Volume 3, Issue 5, September 2008: Transition: Post-Secondary, Employment & Community

In this edition of reSearch we explore the topic of transition as it relates to young adults with disabilities specifically, the transition to post-secondary education, employment, and community integration. In previous editions of reSearch we reviewed research on education and disability legislation and policy that was instrumental in improving the quality of life of individuals with disabilities. (See reSearch 2(4), and reSearch 2(2) at www.naric.com/public/reSearch). For this edition, we focused on approaches, models, literature reviews, interventions, recommendations, evaluations, and perspectives (student, teacher, and parent) on the transition from adolescence into adulthood.

In Transition-Focused Education: Foundation for the Future by Field and Kohler, the authors mention "three specific initiatives" which have influenced changes in transition for young adults with disabilities (2003, p. 174). These initiatives include, "...federal special education and disability legislation; federal, state, and local investment in transition services development; and 'transition practices research'" (Field & Kohler [2003], p. 174). They go on to describe five effective transition areas: "[1] student focused planning, [2] student development, [3] interagency collaboration, [4] family involvement, and [5] program structures" (Field & Kohler [2003], p. 174). This publication is referenced in the NARIC citations in this report.

When reviewing the research, one can see that the various approaches, models, and interventions include one, if not all, of the five effective transition areas which Field and Kohler describe. The focus is on students actively participating in the process; as well as, collaboration between service providers (school, occupational and psychological therapists, parents, health care providers, and others) to provide the most successful transition into the adult world -- whether it be to post-secondary education, employment, or a community living program.

The research presented in this issue provides a "snapshot" of transition as it relates to post-secondary education, employment, and community participation over a 10-year time period. A search on "transition" alone produces over 10,000 results! We narrowed the search terms to include: models for transition, transition planning, transition-focused education, disability, and adulthood. A listing of approximately 100 additional descriptor terms between the NARIC, ERIC, and PubMed databases can be found at the end of this document.

A search of the REHABDATA database resulted in 77 documents published between 1998 and 2008. The ERIC database search resulted in 33 documents from 1998 to 2007; and a search of the National Clearinghouse of Rehabilitation Training Materials resulted in one document from 2006. Finally, a search of PubMed resulted in 18 documents published between 1999 and 2008. The complete citations are included in this research brief.


Field, S., & Kohler, P. (2003). Transition-focused education: Foundation for the future. Journal of Special Education, 37(3), 174-183.

NIDRR Funded Projects Related to Transition of Persons with Disabilities

In addition to document searches, we searched our NIDRR Program Database to locate grantees/projects related to the transition of persons with disabilities. The search resulted in 13 NIDRR funded projects—5 currently funded and 8 which have completed their research activities. Project information and their publications are offered as additional resources for our patrons.

The Impact of Interventions on Self-Determination and Adult Outcomes.
Project Number: H133A031727

Rehabilitation Research and Training Center for Community Integration for Individuals with Disabilities, Strengthening Family and Youth Participation in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.
Project Number: H133B040038

Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Workplace Supports and Job Retention.
Project Number: H133B040011

RRTC for Health and Function Across the Lifespan of Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
Project Number: H133B080009

Vocational Rehabilitation: Transition Services that Lead to Competitive Employment Outcomes for Transition-Age Individuals with Blindness or Other Visual Impairments.
Project Number: H133A070001

The following projects have completed their research activities:

How Students Prepare for Adult Life as They Leave High School.
Project Number: H133F80016
Phone: 617/355-8022

ICPPS: The Individualized Career Planning and Preparation System.
Project Number: ED-99-PO-4642

Improving Parent Involvement Associated with School to Work Transition for Youth with Disabilities.
Project Number: H133F990052
Phone: 614/799-8417

Role Models for Youth with Disabilities: Career Exploration for Youth in Transition.
Project Number: ED-01-CO-0127

Testing the Effectiveness of School-to-Work Transition Services for Youth with Serious Emotional Disturbances.
Project Number: H133G80084
Phone: 215/569-2240, x217

Total Community Immersion Model for Postsecondary-Age Students with Significant Disabilities: An Outcome-Based Approach to Transition.
Project Number: H133G020184
Phone: 415/338-2503

Transition AbleAide: A Needs-Based Computer System for Matching Assistive Technology and Home Automation Devices to Students Transitioning from School to Adult Life.
Project Number: RW96013011
Phone: 719/444-0252

Transitioning to Employment Through Secondary Education Job Development, Placement, and Negotiation of Supports.
Project Number: H133F000070
Phone: 217/244-9016

Documents from NARIC’s REHABDATA search listed are listed below:


Bakken, J.P., & Obiakor, F.E. (2008). Transition planning for students with disabilities: What educators and service providers can do.
NARIC Accession Number: R08904
ABSTRACT: Book provides information on how to effectively transition students with disabilities from school to adult life. Chapters focus on different aspects of the transition planning process. Topics include: preparing for life; models and practices; culturally and linguistically diverse learners; selecting appropriate assistive technology for student transition; planning and developing student-focused individualized transition plans; collaborating with families; job and career development; employment training, support, and vocational/technical education; social outcomes and community resources; transportation education and leisure/recreation outcomes; independent living outcomes, residential opportunities, group homes, and intermediate care; and postsecondary outcomes.


Baer, R.M., Dennis, L., & Flexer, R.W. (2007). Examining the career paths and transition services of students with disabilities exiting high school. Education and Training in Developmental Disabilities (formerly Education and Training in Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities), 42(3), 317-329.
NARIC Accession Number: J52839
ABSTRACT: Study examined how well two models of transition services corresponded to actual transition practices occurring in schools in Ohio. Siegel (1998) developed a model focusing on five levels of transition intensity tailored to distinct groups of students. Greene (2003) developed a model designed to develop transition services around four career pathways available to students with disabilities. An exit interview was conducted with 741 students during their last year in high school to determine postsecondary goals and transition services received. Cluster analysis was used to group these students according to variables related to their post-school goals, secondary education services, and level of performance on proficiency tests. A post-hoc analysis determined the variables that were significantly different for each of seven identified clusters. These clusters resembled the career paths identified by Greene and had some elements in common with the transition intensity model developed by Siegel. Many of the defining variables were shared among clusters, while the variables that made clusters unique generally fell into one of three categories: (1) post-school goals/career pathways, (2) disability, and (3) academic proficiencies.

Oertle, K.M., & Trach, J.S. (2007). Interagency collaboration: The importance of rehabilitation professionals’ involvement in transition. Journal of Rehabilitation, 73(3), 36-44.
NARIC Accession Number: J53177
ABSTRACT: Article examines the benefits of and barriers to interagency collaboration and the role of rehabilitation professionals that assist students with disabilities and their families with employment, training, independent living, and community involvement. Interagency collaboration includes those interactions and activities between special educators and rehabilitation professionals, such as working as a team, sharing information, attending transition planning meetings, combining resources, and establishing and utilizing effective lines of communication to benefit students with disabilities as they transition from high school to adult life. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.

Tamol, S. (2007). High school graduation—and then what? Exceptional Parent, 37(10), 34-35.
NARIC Accession Number: J53346
ABSTRACT: Article offers parents suggestions for planning and preparing their children with disabilities for life after high school. Tips include: ask the child’s school about career assessment, take advantage of the school’s vocational programs, look for local volunteer opportunities, get acquainted with state services for people with disabilities, make sure the high school collaborates with vocational rehabilitation, be involved with selecting the job placement agency representing the job seeker, don’t expect VR or the job placement agency to find the perfect job, stay informed, understand federal employment rights for people with disabilities.

Wehman, P. (2007). Life beyond the classroom: Transition strategies for young people with disabilities, fourth edition.
NARIC Accession Number: R08922
ABSTRACT: Book presents comprehensive information on providing support to young people with mild, moderate, or severe disabilities as they transition from high school to first employment and community life. Pre- and in-service professionals will get updated and timely new chapters on critical topics such as: inclusion in schools and in the community, postsecondary education, autism spectrum disorders, high-stakes testing and accountability, assistive technology, customized employment, Social Security benefits and work incentives, self-determination. Readers will also get updated information throughout the book on transition planning, ensuring access to the general education curriculum, pursuing postsecondary education, helping individuals secure housing, meeting the specific needs of young people with a range of disabilities, and navigating the complex challenges of transition. Study questions, chapter objectives, case studies, and sample transition plans help readers focus on learning goals and think critically about key issues.


Bassett, D.S., & Kochlar-Bryant, C.A. (2006). Strategies for aligning standards-based education and transition. Focus on Exceptional Children, 39(2), 1-20.
NARIC Accession Number: J52491
ABSTRACT: Article examines challenges and strategies related to aligning the principles of standards-based education (SBE) and transition to independent living for youth with disabilities. Over the past three decades, special education and general education laws have promoted the inclusion of students with disabilities in general education classes while also promoting supports for successful transition to post-school settings. As a result, teachers are challenged to reconcile the individualized educational model for special education students with the general education model for all students. Discussion includes legislation affecting transition services and standards-based reforms in education, comparison of the principles for transition and SBE, challenges to aligning SBE and transition, transition as a unifying framework, the importance of SBE, two approaches to transition-focused, standards-based lesson planning, and applying universal design principles to transition.

Davis, A.K., Garner, N., Lawrence, M., Wehmeyer, M.L., & Yeager, D. (2006). Infusing self-determination into 18-21 services for students with intellectual or developmental disabilities: A multi-stage, multiple component model. Education and Training in Developmental Disabilities (formerly Education and Training in Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities), 41(1), 3-13.
NARIC Accession Number: J50283
ABSTRACT: Authors identified 8 indicators of high quality services for students with intellectual or developmental disabilities between the ages of 18 and 21 and then conducted a pilot evaluation of a multi-stage, multiple component model that focused on promoting self-determination and increasing student involvement in transition planning and implementation. Participants involved in this model achieved educationally relevant goals as well as enhanced perceptions of autonomy.

Doolittle, J., Flannery, K.B., Kato, M.M., Nulty, B., & Olszewski, B.T. (2006). Postsecondary academies: Helping students with disabilities transition to college. Teaching Exceptional Children, 39(1), 18-23.
NARIC Accession Number: J51390
ABSTRACT: Article describes how postsecondary academies provide information to high school students with disabilities to improve their entry and success rate in postsecondary education. Postsecondary academies are one-day conference-type events for high school juniors and seniors. Breakout sessions cover specific topics and resemble college classes. In addition, tours of the campuses familiarize students with various departments, college recreational programs, the disability services offices, and where to find tutoring, counseling, and advising services. Four steps are critical to the success of these events: (1) establishing a planning committee; (2) identify funding, format, and content; (3) marketing and implementing the academy; and (4) evaluating the results.

Geenen, S., Gil-Kashiwabara, E., Hogansen, J., Powers, K., & Powers, L. (2006). Supporting girls with disabilities as they transition to adulthood.
NARIC Accession Number: O16655 – This document is available in full text at NARIC.com
ABSTRACT: This issue brief examines challenges faced by young women with disabilities as they transition from school to adulthood. Five key reasons are identified that contribute to problems in transition planning for females: (1) lack of role models and mentors, (2) different goals for transitions, (3) lack of match between youth’s aspirations and actual training, (4) low expectations and high fears, (5) low self-perception. Recommendations are offered for successful transition planning for girls.

Kardos, M.R., & White, B.P. (2006). Evaluation options for secondary transition planning. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 60(3), 333-339.
NARIC Accession Number: J50854
ABSTRACT: Article presents an evaluation plan that can be used by occupational therapists to participate in the transition planning process for secondary school students with disabilities. The authors review the evaluation needs for secondary transition services in general, describe occupational therapy’s role in contributing to the individualized education plan (IEP), and describe an evaluation method that gathers key information pertinent to the occupational therapy role. A case study is presented that illustrates how these assessment tools were applied to develop IEP goals for one student’s transition plan.


Balandran, J., Geenen, S.J., Gil-Kashiwabara, E., Palmer, C., Powers, K.M., & Powers, L.E. (2005). Mandates and effective transition planning practices reflected in IEPs. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 28(1), 47-59.
NARIC Accession Number: J49593
ABSTRACT: Article describes the quality of transition plans in general and compares transition plans for different groups of students. Researchers analyzed the transition components of 399 individualized education programs. Most transition plans addressed the areas mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act related to independent living, integrated employment, and transportation. Goals were generally described with minimal detail and provided an average of 1 action step per goal, with 33 percent of goals having no action steps. Students were frequently listed as being responsible for implementing the action steps to achieve their transition goals. Race and gender were not significant determinants of plan quality; however, significant differences were found based on type of disability, projected diploma status, and the school district in which the student resided.

