those who are in school, students may be otherwise occupied with core educational services and not available for pull out to participate in assessments and/or to participate in VR or support services. For those who are out-of-school, such as those recently in the foster care system, it is challenging to build momentum towards outcome-based services such as a program of services that leads to work because the youth may be transient. Other challenges include paradigms of either (1) working with students/youth in areas where resources such as transportation and access to outside providers are limited or (2) coordinating/aligning services and supports for students/youth in resourced areas in a manner that avoid service gaps and overlaps.
    2. Do the five primary goals described above accurately represent your current challenges and TA needs and support your State’s goals? If not, what do you suggest we remove, revise, or replace?
    With respect to goal #1 (Youth and young adults with disabilities receive and participate in evidence-based and promising practices in secondary transition services and supports.), the goal is relevant and lofty, however we would like to see states drive the research questions that subsequently result in evidence-based/promising practices. This assures that the practices remain tied to the needs of practitioners. Further, seeking state input to research questions aligns TA center products/outputs with those concerns on the minds of states including compliance and best practice with the most recent federal laws and regulations.
    With respect to goal #3 (Students with disabilities participate in career-related curricula so they are prepared for success in postsecondary employment and careers), the Department may consider revising language to reflect “employer-driven” or “job-driven” curricula as opposed to “career-related” curricula. This would promote consistency with WIOA and Perkins V language and would emphasize career preparation that reflects the needs of workforce and especially high-demand industries.

    3. What kinds of TA tools, resources, or materials developed have been the most useful and relevant to your work?
    Tools and guidance that help the SEAs and SVRAs to assist the LEAs and local VR offices to work together have been the most helpful (e.g., planning tools, resource mapping tools, example interagency agreements, team building and system mapping tools/strategies). Specific resources that can be passed along to SEAs and SVRAs for direct service implementation are also helpful (e.g., transition assessments, pre-ETS and transition curricula, student/family planning tools).

    4. What kinds of new TA tools, resources, or materials should a U.S. Department of Education-funded TA Center on transition develop in order to most efficiently and effectively support your State’s work in this area?
    It would be helpful to receive more tools that help states to plan across agencies and align resources for students/youth with disabilities. It would be tremendously helpful for TA centers to maintain and manage a database of projects/initiatives/strategies that they encounter in states and classify them in order to facilitate networking and problem-solving amongst states with similar demographics, innovation focal points, and/or challenges. Sometimes the best TA is that which connects states who can compare notes and borrow ideas.

    5. Are there any new or emerging TA needs or topic areas that a U.S Department of Education-funded TA Center on transition should consider? If not, are there any current TA areas that could be expanded upon or repositioned to better meet your needs?
    We would appreciate if work could be done to determine the best methods for delivering/implementing Pre-Employment Transition Services (e.g., how much? how long? how intensive? variations based on student demographics?) and Work Based Learning components identified in WIOA, Perkins V, and within the NTACT Effective Practices and Predictors Matrix. This would assist us in moving past compliance to those methods which are most effective in producing positive student outcomes.
    6. Should a U.S. Department of Education-funded TA Center on transition continue to identify potential intensive TA sites through an application process or should this process be modified? If modified, what do you suggest?
    It would be fine to continue some topic-specific intensive TA so long as there are clear methods for all states to access more general/universal TA. A recommendation would be for each state to have designated TA center contacts. While one would expect intensive TA to take a deeper dive, it would be nice for states who are not selected as intensive TA states to have equal time/access to TA. Access to a menu selection of tools and resources on more general topics or a wider variety of topics that may not require an intensive TA plan would be most helpful.

    7. How can a center on transition best support States in their work of improving collaboration and coordination among SEAs, LEAs, SVRAs, CTE, Parent Information and Training Centers, and other relevant agencies and organizations?
    We appreciate the National Capacity Building Institute and the way in which this session brings state teams together for professional development, capacity building strategies, networking with other states, and state planning time. We would hope to see an activity such as this continue. We also appreciate joint training offerings between various DOE funded TA Centers. The more time, resources, and opportunities for coordinating and collaborating between programs, the better. It is also valuable to have models and methods for implementing a microcosm of this type of cross-agency coordination and alignment at the local level in our states.

