Date Approved

6-16-2003

Embargo Period

5-1-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. in Special Education

Department

Educational Services and Leadership

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Xin, Joy

Subject(s)

Learning disabled youth; Occupations

Disciplines

Special Education and Teaching

Abstract

As a legal component of an individual's IEP, a transition plan essentially should represent and include activities to prepare individuals with disabilities for postgraduate experiences. Activities should be individualized and relevant to each individual intended post school environments. Though a legal requirement, much research reports negatively on transition planning implementation. Some negative findings listed in research are as follows: lack of collaboration among individuals involved in the transition process; lack of student involvement in planning; ineffective design of students' goals and objectives; lack of linking students with adult agency providers for post graduate support services, and overall negative post school outcomes.

This present study used qualitative research methods to examine transition planning and outcome from the perspectives of individuals involved in the transition process. The participating individuals included 5 individuals with disabilities, 5 parents of individuals with disabilities, 5 staff members of the services agencies, 5 employers of individuals with disabilities, with a total of 25. An interview together with a survey was conducted to examine the various roles of those participants in transition planning and their views on such a process. Each interview lasted approximately 35- 45 minutes. The results showed that effective transition planning and collaboration is not occurring for most students with disabilities and their families, though there were many singular examples of positive transition planning and outcomes. The findings of this study confirmed earlier research findings that the transition process needed collaborative efforts of all individuals involved, including school personnel, businesses and agencies, together with families and the students with disabilities. Recommendations are offered based on the examples of positive transition practices and experiences from the participants.

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