Black, R.S., & Leake, D.W. (2005). Implications of individualism and collectivism for the transition of youth with significant disabilities. TASH Connections (formerly TASH Newsletter), 31(11/12), 12-16.
NARIC Accession Number: J50042
ABSTRACT: Article presents the contrast between individualistic American mainstream values and the collectivistic values characteristic of most of the world’s cultures in relation to transition policies for youth with significant disabilities. Cross-cultural expectations regarding self-determination, independent living, and person-centered planning are discussed.

Caproni, P., Clark, H.B., Karpur, A., & Sterner, H. (2005). Transition to adult roles for students with emotional/behavioral disturbances: A follow-up study of student exiters from Steps-to-Success. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 28(1), 36-46.
NARIC Accession Number: J49592
ABSTRACT: Article presents the postsecondary outcomes of students with emotional/behavioral disturbances (EBD) who participated in the Steps-to-Success Program, a transition to independence process (TIP)-based system. The TIP model serves to prepare and facilitate youth and young adults with EBD in their transition into adulthood. Information on the postsecondary outcome indicators of employment, vocation/technical/college education, and incarceration for the young people who exited from the Steps-to-Success Program were compared to other young adults with EBD who received services as usual and young adults with no previous classification. Results demonstrated the efficacy of the Steps-to-Success Program in improving postsecondary outcome for youth with EBD.

Clark, G.M., Patton, J.R., & Trainor, A.A. (2005). Case studies in assessment for transition planning.
NARIC Accession Number: R08745
ABSTRACT: Book presents 14 case studies to illustrate how transition personnel can assess students to determine transition needs and then use that information to develop goals and objective for the individualized education program/individual transition plan (IEP/ITP). The case provides examples of how to identify the transition preferences, strengths, and needs of different types of students. Planners can see the range of assessment possibilities that lead to generating appropriate transition goals in the IEP/ITP process.

Dixon, A., Katsiyannis, A., Woodruff, N., & Zhang, D. (2005). Transition supports to students with mental retardation: An examination of data from the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2. Education and Training in Developmental Disabilities (formerly Education and Training in Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities), 40(2), 109-116.
NARIC Accession Number: J49594
ABSTRACT: Data from the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2 regarding the transition planning for students with mental retardation (MR) were compared with data on transition planning for students with emotional/behavior disorder and learning disabilities. Findings from this study indicted that students with MR were less involved in their transition planning, less likely to provide input, and more likely to report no progress toward transition goals than the other 2 groups of students. General educators’ involvement in the transition planning for students with MR was minimal; related services personnel were more involved. A small percentage of students with MR had postsecondary education as a transition goal, while more of them had sheltered and supported employment as a goal.

Geenen, S., Lopez-Vasquez, A., & Powers, L.E. (2005). Barriers against and strategies for promoting the involvement of culturally diverse parents in school-based transition planning. Journal of Vocational Needs Education, 27(3), 4-14.
NARIC Accession Number: J54231
ABSTRACT: Focus groups and interviews were conducted with Native American, African American, and Hispanic parents and 10 professionals involved in transition planning to identify barriers against and strategies for promoting the involvement of culturally and linguistically diverse parents in school-based transition planning. Analysis of the transcripts revealed 7 main categories of barriers: (1) power imbalance, (2) psychological or attitudinal, (3) logistic, (4) information, (5) communication, (6) socioeconomic status and contextual factors, and (7) cultural influences. Participants also identified a number of strategies for increasing or better supporting parental involvement, including: (1) positive communication between parent and professionals, (2) preparing for transition at an earlier age, (3) information on school-based transition planning, (4) use of a parent advocate, (5) emotional support for parents, and (6) flexibility in meeting formats. The implications of these findings for educational and transition services are discussed.

Getzel, E.E., & Wehman, P., (Eds.). (2005). Going to college: Expanding opportunities for people with disabilities.
NARIC Accession Number: R08674
ABSTRACT: Book presents information and resources regarding the transition and retention of students with disabilities in postsecondary education. Section I includes discussions on the importance of postsecondary education, the rights and responsibilities of individuals seeking services and supports o college campuses, and important considerations when preparing for and applying to college. Section II provides information on Universal Design for Instruction principles, postsecondary programming using a supported education model, and accommodations in clinical field placements. Section III describes specific educational approaches for students with psychiatric disabilities, students with learning disabilities and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and students with significant disabilities. Section IV discusses the second big transition for students with disabilities, exiting school and entering employment.

Ivester, J., Katsiyannis, A., & Zhang, D. (2005). Teachers’ view of transition services: Results from a statewide survey in South Carolina. Education and Training in Developmental Disabilities, 40(4), 360-367.
NARIC Accession Number: J50020
ABSTRACT: Study examined high school and middle school transition practices from the perspective of special education teachers. Surveys were conducted to determine the types and levels of transition services available for students with special education needs in the state of South Carolina. Results indicated that the majority of schools offer functional curricula, social skills training, and a variety of school-based functional learning opportunities. However, a significant number of schools did not provide adequate employment skills development and functional assessment, and agency involvement in transition planning was inadequate.

Nelson, B. (2005). Creating positive outcomes for deafblind youth and young adults: A personal future planning transition model. RE:view, 36(4), 173.
NARIC Accession Number: J49644
ABSTRACT: Article describes a model program for young people who are deafblind that incorporated two approaches to transition planning: teaching self-determination skills and fostering the development of social networks. PATHfinders of Alabama is a statewide network of qualified professionals, family members, and consumers dedicated to developing and expanding current resources to empower individuals who are deafblind in implementing a meaningful life plan.

Trainor, A.A. (2005). Self-determination perceptions and behaviors of diverse students with LD during the transition planning process. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 38(3), 233-249.
NARIC Accession Number: J49062
ABSTRACT: Study examined self-determination perceptions and behaviors of European American, African American, and Hispanic American students with learning disabilities during postsecondary transition planning. Data were collected during focus group and individual interviews, observations, and document reviews. Analysis of the data yielded 5 themes: (1) missing connections between individualized transition planning goals and postsecondary plans, (2) participating on the periphery, (3) relying on family for transition planning, (4) attempting self-determination, and (5) actualizing self-determination efforts. Students identified themselves and family members, rather than teachers, as key players in transition planning. Students perceived that self-determination efforts were thwarted in school contexts, whereas self-determination opportunities in home contexts were more accessible and productive.


Jorgensen-Smith, T., & Lewis, S. (2004). Meeting the challenge: Innovation in one state rehabilitation system’s approach to transition. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 98(4), 212-227.
NARIC Accession Number: J47978
ABSTRACT: Article describes the process used to address the transition needs of students with visual impairments in three Florida communities. The pilot programs were evaluated to determine their success and to identify components that were worthy of replication. Features that were determined to support success included collaboration among agencies, a link with the school system that promotes the year-round practice of learned skills, clearly delineated roles and responsibilities, individualized planning, and motivation of students. Data collected from the three pilot projects was used to facilitate implementation of the transition program throughout the state.

Kim, Kyeong-Hwa, & Turnbull, A. (2004). Transition to adulthood for students with severe intellectual disabilities: Shifting toward person-family interdependent planning. Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities (formerly JASH), 29(1), 53-57.
NARIC Accession Number: J47608
ABSTRACT: Article provides an overview of person-centered planning and family centered planning and suggests merging these two approaches into personal-family interdependent planning to meet the transition needs of students with severe intellectual disabilities and their families.

Levinson, E.M., (Ed.). (2004). Transition from school to post-school life for individuals with disabilities: Assessment from an educational and school psychological perspective.
NARIC Accession Number: R08673
ABSTRACT: Book is designed to assist professionals in developing and implementing transition services for students with disabilities. It is written from an educational and school psychological perspective; all contributing authors are practicing school psychologists who have had extensive experience working with students with disabilities. Chapters focus on the importance of assessment in transition planning and targets the various domains that should be included in any transition assessment: cognitive intellectual ability, academic achievement, personality and social skills, vocational interests and aptitudes, career maturity and self-advocacy skill, and life skills.

Noyes, D.A., & Sax, C.L. (2004). Changing systems for transition: Students, families, and professional working together. Education and Training in Developmental Disabilities, 39(1), 35-44.
NARIC Accession Number: J47315
ABSTRACT: Article discusses the Point of Transition Service Integration Project, designed to increase the level of collaboration and cooperation among California’s Department of Rehabilitation, Department of Developmental Services, and public schools in providing transition services for students with severe disabilities. Authors describe the benefits of interagency collaboration and the roles of family members, adult service agencies, secondary school educators, and postsecondary educators when planning for the transition of youth with disabilities to postsecondary education and employment settings.


(2003). Investing in the transition of youth with disabilities to productive careers.
NARIC Accession Number: O15408 – This document is available in full text at NARIC.com
ABSTRACT: Publication presents strategies to increase opportunities for empowerment and choice of youth in transition planning. It provides an overview of legislation, both the spirit and the letter of the law; strategies for transition team partners, tools for collaboration among schools, vocational rehabilitation agencies, and other systems; and suggests action steps for moving local communities from compliance to commitment. There is also a chapter on resources for the transition community and training and technical assistance guidelines.

Bonds, B.G. (2003). School-to-work experiences: Curriculum as a bridge. American Annals of the Deaf, 148(1), 38-48.
NARIC Accession Number: J45274
ABSTRACT: Article discusses the need for curriculum that provides activities, opportunities, and experiences that prepare students who are deaf for the transition from high school to the world of work. Author provides historical background and defines terms related to school-to-work (STW) transition, presents laws setting the requirements for STW programs, and discusses the need for transition planning. Curriculum strategies presented focus on using appropriate assessment methods, following the strengths and interests of the student, taking advantage of every opportunity, keeping expectations high, and maintaining a sense of reality.

Bowers, S., & McKee, T., (Comp.). (2003). The jump start initiative. Recovery & Rehabilitation, 2(4).
NARIC Accession Number: O14762 – This document is available in full text at NARIC.com
ABSTRACT: Describes program that promotes recovery and career development for young people with psychiatric disabilities as they transition from high school to employment and/or secondary education. The program uses mentors to provide role models, increase social support, and teach valuable skills. Jump Start students, parents, and mentors briefly describe their experiences with the program. Mentoring and transition resources and a list of mentoring websites are included.

Bremer, C.D., Hawazi, S., Johnson, D.R., & Lehr, C.A., (Eds.). (2003). Impact.
NARIC Accession Number: O15123
ABSTRACT: Quarterly publication of the Institute on Community Integration and the Research and Training Center (RTC) on Residential Services and Community Living, University of Minnesota. This issue focuses on achieving secondary education and transition results for students with disabilities. Topics include: (1) culturally sensitive assumptions in transition planning; (2) challenges of secondary education and transition services for youth with disabilities; (3) universal design in education; (4) strategies for improving graduation results; (5) improving postsecondary education access and results; (6) students with disabilities attending alternative schools; and (7) success stories and resources.

Cox, K., & Romano, F., (Eds.). (2003). Mentoring and transitioning. American Rehabilitation, 27(1), 1-52.
NARIC Accession Number: O14872
ABSTRACT: Journal issue focuses on mentoring and providing support for youth with disabilities as they transition from high school to adult life. Topics include: integrating service systems for effective transitions, creating mentoring opportunities, software designed to teach American Sign Language, supporting individuals with disabilities in postsecondary education, and career development through relationships with mentors, advisors, role models, and peer supporters. Six of the articles are included separately in the NARIC collection under accession numbers J46296 through J46301.

Feist-Price, S., & Khanna, N. (2003). School-to-work transition planning for school-aged children with HIV. Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling, 34(1), 10-16.
NARIC Accession Number: J45333
ABSTRACT: Article discusses the psychosocial impact of HIV and AIDS on school-aged children, the purpose of transition services, collaborative transition planning, and ways the rehabilitation counselors can facilitate the school-to-work transition process.

Field, S., & Kohler, P.D. (2003). Transition-focused education: Foundation for the future. Journal of Special Education, 37(3), 174-183.
NARIC Accession Number: J46521
ABSTRACT: Article reviews research on effective transition practices in 5 areas: (1) student-focused planning, (2) student development, (3) interagency collaboration, (4) family involvement, and (5) program structures. Specific research-based interventions within each of these areas are described. Authors discuss the extent and fidelity of the implementation of transition practices and summarize aspects of transition-focused education that are unique to special education.