  44. Hi, I am a Transition Employment Designee in a small, rural school district in East Texas. We are experiencing more success through the coalition between Texas Workforce, Vocational Rehabilitation, and the schools. Many of our seniors with identified disabilities have been able to go on past high school, obtain training, and achieve their dreams, thanks to this collaborative effort. Therefore, I would like to see that expanded, so that there are more post-secondary training centers for students with disabilities, possibly through colleges and universities. There is also a huge need for transportation assistance to that training and to that jobs for students living in rural areas. (This IS the greatest, outstanding need that has not been addressed at all.) Finally, the programs that allow youth to obtain work experience while still in high school, like Summer Earn and Learn in Texas and Year-Round Work Experience, again a coalition between the Texas Workforce, the Vocational Rehabilitation Commission, and the schools, is being so very beneficial to my students who would otherwise not have had the opportunity in our small, rural area. Please keep funding these programs. Thank you very much!

  45. 1. What challenges are you currently experiencing in serving youth with disabilities between the ages of 14 and 24 who may or may not be in school?
    My challenge is what will my son do once he leaves the system. He is slated for a diploma. My VR counselor told me (and other parents ) that they don’t do assessments until they are a senior or 18. When I asked about the options for 16/17 yr olds she told me that they were “mandated” to say that on the website. At every turn she tried to dissuade me from moving forward. I had to apply on my own (my school wouldn’t help). I am not hopeful. I don’t know one person who has had a good experience with the VR agency in my area. It all sounds good on paper.
    Also, there aren’t enough affordable post secondary programs with adequate support. My son wants to do some academics post high school but there are so few options with the support he may need.

    2. Do the five primary goals described above accurately represent your current challenges and TA needs and support your State’s goals? If not, what do you suggest we remove, revise, or replace?
    There aren’t enough academic programs for kids like mine. My S.D. is AP focused/college bound focused. My child needs to continue doing math (but not advanced math). My school with my help has pushed my son to do well academically. But my state’s exit exams are a barrier for many.
    What kinds of TA tools, resources, or materials developed have been the most useful and relevant to your work?

    What kinds of new TA tools, resources, or materials should a U.S. Department of Education-funded TA Center on transition develop in order to most efficiently and effectively support your State’s work in this area?

    More opportunities for interning. My state has a Career Development Option but there are so few job opportunities.

    Are there any new or emerging TA needs or topic areas that a U.S Department of Education-funded TA Center on transition should consider? If not, are there any current TA areas that could be expanded upon or repositioned to better meet your needs?

    Accountabiity of VR agencies. Accountability of school districts to provide good transition plans.

    Should a U.S. Department of Education-funded TA Center on transition continue to identify potential intensive TA sites through an application process or should this process be modified? If modified, what do you suggest? Don’t know

    How can a center on transition best support States in their work of improving collaboration and coordination among SEAs, LEAs, SVRAs, CTE, Parent Information and Training Centers, and other relevant agencies and organizations?

    Parents have no idea what is available. Schools have limited resources. My school doesn’t have a dedicated transition coordinator. I have pushed for all the job exploration and career exploration for my child.
    And CTE. My BOCES refused to admit my child to a CTE program because he didn’t get an 80 on his Regents. If he had support he would have succeeded. They told me “this is not special education school”; no assistance can be given. They only would allow him in a skills program which didn’t meet his job goals. CTE is too limited in my state. And very costly for my school district.

  46. Karen Bonuck, PhD- Co-Director of University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities- Einstein/Montefiore, Bronx NY

    Paid Internships and Jobs- I would like to see a lot more links to actual position and less web toolkits. The website shows no dearth of online resources, but no easily apparent live/updated links to actual positions for young adults by region.

  47. (1) What challenges are you currently experiencing in serving youth with disabilities between the ages of 14 and 24 who may or may not be in school?

    Challenges faced include consistent staff dedicated to providing transition services, lack of access to/development across LEAs of evidence based practices to promote secondary transition outcomes, high degree of turn over with VR staff in the state which makes it difficult to form agency partnerships, tools for better family engagement in the IEP planning process for this target age, broad LEA knowledge of all potential agency partners; emphasis in the current IEP form on the importance of planning from a transition lens to inform the whole IEP development

    (2) Do the five primary goals described above accurately represent your current challenges and TA needs and support your State’s goals? If not, what do you suggest we remove, revise, or replace?

    Yes, please continue and expand as well!

    (3) What kinds of TA tools, resources, or materials developed have been the most useful and relevant to your work?

    The transition toolkits, targeted PD with NTACT, ability to network with other states at the CBI, sample forms, webinars — ALL OF IT!

    (4) What kinds of new TA tools, resources, or materials should a U.S. Department of Education-funded TA Center on transition develop in order to most efficiently and effectively support your State.

    Continued emphasis on cross agency partnering, tools to support new/novice transition providers through those that are meeting compliance but need to focus on transition programming and implementation.

    (5) Are there any new or emerging TA needs or topic areas that a U.S Department of Education-funded TA Center on transition should consider? If not, are there any current TA areas that could be expanded upon or repositioned to better meet your needs?

    I think there is still plenty of work that needs done to help schools with competitive integrated employment, Pre-ETS, integration in CTE, creating accessible opportunities for employment and education/training. Perhaps a connection of inclusive practices and CIE.

    (6) Should a U.S. Department of Education-funded TA Center on transition continue to identify potential intensive TA sites through an application process or should this process be modified? If modified, what do you suggest?

    YES

    (7) How can a center on transition best support States in their work of improving collaboration and coordination among SEAs, LEAs, SVRAs, CTE, Parent Information and Training Centers, and other relevant agencies and organizations?

    Multi agency collaboration and co-sponsored training. They do a great job with this.

  48. 1. What challenges are you currently experiencing in serving youth with disabilities between the ages of 14 and 24 who may or may not be in school?
    *I believe that transportation is the biggest issue that we are experiencing in the communities in our geographic region. Until youth with disabilities “age out” of public school, the schools could definitely provide transportation, but I believe that the best practice would be for youth with disabilities to be trained to utilize transportation out in the community. Unfortunately, in many communities there is no public transportation to utilize. But even in communities that have transportation assistance, through government grants, I believe, I see vehicles not being used because of the inability to attract enough drivers to these transportation companies. I hear that the required training to drive for these companies is not compensated by the allotted salaries offered to these drivers. In other words, with the same credentials, drivers can make much more money driving with other companies. TRANSPORTATION IS A REAL CHALLENGE!!!
    *One more very significant challenge, that may be beyond the scope of this question. There are just not enough TWS-VR counselors to adequately handle the caseload of youth with disabilities needed services within our public schools.
    2. Do the five primary goals described above accurately represent your current challenges and TA needs and support your State’s goals? If not, what do you suggest we remove, revise, or replace?
    *I think that goals should be measurable. In my opinion, goal numbers 1-3 are easily measurable. I do not believe that the subjective “rigor” of goal #4 is measurable. Goal #5 is arguably measurable, but I believe would take an unrealistic amount of effort to measure. Effort that could be focused on helping implement goal numbers 1-3 across our state.
    3. What kinds of TA tools, resources, or materials developed have been the most useful and relevant to your work?
    *I believe that the free webinars produced through NTACT have been excellent resources for all stakeholders who take advantage of them. I also find the resources on the NTACT website to be incredibly useful and easily accessible. Especially the evidence-based and promising practices information.
    4. What kinds of new TA tools, resources, or materials should a U.S. Department of Education-funded TA Center on transition develop in order to most efficiently and effectively support your State’s work in this area?
    *I would appreciate a trainer-of-trainers type workshop series that focused on implementing the evidence-based and promising practices effectively.
    5. Are there any new or emerging TA needs or topic areas that a U.S Department of Education-funded TA Center on transition should consider? If not, are there any current TA areas that could be expanded upon or repositioned to better meet your needs?
    *I believe there is a real need to train educators on the evidence-based and promising practices that lead to the most positive post-school outcomes for our youth with disabilities.
    6. Should a U.S. Department of Education-funded TA Center on transition continue to identify potential intensive TA sites through an application process or should this process be modified? If modified, what do you suggest?
    *I do not believe I am informed enough to make a contributable comment on this topic.
    7. How can a center on transition best support States in their work of improving collaboration and coordination among SEAs, LEAs, SVRAs, CTE, Parent Information and Training Centers, and other relevant agencies and organizations?
    *Maybe become a physical presence in our communities. I believe that “getting out among the people” is the best way to understand the challenges we face and collaboratively brainstorming ideas to overcome those challenges.