Lancaster, P.E., & Mellard, D.F. (2003). Incorporating adult community services into students’ transition planning. Remedial and Special Education, 24(6), 359-368.
NARIC Accession Number: J46496
ABSTRACT: Article discusses the common post high school outcomes for students with learning disabilities and identifies available community resources other than schools that can help them to successfully transition to the adult world. Those resources include adult education, vocational rehabilitation, the Social Security Administration, centers for independent living, and community and technical colleges. Authors describe the services these resources offer and ways that school personnel can work with these agencies to improve the transition process.

Mull, C.A., & Sitlington, P.L. (2003). The role of technology in the transition to postsecondary education of students with learning disabilities: A review of the literature. Journal of Special Education, 37(1), 26-32.
NARIC Accession Number: J45374
ABSTRACT: Article reviews research regarding the use of technology to help students with learning disabilities succeed in the transition to postsecondary institutions. Identifies the specific technology recommendations found in the literature. Discusses issues related to using these recommendations in the transition process. Provides recommendation for transition planning.

Murray, C. (2003). Risk factors, protective factors, vulnerability, and resilience: A framework for understanding and supporting the adult transitions of youth with high-incidence disabilities. Remedial and Special Education, 24(1), 16-26.
NARIC Accession Number: J45097
ABSTRACT: Author discusses how a model that focuses on risk and resilience can assist in understanding and supporting the transition outcomes of youth with high-incidence disabilities. Several studies that have used the concepts of risk, protective factors, and resilience with students with disabilities are reviewed to provide an overview of how this framework can be applied to transition research. Such models help clarify the relationship between individual student characteristics, experiences within multiple contexts, and consequential outcomes.


Agran, M., Cain, H.M., & Cavin, M.D. (2002). Enhancing the involvement of rehabilitation counselors in the transition process. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 25(2), 141-155.
NARIC Accession Number: J44837
ABSTRACT: Survey data was used to examine the extent to which rehabilitation counselors participate in the transition process of youth with disabilities. Findings indicate that the rehabilitation counselors are not being invited to transition planning meetings. Recommendations for promoting better collaboration are presented.

Bates, P., Hunter, D., & Storey, K., (Eds.). (2002). The road ahead: Transition to adult life for persons with disabilities.
NARIC Accession Number: R08250
ABSTRACT: Book is a resource for people with disabilities and their families, presenting information on transitioning from school to adult life. Chapter topics include person-centered transition planning, instructional assessment, systematic instruction, career development, adult employment, modifying and managing employment practices, social life, quality of life, supported living, and postsecondary education for students with disabilities.

Cavaiuolo, D., & Steere, D.E. (2002). Connecting outcomes, goals, and objectives in transition planning. Teaching Exceptional Children, 34(6), 54-59.
NARIC Accession Number: J44537
ABSTRACT: Article discusses the link between self-determination skills, goals and objectives in transition planning process, and post-school outcomes. Describes the role of self-determination and the connection between outcomes with annual goals and short-term objectives. Discusses challenges to effective planning. Suggests strategies for enhancing the transition planning process.

Garvan, C.W., Repetto, J.B., Washington, T., & Webb, K.W. (2002). Connecting student outcomes with transition practices in Florida. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 25(2), 123-139.
NARIC Accession Number: J44836
ABSTRACT: Study investigated the relationship between transition program characteristics and positive post-school outcomes by examining data from the Florida Education and Training Placement Information Program management system. The results revealed trends that reflect best practices identified in research literature and support the need for further research.

Izzo, M., & Lamb, P. (2002). Self-determination and career development: Skills for successful transitions to postsecondary education and employment.
NARIC Accession Number: O15007 – This document is available in full text at NARIC.com
ABSTRACT: Report examines problems that arise from the lack of self-determination and career decision-making skills among students with disabilities. Authors review (1) models that deliver transition services that gain improved employment outcomes; (2) emerging practices for the development of self-determination and career skills being implemented by teachers or college disability services coordinators; and (3) recommendations for policy, practice, and future research.

Smith, S.W., & Stuart, C.H. (2002). Transition planning for students with severe disabilities: Policy implications for the classroom. Intervention in School and Clinic, 37(4), 234-236.
NARIC Accession Number: J43819
ABSTRACT: Article discusses issues concerning transitioning students with severe disabilities from school to working and living in the community. Describes the importance of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Rehabilitation Act in providing supported employment and educational training programs for individuals with disabilities. Describes the educator’s role in promoting employment skills through transition planning and provides guidelines for teachers to follow when developing individual transition plans.


(2001). Whose life is it anyway? A look at person-centered planning and transition.
NARIC Accession Number: O15678
ABSTRACT: Self-paced instructional CD-ROM presents basic information for implementing a person-centered approach to planning the transition from school to adult life for youth with disabilities. It includes an overview on values and principles, the MAPS (McGill Action Planning System) and PATH (Planning Alternative Tomorrows with Hope) processes, and Circles of Support. The format includes video clips, text, audio, and self-study activities.

Acosta, J., Anderson, J., & Whelley, T. (2001). Findings brief #3: Documenting effective models of educational supports for persons with disabilities in postsecondary education and subsequent work settings.
NARIC Accession Number: O14912 – This document is available in full text at NARIC.com
ABSTRACT: Presents findings of study aimed at identifying effective supports and services for college students with disabilities. Researchers analyzed case studies of students who have successfully negotiated postsecondary education and subsequent employment settings. Results are presented across three categories based on context: secondary education, postsecondary education, and employment.

Anderson, J., & Whelley, T. (2001). Implications brief #3: Models of postsecondary and employment success.
NARIC Accession Number: O14913 – This document is available in full text at NARIC.com
ABSTRACT: Discusses the implications of using case studies of successful students to identify effective models of support that improve education and employment outcomes for students with disabilities. The findings will be of interest to postsecondary disability service providers, faculty, vocational rehabilitation counselors, students with disabilities, and potential employers.

Baker, S.R., Rogan, P., & Thoma, C.A. (2001). Student involvement in transition planning: Unheard voices. Education and Training in Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, 36(1), 16-29.
NARIC Accession Number: J41567
ABSTRACT: Qualitative study examining the involvement of eight students with moderate, severe, or multiple disabilities in their own transition planning process during the last year of high school. Data are from participant observations, in-depth interviews, and document analysis. Findings indicate that neither meeting preparation nor the planning meetings themselves were student-centered. Preparation of students was limited, and at meetings school personnel communicated primarily with other professionals and with parents. Students were not active participants, and discussion was about students, not with students. Student outcomes were regarded by school personnel as positive but had little connection to student goals.

Defur, S.H., Getzel, E.E., & Todd-Allen, M. (2001). Parent participation in the transition planning process. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 24(1), 19-36.
NARIC Accession Number: J42074
ABSTRACT: Study examining the experiences of parents of adolescents with disabilities in transition planning, including their relationships with professionals in the transition planning process, and discussing implications for policies and practices that promote and enhance full participation of families in transition planning. Data are four regional focus group interviews with a total of 28 parents of adolescents with disabilities in Virginia. It was found that participants consistently identified the quality of the relationship they had with service providers as the key factor affecting their involvement in transition planning. A model is presented that illustrates the potential positive or negative cycle that occurs as families and professionals interact around transition planning.

Eisenman, L.T. (2001). Conceptualizing the contribution of career-oriented schooling to self-determination. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 24(1), 3-17.
NARIC Accession Number: J42073
ABSTRACT: Article reviewing research into new models of career-oriented schooling within the general education context and the relationship between career-oriented schooling, self-determination, and post-school transition outcomes for students with disabilities.

Everson, J.M., Guillory, J.D., & Zhang, D. (2001). A statewide investigation of individualized transition plans in Louisiana. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 24(1), 37-49.
NARIC Accession Number: J42075
ABSTRACT: Study examining Individualized Transition Plans (ITPs) in Louisiana, in order to determine how well they reflect the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), state goals for transition planning, and valued practices described in the current literature. A total of 329 ITPs were reviewed. Results indicate that the ITPs generally followed IDEA’s requirements, but were less likely to address additional transition areas suggested in the state’s transition planning menu, and showed a lack of attention to organizing and providing transition services reflective of valued practices identified in current literature.

Geenen, S., Lopez-Vasquez, A., & Powers, L.E. (2001). Multicultural aspects of parent involvement in transition planning. Exceptional Children, 67(2), 265-282.
NARIC Accession Number: J41181
ABSTRACT: Study examining the level of participation in various transition planning activities and the importance attached to these activities by African American, Hispanic American, Native American, and European American parents. Results from a survey of 308 parents were compared to results from a parallel survey of 52 school professionals concerning parent participation. Results indicate that according to the parent survey, parents from culturally and linguistically diverse groups reported more transition planning activities than European Americans, even though school professionals consider them less active than European Americans. Lower levels of participation in school-based activities were reported by culturally and linguistically diverse parents. There were some differences between parental groups in the importance attached to types of activity, with culturally and linguistically diverse groups placing less value on school-based planning.

Hennessey, M., Luft, P., Rumrill, P., & Snyder, J.L. (2001). Transition strategies for youths with sensory impairments: Educational, vocational, and independent living considerations. Work, 17(2), 125-134.
NARIC Accession Number: J43464
ABSTRACT: Discusses challenges faced by students with visual or hearing impairments or deaf-blindness as they transition from school to adult community living. Characteristics and circumstances that affect successful transition include social, vocational, and academic competence; unique learning challenges; assessment issues; assistive technology; and accommodation planning. Strategies for designing and implementing individualized transition plans and procedures for evaluating transition outcomes are presented.

Lattin, D.L., Moberly, R.L., Morningstar, M.E., Reichard, A., Turnbull III, H.R., & Umbarger III, G.T. (2001). Students supported by medical technology: Making the transition from school to adult life. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 13(3), 229-259.
NARIC Accession Number: J42676
ABSTRACT: Longitudinal study examining the transition experiences of students supported by medical technology and their family members. Data are from two sets of interviews conducted over a 2-year period with 12 students age 15-21 and/or the students’ mother. Three major themes emerged: (1) future expectations of students and parents, (2) implementation of transition planning, and (3) participation and involvement in transition planning.

Matuszewski, J., Phillips, A., Powers, L.E., Turner, A., Westwood, D., & Wilson, R. (2001). TAKE CHARGE For The Future: A controlled field-test of a model to promote student involvement in transition planning. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 24(1), 89-104.
NARIC Accession Number: J42078
ABSTRACT: Study investigating the efficacy of an intervention model to promote involvement in transition planning by students with disabilities. The intervention included the coaching of youths in the application of student-directed planning skills to achieve transition goals, peer-based mentorship and parent support, and in-service education for school transition staff. A total of 43 adolescents with various disabilities were randomly placed in treatment or waiting list (control) groups. Results indicate that students in the treatment group demonstrated significant increases in their involvement in transition planning activities, empowerment, transition awareness, and level of participation in transition planning meetings compared with participants in the waiting list group.

Zhang, D. (2001). The effect of Next S.T.E.P. instruction on the self-determination skills of high school students with learning disabilities. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 24(2), 121-132.
NARIC Accession Number: J43860
ABSTRACT: Study investigates the effect of the Next S.T.E.P. instruction on the self-determination skills of high school students with learning disabilities. Next S.T.E.P. is designed to teach adolescents the skills needed to participate in a self-directed transition planning process. Students in the treatment group and an untreated control group were evaluated before and after training. Results indicated that the treatment group showed significantly more improvement than the control group on posttest measures of self-determination skills.


Clark, S.G., & Lillie, T. (2000). Growing up with disabilities: Education law and the transition to adulthood. Disability Studies Quarterly, 20(4), 383-398.
NARIC Accession Number: J41513
ABSTRACT: Article arguing that a civil rights model of disability serves better than a social constructivist model when teaching children and youth with disabilities, especially those with cognitive impairments, about their rights and how to be a self-advocate. The argument is supported with examples involving rights under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Recommendations are made based on these arguments regarding transition planning for students with disabilities beginning at age 14.

Eder, R. (2000). School-to-work transition: The collaborative relationship between schools and community rehabilitation programs.
NARIC Accession Number: O16408
ABSTRACT: Study examined the extent to which school districts collaborate with community-based rehabilitation programs (CRPs) to assist students with disabilities in the transition from school to work. A sample of CRPs in Wisconsin and Minnesota were surveyed regarding the frequency and types of services provided to schools, the characteristics of the students served, funding sources, and outcomes achieved. Nearly 75 percent of the respondents had formal contracts with local school districts to provide services to students with disabilities. The services offered by CRPs in the areas of assessment, planning, training, placement, and follow-up corresponded with the services sought by school districts.

Frank, A.R., & Sitlington, P.L. (2000). Young adults with mental disabilities — Does transition planning make a difference? Education and Training in Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, 35(2), 119-134.
NARIC Accession Number: J39455
ABSTRACT: Study comparing outcomes at one-year follow-up for students with mental disabilities in two high school graduating classes before (1985) and after (1993) passage of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and other transition initiatives. Two questions were addressed: (1) Were the students who graduated in 1993 better off one year after graduation than those who graduated in 1985? (2) Was the status of the graduates satisfactory? The authors find that 1993 graduates showed improvement over 1985 graduates in several areas, but that further improvements are needed in the following areas: levels of enrollment in regular vocational education in high school and in postsecondary education and training; overall rate of employment; and rates of employment in community-based employment as opposed to sheltered employment.

Gallaway, M., George, C., Heinsohn, D., Hollowell, M., Jones, D.L., Langbehn, K., Lin, R., & Mortenson, K. (2000). Youth focus: Planning for transition, a national teleconference: Participant’s manual: September 14, 2000.
NARIC Accession Number: O13597
ABSTRACT: Participant’s manual for a teleconference training seminar on school-to-work transition for youth with disabilities. Materials include: A guide to transition from school to work and community for students (an Internet publication of the New York State Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities); a fact sheet for families on transition; student satisfaction and parent satisfaction questionnaires; and a transition planning self-assessment inventory.

Roessler, R., Shearin, A., & Williams, E. (2000). Three recommendations to improve transition planning in the IEP. Journal for Vocational Special Needs Education, 22(2), 31-36.
NARIC Accession Number: J41347
ABSTRACT: Article presenting strategies for dealing with issues of transition planning in the Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Problems discussed include the relationship between academic and transition goals and interventions, and giving proper weight to the goals and aspirations of students and their families. Strategies discussed include administration of life skill assessments that are directly related to career education curricular materials and use of a future-based assessment and planning approach that involves students and parents in developing IEP goals.


Aspel, N., Bettis, G., Quinn, P., Test, D.W., & Wood, W.M. (1999). A collaborative process for planning transition services for all students with disabilities. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 22(1), 21-42.
NARIC Accession Number: J36572
ABSTRACT: This article describes a multilevel interagency transition planning process which includes three levels: a community-level team, a school-level team, and an individual-level team. The TASSEL transition model (Teaching All Students Skills for Employment and Life) is described, focusing on the school-level and individual-level. Three case examples demonstrate the planning process in action.

Bassett, D.S., Lehmann, J.P., & Sands, D.J. (1999). Students’ participation in transition-related actions: A qualitative study. Remedial and Special Education, 20(3), 160-169.
NARIC Accession Number: J36684
ABSTRACT: This qualitative study explores high school students’ participation in transition-related activities. Findings indicated that teachers, students, and mothers did not perceive formal transition-related processes as occurring at school or home. Better communication and administrative support was agreed upon by mothers and teachers as necessary for an effective transition process in which students can become involved. The results of this study suggest that for many, transition is more of a promise than a reality due to limited resources and confusion about roles in planning and implementing transition; transition meetings are an important venue for linking students’ involvement to the transition process; and although teachers and mothers desire student involvement, achieving this involvement will require changes in everyone’s roles.

Benz, M.R., & Blalock, G. (1999). Community transition teams: Enhancing student involvement in transition through community transition teams. Journal for Vocational Special Needs Education, 21(3), 4-12.
NARIC Accession Number: J38507
ABSTRACT: Article describing the role of community transition teams as a mechanism for developing school-family-community partnerships and enhancing student involvement in transition. Strategies are described to (1) establish the foundation for a successful team; (2) identify the community’s highest priority needs; (3) develop and implement an effective action plan; and (4) evaluate the plan and build on the team’s accomplishments.

deFur, S. (1999). NICHCY TRANSITION summary TS10, January.
NARIC Accession Number: O13181
ABSTRACT: Publication highlights issues of importance to the transition needs of young people with disabilities. This issue 10 (January/1999) contains the following topics: “Transition planning: a team effort.” which discusses areas of consideration for the IEP team; “A brief legal overview of transition planning:” “Transition teams;” “Creating the transition plan;” “How to find resources in your community;” “Community level transition teams; and “Conclusion: taking the first step.” In addition, organizations and publications for further information are provided.

Destefano, L., Furney, K., Hasazi, S., & Heck, D. (1999). Enhancing the implementation of the transition requirements of IDEA: A report on the policy forum on transition. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 22(1), 85-100.
NARIC Accession Number: J36576
ABSTRACT: Article summarizes efforts to identify the best practices and issues in policy implementation in the area of secondary transition for students with disabilities as discussed at a Policy Forum on Transition held in Washington D.C. in September, 1997. The effort to enhance the implementation of the transition requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) included thirty participants selected to represent knowledgeable and effective policymakers, administrators, direct service providers, parents, and advocates at local, state, and federal levels. Recommendations of the forum included (1) considering transition as a Pre-K through 16 issue; (2) promoting schools’ responsibility; (3) cultivating leadership; (4) working effectively with students and families; (5) addressing collaboration and the holistic nature of transition; (6) appreciating local contexts; and (7) continuing research and dissemination.

Devlieger, P.J., & Trach, J.S. (1999). Mediation as a transition process: The impact on post-school employment outcomes. Exceptional Children, 65(4), 507-523.
NARIC Accession Number: J36828
ABSTRACT: Article evaluates the impact of mediation on the transition outcomes of six persons with mild mental retardation using ethnographic research methods such as interviews and transition scripts. Involvement of parents and focal persons was disproportionate to school and agency personnel. School and agency efforts most often resulted in sheltered employment, while personal or parent mediation resulted more often in self-employment and continuing education outcomes. Strategies used by focal persons, their parents, and agencies or schools in order to effect their employment and educational outcomes are discussed in relation to: (1) empowerment and self-determination, (2) the social dimensions of transition planning and “balanced mediation,” and (3) the Individualized Education Program meeting as a planning tool for developing balanced mediation and identification of mentor relationships.

Householder, D., & Jansen, D. (1999). Partnerships, families, employers, transition, disabled: Creating the best transition outcomes for moderate and multiply disabled individuals. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 13(1), 51-54.
NARIC Accession Number: J38100
ABSTRACT: Article discussing issues related to transition to adulthood for youth with disabilities. Topics include: the origins and evolution of the concept of transition; family-centered planning and self-determination; non-vocational aspects of transition planning; and the role of employers in work transition.

Kleinhammer-Trammill, J., Lattin, D.L., & Morningstar, M.E. (1999). Using successful models of student-centered transition planning and services for adolescents with disabilities. Focus on Exceptional Children, 31(9), 1-19.
NARIC Accession Number: J37168
ABSTRACT: Article traces the history of transition programs for adolescents with disabilities and the role that transition plays within current reform efforts. Models of transition programs described include: cooperative work study programs, career education, OSERS “bridge” model of transition, and Halpern’s revised transition model. Legislation relevant to transition is reviewed including: IDEA amendments, the School-to-work Opportunities Act of 1994, Goals 2000: Education America Act and the Improving America’s Schools Act of 1994. Information regarding current best practices is discussed. Strategies for incorporating best practices within school programs are provided. This includes a discussion of self-determination, individualized planning methods, family and support network involvement, community outcomes, and interagency collaboration.

Loesch, C., Matuszewski, J., Powers, L.E., Turner, A., & Wilson, R. (1999). A qualitative analysis of student involvement in transition planning. Journal for Vocational Special Needs Education, 21(3), 18-26.
NARIC Accession Number: J38509
ABSTRACT: Qualitative study exploring the experiences and perspectives of students, parents, and educators regarding the transition planning process, student participation in transition planning meetings, and strategies to promote student involvement. Data are from interviews with 12 high school students with diverse disabilities, their parents, and school staff familiar with their transition planning. Findings cover the nature of the student’s transition preparation, student involvement in transition planning activities, barriers to student participation in transition planning meetings, and strategies that participants thought would help to promote student involvement.

Luft, P. (1999). Assessment and collaboration: Key elements in comprehensive and cohesive transition planning. Work, 13(1), 31-41.
NARIC Accession Number: J37399
ABSTRACT: Article on issues faced by work transition planning teams, and identifying strategies for the successful resolution of these issues. Topics include: the goals of work transition for youth with disabilities; legislative background; transition assessment practices; and assembling a transition plan.

Mitchell, W. (1999). Leaving special school: The next step and future aspirations. Disability & Society, 14(6), 753-769.
NARIC Accession Number: J38182
ABSTRACT: Study examining traditional models of transition in light of data on the experiences of young people with disabilities. Data are from interviews with 17 youth leaving five special schools during two calendar years, their parents or other family members, and 22 school professionals and other related professionals. Focuses of the article include how the participants began their educational/vocational transitions, and the steps they have taken in their transition to a more independent “adult” status.

Parette, P. (1999). Transition and assistive technology planning with families across cultures. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 22(2), 213-231.
NARIC Accession Number: J37610
ABSTRACT: Article discussing family and cultural factors affecting assistive technology (AT) related transition planning for adolescents and young adults with disabilities. Topics include: (1) whether independence is desired; (2) reluctance to use or be seen using AT; (3) information needs; (4) reluctance to change family routines; and (5) effects of life experiences using AT.

Roessler, R., Schriner, K., & Shearin, A. (1999). Evaluating the transition component in IEPs of secondary students with disabilities. Rural Special Education Quarterly, 18(2), 22-35.
NARIC Accession Number: J39584
ABSTRACT: Study examining the work transition content of 68 Individualized Educational Programs (IEP’s) prepared after enactment of the Congressional mandate to include school-to-work goals and linkages in IEP’s. Data are from evaluations by four raters using an outcome/skill checklist. Results indicate that plans were unclear regarding residential, postsecondary educational, and employment goals for many students. Skills areas overlooked included personal care, safety, family planning, child care, clothing selection and care, and self-advocacy training. The plans included few linkages with adult agencies, with vocational rehabilitation mentioned in only seven percent of the plans. To improve transition planning, the authors recommend that IEP teams use the checklist presented in this article.


Collet-Klingenberg, L.L. (1998). The reality of best practices in transition: A case study. Exceptional Children, 65(1), 67-78.
NARIC Accession Number: J35651
ABSTRACT: Article presenting a case study (utilizing qualitative analysis) of transition-related practices in use in one rural secondary school and their effects on students with learning disabilities. Findings showed the utilization of some best practices identified in the literature. The article describes vocation-related practices such as work experience, transition-related instruction in such skills as self-determination and self-advocacy, and specific planning activities (e.g., transition teams).

Colley, D.A., & Jamison, D. (1998). Post school results for youth with disabilities: Key indicators and policy implications. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 21(2), 145-160.
NARIC Accession Number: J35806
ABSTRACT: Article presenting information on the post school results of 720 former students who had received special education transition services. Outcomes described include employment, postsecondary education, and community living. Program components that contributed to success are identified, including work experiences, occupational education, mainstreamed academics, and transition planning. Implications for policy deliberations and school practices are discussed.

Ipsen, C. (1998). Region V transition handbook: Unlocking the doors to the future—A guide for students with disabilities and their parents to assist in planning for life after graduation-Spring, 1998 edition.
NARIC Accession Number: O12651
ABSTRACT: Handbook on transition to adult life for students with disabilities and their parents in Montana. Provides descriptions of programs serving adults with disabilities. Programs include: state funded programs; programs for adults with developmental disabilities; vocational rehabilitation (VR), including Native American (tribal) VR; advocacy programs; community services; mental health services; recreation programs (Very Special Arts Montana and YMCA); Social Security Administration; Summit Independent Living Center; The Rural Institute of the University of Montana; and job training programs. Also includes glossaries of terms and abbreviations, and an index of services by community.

McKenna, K. (1998). Transition services: Communication is the key to success. Exceptional Parent, 28(9), 50-54.
NARIC Accession Number: J35730
ABSTRACT: Article describing elements of successful transition planning. These include: answering the right questions; a person-centered planning process; knowledge of outside resources; and advocacy. The author emphasizes that the questions involved in transition planning are different from those addressed by an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), and explains that students should graduate with a resume, not an IEP.