  49. 1. What challenges are you currently experiencing in serving youth with disabilities between the ages of 14 and 24 who may or may not be in school?
    ● Initiating career planning and development around transition planning for students with significant disabilities at age 14 is not soon enough. There is a need to begin this process during elementary school to better prepare students for future postschool outcomes.
    ● There exists a disconnect between career planning and development and students’ preferences and interests. There is a lack of intentional sequencing of work-based learning experiences to help students to continually refine their interests and preferences.
    ● More emphasis is needed on transition planning that is individualized. Challenges exist to develop goals and activities that are more customized for students.
    ● Special education teachers need more training on workplace competencies, certifications, and have limited knowledge of the expectations of the 21st century workplace.
    ● There remains a disconnect between schools and community service agencies; service agencies are limited with number of staff and large caseloads. This results in the lack of collaboration, familiarity with students and the ability to attend critical transition meetings.
    ● Need for better collaboration between school counselors, special educators, VR, CTE, and families. All are critical partners in the career readiness and planning of students with disabilities.
    ● Challenge in balancing rigorous graduation requirements and providing employment preparation/training opportunities for students with disabilities while in school to prepare for transition.
    2. Do the five primary goals described above accurately represent your current challenges and TA needs and support your State’s goals? If not, what do you suggest we remove, revise, or replace?
    ● Recommend question four to be stated differently.
    i. “SWD receive rigorous academic preparation beginning in elementary school, so they are prepared for success in postsecondary education.”
    3. What kinds of TA tools, resources, or materials developed have been the most useful and relevant to your work?
    ● Matrixes on practices
    ● Webinars
    ● Research on effective practices
    ● Predictor Implementation School/District Self-Assessment
    4. What kinds of new TA tools, resources, or materials should a U.S. Department of Education-funded TA Center on transition develop in order to most efficiently and effectively support your State’s work in this area?
    ○ Tool to assist teachers with structuring comprehensive secondary school planning to include academics and career planning.
    ○ Benefits planning information for educators – not to provide benefits planning, but to know it exists and information resources to share with families.
    ○ Role of families, expectations and responsibilities in career planning and development.
    5. Are there any new or emerging TA needs or topic areas that a U.S Department of Education-funded TA Center on transition should consider? If not, are there any current TA areas that could be expanded upon or repositioned to better meet your needs?
    ● Emerging fields in the workforce: what are the jobs of the future and how can students with disabilities be prepared? Students with disabilities are still be trained for jobs that will not exist in the future.
    ● What are the emerging topics within CTE and workforce development that can be more closely aligned with transition programs?
    ● Disability and gender inclusive schools.
    ● Social emotional learning.
    ● Trauma informed practices.

    6. Should a U.S. Department of Education-funded TA Center on transition continue to identify potential intensive TA sites through an application process or should this process be modified? If modified, what do you suggest?
    ● Yes, the current process of providing intensive TA through an application process is effective.

    7. How can a center on transition best support States in their work of improving collaboration and coordination among SEAs, LEAs, SVRAs, CTE, Parent Information and Training Centers, and other relevant agencies and organizations?
    ● Continue to offer annual training (CBI) and TA to state and local cross-disciplinary teams.

  50. I will answer the questions in order:

    1. Many teens and young adults are ‘stuffed’ into programs that do not fit their transition needs. Oftentimes, families are only given one option for 18-22 programming, when in fact other options may be available. In our area, there is little connection between Voc Rehab, Regional Centers and school districts, and participation/collaboration varies widely from district to district (SF Bay Area). Teens who are on a diploma track rarely receive adequate transition assessment and planning, with IEPs typically stating “I will be an , I will go to college, I will get a job” with no consideration of how any of that will happen, and with no consideration as to whether the goals are actually feasible. One IEP I saw last school year had a kid with severe dyscalculia, several other learning challenges, with the desire to go to UC Berkeley to become an astrophysicist, and this was endorsed by his district. He never made it through the first quarter at a community college because his reading comprehension was so low.

    2. No. ‘Find Child’ is still only rarely implemented, with many students receiving learning or other diagnoses late in high school or in college. Districts often ‘kick the can down the road’. They pass the students through classes without the students actually learning anything.

    3. Much of the career-related curriculum in our area is very low-level — making and delivering coffee, or making dog treats to sell at the school fairs, or sorting clothing at Goodwill. These are not viable jobs for many, and for others significantly undersell the student’s abilities (we work with kids who we hope to get into competitive, professional employment). And again — they rarely have anything to do with actual career goals, WIOA or no. And — there is no realistic training for how to be in the workplace — which is why we created our own curriculum.

    3. Absolutely not. Much of the legal action against school districts in the area is because of ‘social promotion’. I had a call today about a student who is 20, and his reading/math levels are at 2nd grade level. He has no learning disabilities other than PTSD. No one has bothered to teach him as he needs to be taught, and now they want to graduate him. He will be in jail in no time as he will not be able to get and keep a job without being able to read.