Sample, P.L. (1998). Postschool outcomes for students with significant emotional disturbance following best-practice transition services. Behavioral Disorders, 23(4), 231-242.
NARIC Accession Number: J35510
ABSTRACT: Article reporting on a study to determine whether the use of transition best practices in the educational program of students with significant emotional disturbance is predictive of successful post-school outcomes for the students (i.e., employment and community adjustment). Data are from telephone and in-person interviews with 30 (57 percent) of 53 former secondary level students who participated in supported employment and entrepreneurial education transition grant projects between 1989 and 1994. Predictor variables were six best practices: vocational instruction, parent involvement, interagency collaboration and service delivery, individual plans and planning, paid work experience, and social skills instruction. Students were interviewed at 6 months, 12 months, and 24 months post-school about employment, post-secondary education, living situation, finances, leisure, and citizenship (i.e., voting, volunteering, and membership in groups). It was found that students out of school for six months who had been employed for long periods of time while in school had higher rates of employment than those who had not worked. Students out of school for one year whose parents were actively involved in their educational programs were more likely than their peers with uninvolved parents to have a successful community adjustment.

Sands, D.J., & Wehmeyer, M.L. (1998). Making it happen: Student involvement in education planning, decision making, and instruction.
NARIC Accession Number: R07906
ABSTRACT: Book on participation by students with disabilities in transition planning and development of their own Individualized Education Plans. The book describes model programs and provides teachers and other practitioners with procedures for involving students in transition planning, decision making, self advocacy, and instruction.

Full-text copies of many of these documents may be available through NARIC’s document delivery service. To order any of the documents listed above, note the accession number and call an information specialist at 800/346-2742. There is a charge of 5¢/page for copying and shipping with a $5 minimum on all orders.

Documents from the Education Resource Information Center (ERIC) search at www.eric.ed.gov are listed below:


Abbott, D., & Heslop, P. (2007). School’s out: Pathways for young people with intellectual disabilities from out-of-area residential schools or colleges. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 51(7), 489-496.
ERIC #: EJ764994
ABSTRACT: Background: Previous research, and official guidance, has suggested that planning for the transition between children’s and adults’ services is failing young people with intellectual disabilities and their families in the UK. Youngsters placed away from home in residential schools or colleges are likely to be at even greater risk of poor transition planning and outcomes, yet there is little understanding of what factors parents consider contribute to a smoother transition and what a satisfactory outcome would be. Method: The parents of 15 young people from five areas of the UK were interviewed about what they thought contributed to a satisfactory pathway for their son or daughter from an out-of-area residential school or college on to the next phase of their life. Results: Parents identified four main process issues: being well-connected with other parents or with key professionals; being proactive; having sufficient information; and good forward planning. Most considered a good outcome to be if the young person was happy, fulfilled and stimulated. Conclusions: Parents were clear about what they thought helped, and there was little disagreement between their views. While some of these factors have been previously identified regarding the transition of disabled youngsters, they raise some unique issues for families with a youngster educated in an out-of-area residential school or college.

Elliott, J., Emerson, E., Hatton, C., Joyce, T., Knapp, M., Krinjen-Kemp, E., McIntosh, B., Oakes, P., Robertson, J., Romeo, R., Routledge, M., Sanderson, H., Swift, P., & Towers, C. (2007). Person-centered planning: Factors associated with successful outcomes for people with intellectual disabilities. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 51(3), 232-243.
ERIC #: EJ751522
ABSTRACT: Background: Recent research in the USA and UK indicates that person-centered planning (PCP) can lead to improvements in lifestyle-related outcomes for people with intellectual disabilities (ID). It is clear, however, that the introduction of PCP does not have an equal impact for all participants. The aim of the present paper was to identify factors associated with the probability of delivering a plan and with improvements in outcomes for those who did receive a plan. Methods: Information on the life experiences of participants was collected over a period of approximately two years for a cohort of 93 adults with ID. Results: There were powerful inequalities in both access to and the efficacy of PCP in relation to participant characteristics, contextual factors and elements of the PCP process. Conclusions: Results are discussed in relation to implications for policy and practice for increasing the effectiveness of PCP and reducing inequalities in the life experiences of people with ID.

Houghton, A., & Piggott, L. (2007). Transition experiences of disabled young people. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 26(5), 573-587.
ERIC #: EJ777717
ABSTRACT: This paper outlines the changing employment climate and shift in attitudes towards disabled people who are expected to become economically active in order to fulfill their role as responsible citizens. We briefly describe the employment profile of disabled people and reiterate the combination of factors identified in shaping progression into the workforce. We provide a summary of two research projects, the Disability Effective Inclusive Policies (DEIP) funded by European Social Fund with a clear connection to EU equity and employability agenda, and the Lancashire Aimhigher Disability (LAD) project designed to support the government’s aim of widening participation. We discuss aspects of the transition process, drawing explicitly on interviews with disabled people, policy makers and practitioners involved in developing or implementing policy and providing support services designed to aid the transition process. We conclude that there is a continuing need for a focus on the concept of transition in policy and practice.

Kinnealey, M., & Salmon, N. (2007). Paving rough roads: Transition to life beyond the classroom as experienced by students with disabilities and their families. Exceptionality Education Canada, 17(1), 53-84.
ERIC #: EJ773908
ABSTRACT: This grounded theory study employed in-depth interviews with nine student/parent dyads from eastern Canada. Youth with disabilities, aged 16 to 21, contributed narratives describing high school transitions. Shared experience that transcends disability categories produced powerful results. Three categories emerged: (1) transition facilitators; (2) transition constraints; (3) strategies for meaningful transitions. Higher level analysis revealed further relationships: the connection between perceived lack of support and burn out; the importance of self-advocacy; and the sense of “paving rough roads” for the next generation. The core variable, contextual influences, resonates with the five systems presented in the bio-ecological model of human development. A model demonstrating the interactions among categories, contexts and ecological systems is presented. This framework provides encouragement and cautionary notes for those working toward a meaningful transition and a place to belong for youth with disabilities.

Lewis-Fleming, G. (2007). Considerations for the military child with special needs transitioning to adulthood. Exceptional Parent, 37(8), 68-76.
ERIC #: EJ771956
ABSTRACT: Transition is a dynamic lifelong process that seeks to meet individual needs as a person with disabilities moves from childhood to adulthood. Per laws in most states, once an individual becomes 18 years of age that person is considered an adult regardless of the level of his or her disability. Initiating planning for adult living activities and financial support is crucial while the child is still a minor. This article discusses a strategy developed by the Naval Medical Center Portsmouth Neuro-developmental Pediatric Department to address transition for military children with disabilities and other special needs. It provides an overview of unique military considerations, including: continuing TRICARE benefits, Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) eligibility after age 18, and respite benefits through Extended Health Care Option (ECHO). It discusses legal, financial, academic/lifestyle, community resources, and self-advocacy considerations. It concludes with lessons learned from information obtained from special needs families and unprecedented quarterly transition forums.

Sun, C.M. (2007). The impact of inclusion-based education on the likelihood of independence for today’s students with special needs. Journal of Special Education Leadership, 20(2), 84-92.
ERIC #: EJ802310
ABSTRACT: Students with disabilities have more barriers to independent living than other student populations. The current study examines the likelihood of independence for young people with disabilities by extending a model developed by the Heal and Rusch (1995) that used the National Longitudinal Transition Study (NLTS) from 1992. The current study employs a probit regression with a likelihood of independence as the dependent variable with 6,562 observations. The principal finding is that if special needs children, regardless of disability, participate more in regular educational settings, the likelihood that they live independently after leaving school increases. The analysis also considers preliminary observations from the follow-up National Longitudinal Transition Study-2, due to be completed in 2010. This article provides a literature review regarding students with special needs, their likelihood of living independently after leaving school, and significant policy changes since the original NLTS data set. It describes the methods used in the present study to understand and analyze the NLTS and NLTS-2 studies. Next, it discusses the results of the statistical analysis. Finally, the article provides a discussion of the results, conclusions, and policy implications for the findings.

Trainor, A.A. (2007). Perceptions of adolescent girls with LD regarding self-determination and postsecondary transition planning. Learning Disability Quarterly, 30(1), 31-45.
ERIC #: EJ786226
ABSTRACT: Existing research has documented disparate outcomes between young women and men with disabilities in many transition domains, including employment, postsecondary education, and parenting. Similarly, students with learning disabilities (LD) have unique postsecondary transition needs. Promoting self-determination and active participation in transition is recommended in practice regardless of gender and disability type. Because both gender and disability status impact the postsecondary trajectories of young adults, helping young women with LD meet the demands of adulthood, including responding to opportunities for self-determination, is a salient issue. Using qualitative interview data and analysis, this study examined the perceptions of adolescent females with LD regarding self-determination during transition. Findings indicated that participants perceived they were self-determining individuals, yet several key component skills necessary for self-determination were missing. Connections to practice and future research are presented.


Nevin, A., & Smith, R.M. (2006). Conceptualizing liberatory roles for educational and psychological consultants: Implications for transition planning. Journal of Educational & Psychological Consultation, 16(4), 263-286.
ERIC #: EJ772298
ABSTRACT: We support role changes for educational and psychological consultants who work with children and youth with disabilities as they make important transitions. Principles derived from critical pedagogy and disability studies could provide the theoretical framework for the proposed shift in roles that change the basis on which consulting services are provided. Rather than needs-based services that focus on helping individuals with disabilities cope with deficits, this article supports an empowering person-centered, strength-based orientation tied to perceptions of the individual as competent and complex. We offer recommendations for transition consultants, researchers, and practitioners that could result in more widespread implementation of the principles of critical pedagogy and disability studies.


(2005). Ten tips that may help ease your child’s transition to adulthood. PHP-C107
ERIC #: ED493088
ABSTRACT: Planning for a child’s transition from adolescence to adulthood is one of the most important things a parent can do to pave the way to a successful future. In Minnesota, special education transition planning and services begin when a child with a disability is fourteen. From then on, parents and their children will start learning new skills side-by-side. The child will begin to take on more responsibility, and the parents will find new ways to provide support. It can be a challenge. Depending on a child’s disability, the parents may need to consider everything from post-secondary education to employment, from housing to finances. This document provides tips as parents and their child plan for the future.

Black, R., & Leake, D. (2005). Cultural and linguistic diversity: Implications for transition personnel. Essential tools: Improving secondary education and transition for youth with disabilities. National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET), University of Minnesota.
ERIC #: ED495863 – This document is available in full text at ERIC.ed.gov
ABSTRACT: This volume in NCSET’s Essential Tools series summarizes current research about transition issues and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) youth with disabilities. It offers information on how transition personnel can effectively support these youth by building on their strengths and enhancing natural supports available within their families and communities. This tool offers several guiding principles. One is cultural competence, which means that services and supports are provided in ways that are appropriate and sensitive to the cultural nuances and expectations of youth and their families. Another guiding principle is natural supports. In contrast to formal supports provided by paid personnel, natural supports are provided by community members in the course of daily life. Natural supports may be provided by relatives, peers, community volunteers, clubs, religious organizations, etc. This Essential Tool also highlights the guiding principle of building on strengths in order to address challenges. This principle is an antidote to focusing on a person’s deficits. This volume consists of parts that focus on cultural and other issues that may influence the transition process for CLD youth with disabilities. Each part also has individual “tools” that offer practical support and guidance for transition personnel. The tools either condense important information in a concise format or provide guidance for conducting key transition activities. Part I is titled “Essential Tool Overview,” which introduces the volume and describes how it is organized. Part II, CLD Youth with Disabilities in Transition, includes an overview of the primary ethnic/racial groups in the United States with a focus on information related to disability and education. It also summarizes challenges that tend to be particularly significant for CLD youth with disabilities and briefly describes how transition personnel can help address these challenges. Part III, A Continuum of “Individualistic” and “Collectivistic” Values, explores the contrasts between “individualistic” values that tend to be held within the American mainstream and the “collectivistic” values that tend to be more common among CLD groups. An explanation follows of how the transition process and goals of youth with disabilities and their families may be shaped by their cultural values and how values may influence the concept of “self-determination.” Part IV, The Culturally Sensitive Individualization of Services and Supports, explores the concept of cultural competence and how transition personnel can individualize services and supports through the use of proven strategies such as cultural reciprocity, person-centered planning, and resource mapping. Finally, this Essential Tool concludes with additional resources that provide more extensive information on relevant topics and are available on the Internet. This Essential Tool is designed to help answer the key questions for teachers, counselors, transition specialists, and other personnel involved in transition planning and services for CLD youth with disabilities. This topic is important because demographic trends project that the number of CLD students in the United States will increase from about one-third of total students currently to about one-half by 2040. A list of other resources available on the Internet is also included.

Cameto, R., Levine, P., Newman, L., & Wagner, M. (2005). Changes over time in the early postschool outcomes of youth with disabilities. A report of findings from the National Longitudinal Transition Study (NLTS) and the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2)
ERIC #: ED494920 – This document is available in full text at ERIC.ed.gov
ABSTRACT: Background: Since the early 1980s, when A Nation at Risk sounded a clear warning about the condition of American education, there have been extensive federal, state, and local efforts to improve schools for all students, including broad policy initiatives intended to change the school experiences of students with disabilities and improve their outcomes both during school and in their post-school years. Two studies by the U.S. Department of Education provide documentation of changes experienced since the mid 1980s by secondary school students with disabilities as they transition to young adulthood. Purpose: To assess change between 1987 and 2003 in the early post-school outcomes (i.e. postsecondary enrollment, employment, engagement in the community, living arrangements, and social involvement) of youth with disabilities. Changes also are described for youth with disabilities who differed in their school-exit status, age, gender, household income, and race/ethnicity. Study Sample: The National Longitudinal Transition Study (NLTS) included a nationally representative sample of 14,000 youth receiving special education, ages 15 through 23 in the 1985-86 school year. The National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2) includes a nationally representative sample of 11,276 youth who were ages 13 through 16 and receiving special education services in seventh grade or above in the 2000-2001 school year. This report focuses on the subset of youth represented in NLTS and NLTS2 who had been out of high school up to two years in 1987 or 2003. Analyses include the age group of out of school youth that was common to the studies at those time points: youth ages 15 through 19. The two samples are weighted to have the same distribution of these age groups. Research Design: Descriptive; Correlational; Longitudinal; Other Quantitative. Data Collection and Analysis: Information reported here is drawn from the first wave of parent telephone interviews conducted for NLTS youth in 1987 and the second wave of parent/youth interviews conducted for NLTS2 youth in 2003. NLTS2 telephone interviews were conducted with parents and with youth who were reported by parents to be able to respond to questions about their experiences, either over the phone or through a mailed written questionnaire. Findings: By 2003 there were significant increases in youth with disabilities’ postsecondary education enrollment and employment rates. There also was an increase in participation in organized community groups. Despite the positive changes, other changes were disconcerting: the sizable increase in the proportion of youth with disabilities who had been fired from a job or arrested. In addition, there was no real change in earnings over time when wages were adjusted for inflation. There were differential changes in outcomes across disability categories, continued limitations for youth from households with lower income, and decreasing but persistent racial/ethnic differences. Conclusion: The age groups included in NLTS and NLTS2 and the timing of data collection in the two studies permit one more comparison between youth with disabilities represented in the two studies—when youth were ages 18 through 21 and had been out of high school up to 4 years. Analyses of those cohorts, to be presented in future reports, will reveal the ways in which the changes in the early post-school outcomes of youth with disabilities documented in this report evolve as youth continue into early adulthood. Citation: Wagner, M., Newman, L., Cameto, R., & Levine, P. (2005). Changes over time in the early postschool outcomes of youth with disabilities. A report of findings from the National Longitudinal Transition Study (NLTS) and the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2). Menlo Park, CA: SRI International. The following are appended: (1) Sampling, Data Collection, and Analysis Procedures: NLTS Wave 1 Parent Interview/Survey and NLTS2 Wave 2 Parent-Youth Interview/Survey; and (2) Unweighted Sample Sizes. (Contains 38 exhibits and 2 footnotes.)

Stenhjem, P. (2005). Youth with disabilities in the juvenile justice system: Prevention and intervention strategies. Examining current challenges in secondary education and transition. Issue brief. Volume 4, Issue 1. National Center on Secondary Education and Transition, University of Minnesota (NCSET).
ERIC #: ED484281 – This document is available in full text at ERIC.ed.gov
ABSTRACT: How do communities begin to address the issue of youth with disabilities who become involved with correctional systems? This brief provides information on proactive solutions based on restorative justice and wrap-around services, models, and strategies. This topic is receiving more attention as research has begun supporting a critical need for intervention in this area (Burrell &Warboys, 2000; Christle,Jolivette, & Nelson, 2000; National Council on Disability, 2003). There is a serious gap between the number of youth with disabilities in the general population and those who are incarcerated. In 2000, the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) reported the prevalence of disabilities among school age children in the United States as 9%, compared with a conservative estimate of 32% within the juvenile justice system (Quinn, Rutherford, Jr., & Leone, 2001) Larson and Turner (2002) cite research on the incidence and overrepresentation of youth with disabilities in the juvenile justice system, including a study done by Otto in 1995 indicating that approximately 90% of youth in corrections meet the diagnostic criteria for one or more mental health disorders. Research explaining underlying causes for this situation is scarce. Quinn et al. (2002) indicate that criminal behavior has been strongly linked to a number of factors including dropping out of school, substance abuse, weak family structure, poverty, and learning and behavioral disabilities, among others. This brief focuses on two models, restorative justice and wrap-around services, to illustrate proactive intervention for reducing the number of youth with disabilities incarcerated in juvenile and adult prisons. Transition planning for youth with disabilities has not focused extensively on involvement with the juvenile justice system. Increased attention is needed on the growing number of youth with disabilities involved in the juvenile and adult correctional systems. This document provides 19 References with 5 additional references added on the back cover.


(2004). Person-centered planning: A tool for transition. Parent brief. National Center on Secondary Education and Transition, University of Minnesota (NCSET).
ERIC #: ED484284 – This document is available in full text at ERIC.ed.gov
ABSTRACT: This publication discusses person-centered planning as a tool for transition. It discusses young people with disabilities and the support systems they need to recognize their individual strengths, interests, fears, and dreams and allows them to take charge of their future. It focuses on how parents, teachers, family members, and friends in the community who offer informal guidance, support, and love can help a child with a disability feel confident in them selves.

Akos, P., Milsom, A., & Thompson, M. (2004). A psychoeducational group approach to postsecondary transition planning for students with learning disabilities. Journal for Specialists in Group Work, 29(4), 395-411.
ERIC #: EJ722241
ABSTRACT: Group work has been identified as an important intervention to prepare children and adolescents for a variety of transitions. Students with disabilities can benefit from participation in psychoeducational groups as they prepare for their transition to postsecondary school. This article describes a psychoeducational group model designed to increase disability self-awareness, increase postsecondary education knowledge, and promote self-advocacy skills for students with learning disabilities.

Benitez, D., & Morningstar, M.E. (2004). Critical issues facing youths with emotional and behavioral disorders during the transition to adulthood. Fifth CCBD Mini-Library Series: meeting the diverse needs of children and youth with E/BD—Evidence-based programs and practices.
ERIC #: ED477122
ABSTRACT: This monograph examines issues in the transition of youth with emotional and/or behavioral disorders to adulthood. It describes transition as a process by which youth with disabilities are systematically equipped with skills necessary for realizing valued postsecondary outcomes. The subject of transition is examined within the historical, philosophical, and legal contexts that form the background for model development and best practices. The first chapter examines historical and legal contexts, noting early models of transition planning and services, more recent models, and the decade of transition-related legislation. The transition planning process is the topic of the second chapter and considers developing a vision for the future and the Individualized Education Program focused on transition (Individualized Transition Plan). The third chapter examines institutional barriers to successful transition, including arbitrary institutional boundaries, weak transition plans, discontinuity of care, and inappropriate supports. Comprehensive transition programs are discussed next, including the transition to independence and the Young Adult Transition Program. The fifth chapter covers a model employment program for youth with emotional and behavioral disorders. The final chapter is a summary chapter that identifies essential elements of successful transitions and examines the influence of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Bremer, C., Lavin, D., Podmostko, M., Timmons, J., & Wills, J. (2004). Career planning begins with assessment: A guide for professionals serving youth with educational and career development challenges. Institute for Educational Leadership.
ERIC #: ED485703 –This document is available in full text at ERIC.ed.gov
ABSTRACT: This guide will serve as a resource for multiple audiences within the workforce development system. It will be useful to policymakers, administrators, and a wide variety of youth service practitioners including teachers, transition coordinators, counselors, work experience coordinators, tutors, job placement specialists, and job coaches. The guide can be used in many settings including secondary and postsecondary education programs, school-to-work transition programs, One-Stop workforce centers, youth employment programs, community rehabilitation programs, and community-based organizations that serve youth and young adults, ages 14 to 25.

Briel, L.W., Getzel, E.E., & McManus, S. (2004). An effective model for college students with learning disabilities and attention deficit hyperactivity disorders. Research to practice brief: Improving secondary education and transition services through research. Volume 3, Issue 1. National Center on Secondary Education and Transition, University of Minnesota (NCSET).
ERIC #: ED484285
ABSTRACT: As a result of the increasing number of students with disabilities entering post-secondary education, disability support services offices across the nation are faced with providing more varied and specialized services. Yet there is a limited body of knowledge within the postsecondary education and disability field on what services and specific accommodations are appropriate under various conditions. Amid this changing postsecondary environment, students with disabilities frequently feel overwhelmed, resulting in low retention and graduation rates. Further research is needed on the types of supports provided and their impact on the educational outcomes of students with disabilities, as well as on the various models of service delivery. The intent of this study, which was conducted by the Virginia Commonwealth University-Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (VCU-RRTC), was to determine the effectiveness of a supported-education model as part of the services offered through the Disability Support Services Office (DSS) and the impact of these services and supports on students educational outcomes. The model was implemented through the VCU DSS office on both the academic and medical campuses as part of the range of services offered by these offices. The results of the study indicate that for some students experiencing academic problems, the access to services and supports through a supported-education model can be beneficial.


Batterman, N., Certo, N.J., Luecking, R., Mautz, D., Noyes, D., Pumpain, I., Sax, C., Smalley, K., Wade, H.A., & Wechsler, J. (2003). A review and discussion of a model for seamless transition to adulthood. Education and Training in Developmental Disabilities, 38(1), 3-17.
ERIC #: EJ664519
ABSTRACT: The Transition Service Integration Model integrates resources of public schools, rehabilitation, and developmental disability systems. School and private non-profit agencies work together to develop employment and inclusive community activities during the student’s last school year. Rehabilitation and developmental disability systems then work with the agency on an ongoing basis. Data on 234 graduates are provided.

Chambless, C., Holt, J.M., & Sheen, J. (2003). Work incentives and the transition to work in rural areas.
ERIC #: ED476218 – This document is available in full text at ERIC.ed.gov
ABSTRACT: “Work incentives” encourage and support individuals with disabilities in their efforts to seek employment and have been formalized in federal legislation and regulations, including the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act (TWWIIA). In October 2000, Utah received a 4-year federal grant to change the state’s systems of work incentives and supports for individuals with significant disabilities, particularly those receiving Social Security benefits. A major effort under this grant involves providing consumers, state agency staff, and service providers with training and practical knowledge about the new Social Security and Medicaid work incentives authorized under TWWIIA. This training is particularly important in rural areas, where individuals with disabilities are impeded from work by fewer employment opportunities, lack of services and supports, and lack of transportation. This article describes the new work incentives resulting from TWWIIA, as well as previously existing Social Security incentives. Although presented with examples from rural Utah, most information is applicable nationwide. Sections cover Benefits Planning Assistance and Outreach, expanded Medicaid health coverage (Medicaid Work Incentive), Employment Related Personal Assistance, Ticket to Work, protection and advocacy systems, Plan for Achieving Self Support, Student Earned Income Exclusion, Impairment Related Work Expense, and “subsidies” to increase beneficiaries’ monthly earnings while not reducing Social Security benefits.


Brinckerhoff, L.C., McGuire, J.M., & Shaw, S.F. (2002). Postsecondary education and transition for students with learning disabilities. Second edition.
ERIC #: ED463620
ABSTRACT: This text is designed to help postsecondary education personnel initiate or refine college programs for the increasing numbers of students with learning disabilities. Following an introductory chapter, chapters have the following titles: (1) “A Comprehensive Approach to Transition Planning”; (2) “Judicial Intent and Legal Precedents” (Laura F. Rothstein); (3) “Issues in Defining the Population”; (4) “The Connections among Psychosocial Issues, Adult Development, and Self-Determination” (Lynda Price); (5) “Assessment of Learning Disabilities” (Joseph W. Madaus); (6) “Determining Eligibility for Services and Testing Accommodations”; (7) “Policies, Procedures, and Programmatic Considerations”; (8) “The Dynamic Process of Providing Accommodations” (Sally S. Scott); (9) “College Students with ADHD: New Challenges and Directions” (Jane Byron and David R. Parker); (10) “The Use of Assistive Technology in Postsecondary Education” (Brian R. Bryant, Diane Pedrotty Bryant, and Herbert J. Rieth); (11) “Postsecondary Disability Personnel as Professionals”; (12) “Promoting Our Products”; and (13) “Future Directions in Postsecondary Learning Disability.” Over 50 appendices have been collected on a CD-ROM and include numerous examples of downloadable policies, data collection forms, and resources contributed by professionals from highly respected programs.