    4. The State of California dis something very strange a few years ago — they stopped collecting secondary diagnoses in their data, only primary. What this means is that only the current/presenting diagnosis is recorded, which will over time skew the data. For example, a student with autism may be coded as ‘Other Health Impairment’ or ‘Emotionally Disturbed’ because the district believes that is the presenting challenge. However, the underlying issue is autism, which usually requires a very different intervention than ‘Emotionally Disturbed’ because of bi-polar, PTSD, etc. Because of this, our state cannot tell what programs work for with diagnosis, which confabulates the issue of appropriate interventions.

    We really need smart, sophisticated, forward-thinking people driving special education from the top down — in ways that are accessible to all, easier to implement, and have actual outcomes that are tracked. No district that I am aware of actually tracks OUTCOMES — where is the student five or ten years after completion? You will have to ask people who are working with them!

  51. We, meaning we school counseling educators are doing our best to help and achieve many successes. However, the disabled-challenged high school graduate are being ushered into agencies across Arizona, with the promises of help our dear young graduates. I have personally witnessed how many of the graduates, I knew were spending months and years waiting to become gainfully employed, or at least assessed. My advocacy has fallen on deaf ears in Arizona because it remains the status quo, from Arizona agencies, who have no incentive to be held accountable. We desperately need a technological code(s) to help track, find where they go and how long they have been waiting to receive employment, training services. It has reached epidemic portions.

  52. 1. Outside agencies are not providing services as needed, for example, the Regional Center in Kansas City. They do not follow through, offer services, and support families without a considerable struggle. Parents do not know how to maneuver the systems and how to advocate. I have met with families and their KCRO service coordinator and told services they would provide and then there is no follow-through. Individuals who can not direct their services (minors) can not access independent living services supports.
    Transportation. Specifically, students who do not have the support to go and get their permit and drivers license and public transit. I believe it would be beneficial to provide drivers ed to students in high school. To align our VR counselors and other agencies to work more as a team with the schools. There is a need for continued supports after leaving high school without expecting the students to initiate. For example, a student may have a case with VR open, but if they do not follow up, the VR counselor drops the services. Paid internships/apprenticeships related to their career goals for students while in high school. There is a need for more teamwork between school counselors, VR, transition Specialists in the school setting.

    2. Rigor is not a challenge as much as the other items listed.

    3. What kinds of TA tools, resources, or materials developed have been the most useful and relevant to your work? NTACT is an excellent resource, College and Career Competencies, DESE MO Liaisons, Community Transition Team, UMKC Family to Family, and Transition Coalition. These are only a few resources, supports which have been useful and relevant.

    4. A central access area included linkage to services

    5. Providing earlier than 14

    6 Schools are a vital resource to outside agencies services, post-secondary ed, and training — the team approach to working together at an earlier age. Schools are reporting to agencies and services on their struggles when working with Regional Offices, Post Secondary Schools, Independent Living Centers, etc. For example, Creating training for parents to navigate the system of the Regional Office.

  53. We need to have career -oriented vocational centers to assist students with career planning and job placement. A center located in Southeast Michigan would support many students unable to attend MCTI (Michigan Career and Technical Institute) due to distance. These concerns have been expressed by parents who have toured the facility. In addition, we need additional representatives from MRS (Michigan Rehabilitation Services) to expand the Pre-Ets program offering more career experiences and employment opportunities. Schools also need more funding to provide accessibility to computer-based programs aimed at improving reading, math and technology skills.

    • All of these are great!! More career training and life skill education is needed. Bring things back like home ec and consumer math…Less testing as well. Especially for kids that are not going to transition to college. Make their education revolve around their career paths. If a kid wants to work with animals at a pet store, they don’t need Algebra.

  54. Needs:
    Trained Transition Specialists
    Transition services in the community such as transportation, job training, once student is in the midst of transitioning
    Funding for Non Profit organizations to assist with transition programming

    • Completely agree with above:
      Needs:
      Trained Transition Specialists
      Transition services in the community such as transportation, job training, once student is in the midst of transitioning
      Funding for Non Profit organizations to assist with transition programming

  55. The big picture when it comes to transition services and VRC’s is that they do not have the skills to assist the students they are serving. Their pre-service education lacks content specific to transition. Many IHE’s offer certifications/endorsements. This is where DOE should be redirecting its efforts. Either offer grant monies to state level VR agencies to select VRC’s to get the training or offer more grant monies to students currently enrolled in Master’s level VR training programs to take courses specific to transition. This really is the best way to get the VRC’s skilled and trained to assist students with disabilities.

    • Masters programs in voc rehab are going away in California because they aren’t profitable. We need online training, to.

  56. Yes, we need assistance and high technology to assist our autistic people with the skills they need to move foward. And Training especially in The Work Force.

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