Cobb, J.V.M. (2002). Transition-aged learning disabled students: How to prepare them for work and/or post-secondary education. Career Planning and Adult Development Journal, 18(1), 49-60.
ERIC #: EJ651608
ABSTRACT: Discusses transition of students with learning disabilities from high school to work or postsecondary education. Includes information about students with learning disabilities who are not bound for the professions.


(2000). Transition and post-school outcomes for youth with disabilities: Closing the gaps to post-secondary education and employment.
ERIC #: ED450519 – This document is available in full text at ERIC.ed.gov
ABSTRACT: This report presents an analysis of research on the state of transition, post-secondary education, and employment outcomes for youth and young adults with disabilities over the past 25 years. It identifies what has worked in the areas of transition planning, services, and supports. It also considers what should work in light of unmet needs and unserved populations, focusing on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Youth Opportunity Movement, Youth Councils and One-Stop Centers under the Workforce Investment Act. Also discussed are the Presidential Task Force on Employment of Adults with Disabilities, the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act, and demonstration projects in special education. Recommendations are offered for the nation (eight recommendations), state and local communities (nine recommendations), and the disability community (three recommendations). Major recommendations to the President and U.S. Congress address the following areas: (1) timely reports by agencies on compliance; (2) redesign of programs that are not producing results; (3) cooperation of the Department of Education and Social Security Administration on eligibility and incentives for greater self-sufficiency; (4) development of data and information-sharing across agencies regarding program implementation; (5) diffusion of knowledge about what works; and (6) specific inclusion of individuals with disabilities in federal programs.

Burnette, J., & Warger, C. (2000). Planning student-directed transitions to adult life. ERIC/OSEP Digest E593.
ERIC #: ED439577 – This document is available in full text at ERIC.ed.gov
ABSTRACT: This digest discusses comprehensive training planning for students with disabilities and ways educators can facilitate the involvement of students with disabilities in helping to formulate the Individualized Transition Plan component of the Individualized Education Program (IEP). Strategies for encouraging student participation include: (1) begin instruction as early as possible in self-determination and other related skills; (2) be prepared to support students with sensitive issues and work through all issues and questions about a disability with students; (3) make sure you feel comfortable talking about a topic or allowing the student to lead the IEP process; (4) schedule time for students to develop skills related to IEP participation on a regular basis; (5) teach IEP participation skills as a semester course; (6) use motivational techniques to interest students, such as inviting an individual with a disability to talk to students; and (7) communicate with families and explain the transition process.

Clark, G.M., Kolstoe, O.P., & Sitlington, P.L. (2000). Transition education and services for adolescents with disabilities. Third edition.
ERIC #: ED458389
ABSTRACT: This book provides a history and overview of transitional services and educational programs provided for high school students with disabilities; and proposes a new model of comprehensive transition education and services. The book is organized in 12 chapters: (1) “Secondary Special Education in Perspective”; (2) “Transition Education and Services Models”; (3) “Transition Education and Services Guidelines” (Debra A. Neubert); (4) “Students and Families: Key Participants in High School Programs for Students with Special Needs”; (5) “Transition Assessment”; (6) “Transition to Employment”; (7) “Job Placement, Training, and Supervision”; (8) “Transition to Postsecondary Education”; (9) “Transition to Adult Independent and Interdependent Living”; (10) “Instructional Strategies” (Mary E. Cronin); (11) “School-Based and Community Resources: Linkages and Referrals”; (12) “Issues in the Delivery of Transition Education and Services.” Three appendixes include lists of resource agencies, assessment instruments for transitional planning, and a checklist for accessibility and usability of buildings and facilities.


Clark, H.B., Davis, C., Deschenes, N., Fick, K., & Stimac, D.J. (1999). Filling in the gaps: Funding services to support youth and young adults as they transition into adulthood.
ERIC #: ED445472 – This document is available in full text at ERIC.ed.gov
ABSTRACT: This study investigated the various funding sources used by programs which serve and support youth and young adults with emotional and/or behavioral disabilities (EBD) as they transition into adulthood. Initial data from a survey of 18 program sites in Florida that are serving this target population resulted in the identification of more than 40 discrete funding sources, including: (1) five federal programs which may each have several components under which funding might be obtained; (2) six state categorical systems that directly or indirectly support services for portions of this population; and (3) dozens of local sources which can be organized into almost a dozen types of fund sources. No more than 6 of the 18 surveyed agencies make use of any one of the named fund sources, with most fund sources used by only two or three agencies. This distribution amplifies the point that every agency and community utilizes different resources to meet the needs of the young people in this transition-aged population. The most commonly employed source is private funds, such as those obtained through charitable giving or from private businesses that choose to support efforts on behalf of this population.

Cronin, M.E., & Wood, S.J. (1999). Students with emotional/behavioral disorders and transition planning: What the follow-up studies tell us. Psychology in the Schools, 36(4), 327-45.
ERIC #: EJ600812
ABSTRACT: Examines the current literature and implications of follow-up studies of students with emotional/behavioral disorders (EBD). A general conclusion drawn by the literature reviewed was that students with EBD also have lower grades, more course failures, higher grade retention, and a higher dropout rate than other disability groups and the general population.

Gustafson, C., (Ed.), Ness, J.E. (Comp.), & Sullivan, D., (Ed.). (1999). Transition: The role of the paraprofessional. Strategies for paraprofessionals who support individuals with disabilities. Facilitator edition [and] student edition.
ERIC #: ED438654 – This document is available in full text at ERIC.ed.gov
ABSTRACT: This training module focuses on the paraprofessional’s role in the transition of students with disabilities from school to the adult world. The module is comprised of two components, a facilitator’s guide and a student’s guide. The facilitator’s guide provides the full text of the student’s edition as well as chapter goals to be accomplished by students, an outline of topics covered in each text section, materials necessary to teach each chapter (such as transparencies, handouts, and supplemental readings), discussion questions, suggested activities to be completed by students outside of class, and lists of resources (many in Minnesota). Individual chapters cover the following topics: (1) transition from school to adult life; (2) interagency collaboration; (3) roles and responsibilities of paraprofessionals; (4) communication and problem solving; (5) assessment and goal setting; (6) student and family involvement; (7) employment; (8) home living; (9) postsecondary education; (10) community participation; and (11) recreation and leisure. Five appendices include an Individualized Education Plan form, information from the Minnesota Paraprofessional Consortium, a summary of disability-related legislation, an outline of the personal futures planning process, and a listing of transition resources.

Gutierrez, M.K. (1999). Transition planning: A team effort. NICHCY transition summary, TS10.
ERIC #: ED426539 – This document is available in full text at ERIC.ed.gov
ABSTRACT: This summary on transition planning provides ideas and information on how students, families, school personnel, service providers, and others can work together to help students with a disability make a smooth transition after leaving high school. It focuses on creative transition planning and services that use all the resources that exist in communities, not just the agencies that have traditionally been involved. This publication also provides: (1) definitions of some terms used in transition planning; (2) lists of individuals and agencies that can help the Individualized Education Program Team create a successful transition plan; (3) guides to finding the groups and agencies that provide transition services; (4) examples of creative transition plans; and (5) ways to improve the transition system by working at the community level. The four ways in which people can interact to establish or improve services and plan for young adults preparing for transition from school to post-school activities are described and include networking, service coordination, cooperation, and collaboration. A transition services phone interview guide is included to help providers find out about services that other agencies may offer.


Avoke, S. (1998). Working together towards successful transition: School to adult life. (Available in Spanish: Trabajando juntos hacia una transicion exitosa: De la escuela a la vida adulta.).
ERIC #: ED438678 –This document is available in full text at ERIC.ed.gov
ABSTRACT: This publication, in English and Spanish, is intended to assist in inclusion of transition from school to work components in the development of an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for a student with a disability in middle school or high school. The guide begins with definitions of “transitions” and “success” and then offers vignettes of the IEP process for three individuals (ages 18, 19, and 21) in the transition process, showing who was involved on the IEP team in each case and how career choices were evaluated. Other information addresses location of transition services and programs, the importance of transition services, and the need for people with various skills in the IEP process. Key factors in the transition planning processes are identified, including focus on helping the individual achieve his/her desires and individual and family involvement in the IEP process. Guidelines are also offered for helping the student learn to make choices, helping students with disabilities plan for college, college admissions testing for students with disabilities, self advocacy skills, and selecting a supported employment provider.

Chadsey, J.G., & Rusch, F.R., (Eds.). (1998). Beyond high school: Transition from school to work. The Wadsworth Special Educator Series.
ERIC #: ED419133
ABSTRACT: This text summarizes knowledge from research that focused on reforming secondary special education and high schools and makes recommendations for improving high schools’ effectiveness. Chapters are as follows: “Characteristics of Youth and Young Adults” (Stephen Lichtenstein); “Emerging Transition Best Practices” (Frank R. Rusch, Dorothy M. Millar); “School-to-Work (STW) Transition: Overview of Disability Legislation” (Robert A. Stodden); “Dropout Prevention and Special Services” (Thomas E. Grayson); “Vocational Education: Emerging Vocationalism” (R. Brian Cobb, Debra A. Neubert); “Career Development, STW Transition, and Diversity: An Ecological Approach” (Edna Mora Szymanski; “Foundations for a STW System that Serves All Students” (Shepherd Siegel); “Implementing a Transition Perspective of Education: A Comprehensive Approach to Planning and Delivering Secondary Education and Transition Services” (Paula D. Kohler); “Student Involvement in Transition-Planning and Transition-Program Implementation” (Michael L. Wehmeyer); “Families: The Heart of Transition” (Cheryl Hanley-Maxwell, Susan Mayfield Pogoloff, Jean Whitney-Thomas); “Student Assessment and Evaluation” (Martha Thurlow, Judy Elliott); “Building Statewide Transition Services through Collaborative Interagency Teamwork” (Jane M. Everson, Joan D. Guillory); “The Personal Career Plan: A Person-Centered Approach to Vocational Evaluation and Career Planning” (Bruce M. Menchetti, Vicky C. Piland); “School-Supported Work Experience and Vocational Instruction” (David Hagner, Jennifer Vande Sande); “Supporting the Transition from School to Adult Life” (Carolyn Hughes, Jin-Ho Kim); “Postsecondary Education” (Anna Gajar); and “Moving toward Social Inclusion in Employment and Postsecondary School Settings” (Janis G. Chadsey, Debra Shelden). Appendixes include a glossary and author and subject indexes.

Horne, R.L., & Thuli, K.J. (1998). School to work fact sheets: Making school to work opportunities happen for youth with disabilities.
ERIC #: ED422686 – This document is available in full text at ERIC.ed.gov
ABSTRACT: These six fact sheets are designed to communicate strategies for serving all youth, especially youth with disabilities, in school to work programs: (1) “Overview of the School-to-Work Opportunities Act” briefly describes this 1994 federal law and the three components of school-to-work programs: school-based learning, work-based learning, and connecting activities; (2) “Strategies for Serving All Youth in School to Work Systems” organizes strategies into five categories: student-focused planning and development, career pathways and contextual learning, family involvement, business, labor and community involvement, and structures and policies; (3) “Disability Definitions and Resources” offers definitions and lists resources for the 12 disabilities identified in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; (4) “Transition-Related Legislation for Youth with Disabilities” compares five major laws as they apply to school to work transition; (5) “Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Fact sheet” summarizes requirements for employers and lists sources of additional information; (6) “Disability Etiquette” offers general strategies for interacting with youth with disabilities, ways to enhance the work or learning environment, and ways to communicate disability awareness sensitively.

Wehman, P., Ed. (1998). Developing transition plans. PRO-ED series on transition.
ERIC #: ED432090
ABSTRACT: One of a series of guides that provides practical resources on topics critical to the process of preparing individuals with disabilities for adulthood, this volume is designed to help special education teachers, guidance and rehabilitation counselors, parents, advocates, and psychologists become familiar with how to develop individual transition plans using personal future planning. It includes several sample plans for students with a variety of intellectual, physical, and behavioral challenges. The plans provide for a wide range of different goals, from employment and postsecondary experiences to safety, financial planning, and recreation. The variety of these plans, the process described for writing the plan, and the suggested resources to help write the plan, are meant to help students and their families, as well as service providers, to look forward to the future in a more definite way. Before presenting the plans, the text discusses different changes in the educational system and in society that would benefit all young adults with disabilities, the many obstacles facing individuals with disabilities as they seek employment, and how to use person-centered planning concepts to enhance school-to-adult life transition planning.

Cheney, D., Cormier, G.M., & Malloy, J.M. (1998) Interagency collaboration and the transition to adulthood for students with emotional or behavioral disabilities. Education and Treatment of Children, 21(3), 303-20.
ERIC #: EJ581777
ABSTRACT: Discusses a model of effective transition services for youth with emotional and behavioral disorders. Project RENEW provides comprehensive case coordination for these students’ ongoing education, employment, and community adjustment. Outcome data indicate that interagency collaboration improved on a pretest-posttest measure of agency representatives’ perceptions of collaboration.

Document from the National Clearinghouse of Rehabilitation Training Materials (NCRTM) search at http://ncrtm.org are listed below:

(2006). From “NO” Where to “KNOW” Where. Utah Parent Center, Salt Lake City, UT. NCTRM #: LC 4049 U82
ABSTRACT: Parent Guide Kit includes: Trainers Manual, Training Handouts, Trainer’s Resources, Prepare and Present, and Parent as Partners in the IEP Process, Transition to Adult Services Training Kit.

Also avialable in PDF from Utah Parent Center... Parent Handbook – “From ‘NO’ Where to ‘KNOW’ Where.

Documents from the National Library of Medicine PubMed search at www.pubmed.com are listed below:


Beecham, J., Dhanasiri, S., Knapp, M., Perkins, M., & Rustin, C. (2008). Transition pathways for young people with complex disabilities: Exploring the economic consequences. Child: Care, Health and Development, May 14, 2008 [Epub ahead of print].
PMID #: 18485023 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
ABSTRACT: Background Disabled young people with complex needs face particular challenges when they reach adulthood and seek to move from school to employment or further education. There are potentially substantial personal and social costs arising from these challenges. Methods We sought evidence from recent UK research, policy and related literatures; undertook exploratory statistical analyses of birth cohort data; and analyzed information provided by 30 disabled young people requiring high levels of practical and communication support. Results The personal, family and social costs that result from unsuccessful transition are substantial and wide-ranging. Health service and local authority expenditure are important elements, but do not allow young people to achieve the educational or employment goals to which they aspire, resulting in considerable costs for the state, whether through missing opportunities to contribute to the economy or through dependence on welfare benefits. Conclusions: The considerable sums currently spent on disabled children and young people are clearly not enough, or not deployed appropriately, to enable those who reach adulthood to fulfill their ambitions, or to meet government policy intentions for young people to achieve economic well-being.


Nel, L., Uys, K., & van der Westhuyzen, C. (2007). Introducing a school-to-work transition model for youth with disabilities in South Africa. Work, 29(1), 13-8.
PMID #: 17627071
ABSTRACT: Historically, transition from the school into sustainable employment has been the outcome for very few who completed their schooling at the Pretoria School for Learners with Special Educational Needs. This resulted in the development of a transition model, based on models successfully implemented in the United States of America, which addresses the range of transition needs of youth with disabilities in the South African context. This article gives a short description of the content of the program, and the context within which it functions.

Rosenbaum, P., & Stewart, D. (2007). Perspectives on transitions: Rethinking services for children and youth with developmental disabilities. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 88(8), 1080-2.
PMID #: 17678674
ABSTRACT: Transition to adulthood for youth with developmental disabilities has become an important concern internationally of service providers working with these young people. Reflecting on the useful review by Binks and colleagues in this issue of the Archives, we argue as developmentalists that this is an ideal time to step back from our traditional preoccupation with “treatment” of childhood disability and to reconsider broadly what our goals for intervention ought to be. We invoke the concepts of the International Classification of Functioning, Health and Disability framework and draw on research that taps the voices of young people with disabilities-voices we believe have a lot to tell us about what has and has not worked for them. We suggest that there are unparalleled opportunities to enhance transition to adulthood for young people with developmental disabilities, in part by a feed-forward of the best of childhood services, and to work to prevent many of the difficulties faced by the current generation making this challenging transition.


Antle, B., King, G., Law, M., Stavness, C., & Stewart, D. (2006). A critical appraisal of literature reviews about the transition to adulthood for youth with disabilities. Physical & Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics, 26(4):5-24.
PMID #: 17135067
ABSTRACT: A critical appraisal of five review articles on the transition to adulthood for youth with disabilities was conducted to identify evidence about (1) the factors that help or hinder the transition process, and (2) “what’s working” in transition services. The appraisal identified a number of important “success” factors and elements of service delivery that are worthy of consideration by service providers and researchers. These include the need for skill development of youth with disabilities, environmental supports, and an individualized approach to service delivery. All of the reviews identified the need for more evidence to support the implementation and evaluation of best practice models/approaches that address the complex issue of the transition from paediatric to adult services for youth with disabilities.

Blomquist, K.B. (2006). Health, education, work, and independence of young adults with disabilities. Orthopedic Nursing, 25(3), 168-87.
PMID #: 16735848
ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: Healthy People 2010, the U.S. government’s goal for a healthier nation, calls for improved data collection to understand the health status of relatively small population groups, such as young adults with disabilities. This study looks at the transition outcomes of graduates of pediatric systems of care for children with disabilities and chronic conditions. METHODS: Young adult graduates of a state program for children with special healthcare needs and a specialty children’s hospital were sent a mail survey that focused on their healthcare access and use, insurance status, health behaviors and perceptions, education, work, and markers of independent living. The survey was based on the, National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, the U.S. Census and other surveys done by the state and hospital programs. Experts in healthcare and school-to-work transition of youth with special needs, health and labor economists, independent living center counselors, program administrators, nurses, social workers, and physicians offered ideas on various versions of the instrument that were piloted on youth before mailing to graduates. A follow-up mailing was sent to all those who did not respond to the first mailing. Results from the surveys of these young people with special healthcare needs are compared with data on typical young adults to determine the disparities. SAMPLE: Mail surveys were sent to all patients aged 18 years and older at the time of their discharge in the preceding fiscal (state program) or calendar (children’s hospital) year. The response rate was 51 percent. Ninety-one percent of the respondents were Whites and 61 percent were women, with a median age of 21.1 years; 69 percent reported independence in activities of daily living. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION/CLINICAL RESULTS: Eighty percent of graduates reported having a usual source of care, but 42 percent used the emergency room compared with 25 percent of typical young adults. Twenty-nine percent had no health insurance and only 11 percent had insurance through their work. Only 44 percent of respondents were working compared with 56 percent of all 19 year olds and 72 percent of 18-29 year olds in studies of typical youth; 67 percent of those not working wanted to work. One great concern is the 26 percent who are not working, in school, or at home with children. Nurses working with children, families, and young adults can use the information to improve pediatric and adult healthcare systems and collaborate with educational, independent living, and workforce development agencies to improve transition to adult roles and responsibilities for young people with disabilities.

Burke-Gaffney, J., Law, M., Moning, T., Stewart, D., & Wynn, K. (2006). Creating connections: A community capacity-building project with parents and youth with disabilities in transition to adulthood. Physical & Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics, 26(4), 89-103.
PMID #: 17135071
ABSTRACT: The transition to adulthood presents many challenges for youth with disabilities and their families. Barriers in the environment often limit the full inclusion of these youth in daily community life. The purpose of this paper is to describe a community capacity-building (CCB) approach to facilitating the transition to adulthood for youth with developmental disabilities and their families. A pilot project that used a CCB approach with this population in one community in south-central Ontario is described. The results of a qualitative, participatory evaluation demonstrate the benefits and challenges of this approach, with themes of increased community connections for youth and a greater awareness of their strengths and capacities. The perceived outcomes of the participants and the “lessons learned” for future initiatives using a CCB approach with different populations are discussed, as well as the fit between community capacity-building and occupational therapy. This pilot project demonstrates that a CCB approach has the potential to assist youth with disabilities to participate within their own communities.

Gall, C., Kingsnorth, S., & Healy, H. (2006). Growing up ready: A shared management approach. Physical & Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics, 26(4), 47-62.
PMID #: 17135069
ABSTRACT: In order to help youth with physical disabilities and their families to plan for the transition to adulthood, well-planned service delivery is essential. This paper provides an account of the work of a children’s rehabilitation centre to develop a transition framework reflecting evidence-based practice. Examination of current transition practices, a review of the literature, and site visits to health care facilities and universities were conducted to identify promising practices in the field of transition to adult services. A transition framework was designed to facilitate the adoption of a shared management approach for helping families and their children to grow up ready. Key elements of the transition framework are described and future plans discussed.

Kardos, M.R., & White, B.P. (2006). Evaluation options for secondary transition planning. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 60(3), 333-9.
PMID #: 16776401
ABSTRACT: This article presents a model evaluation plan conducted by occupational therapists that may be used to contribute information to the transition planning process in secondary school students with disabilities. Occupational therapists are not fully participating in transition services within secondary schools. One of the major obstacles to full participation identified in a previous research study by the authors of this article was that few occupational therapists were aware of appropriate evaluation options available for secondary transition planning. The authors in this article review the evaluation needs for secondary transition services in general, describe occupational therapy’s role in contributing to the Individualized Education Plan (IEP), and describe an evaluation method that gathers key information pertinent to the occupational therapy role. A case study is presented that illustrates how these assessment tools were applied to develop IEP goals in one student’s transition plan.

Lollar, D., Van Naarden Braun, K., & Yeargin-Allsopp, M. A multi-dimensional approach to the transition of children with developmental disabilities into young adulthood: the acquisition of adult social roles. Disability & Rehabilitation, 28(15), 915-28.
PMID #: 16861199
ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: To test the hypothesis that the difficulties young adults with developmental disabilities have in obtaining adult social roles are not inevitable consequences of their childhood impairment. We used the conceptual framework of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health to test this hypothesis. METHOD: We used a structured questionnaire to obtain information on the consequences of childhood impairment in young adulthood and to examine the relationship between impairment and acquisition of adult social roles. The sample (n = 635) came from the Metropolitan Atlanta Developmental Disabilities Follow-up Study of Young Adults, a population-based cohort of young adults aged 21 - 25 years identified at age 10 with childhood impairment. RESULTS: The results suggest that: (1) attaining adult social roles varies by impairment type and severity, (2) experiencing activity limitations partially mediate the relationship between impairment and adult social roles, and (3) attending postsecondary education increases the likelihood of attaining markers of adulthood. CONCLUSIONS: Intervention to reduce activity limitations and to develop strategies to increase attendance in postsecondary education may increase the likelihood for the acquisition of adult social roles among young adults with childhood impairment.

Stewart, D. (2006). Evidence to support a positive transition into adulthood for youth with disabilities. Physical & Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics, 26(4), 1-4.
PMID #: 17135066
No abstract is available.


Kardos, M., & White, B.P. (2005). The role of the school-based occupational therapist in secondary education transition planning: A pilot survey study. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 59(2), 173-80.
PMID #: 15830617
ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to investigate school-based occupational therapists’ knowledge of transition planning, their degree of participation in assessment and intervention of students requiring transition services, and to identify potential barriers limiting therapists’ participation in transition services. METHOD: Using survey methods, a questionnaire was mailed to a random sample of therapists listed as members of the School System Special Interest Section of the American Occupational Therapy Association. Eighty therapists from all geographical regions within the continental United States and who identified themselves as working with students 13-21 years of age in an educational setting participated in the study. The response rate was 20 percent. RESULTS: The majority of participants reported that they understood the terminology associated with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 1990 and the 1997 IDEA amendments definitions of transition planning at the secondary level, but were less likely to apply that knowledge to the transition planning process. The majority of therapists reported minimal participation in secondary education transition planning assessment and intervention for students with disabilities. Most respondents believed that they were not contributing to the transition planning process in a manner that maximized their skills, and identified several barriers that they believed hindered greater participation. CONCLUSION: This pilot study suggests that occupational therapists may not be participating in transition services to their fullest potential. While the low response rate in this study precludes generalization, this information is important to guide further study as well as to shape efforts to increase occupational therapy’s role in this important service area within school-based practice.

Trainor, A.A. (2005). Self-determination perceptions and behaviors of diverse students with LD during the transition planning process. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 38(3), 233-49.
PMID #: 15940961
ABSTRACT: Transition models include components of student self-determination during transition planning meetings. Researchers acknowledge that cultural identity may influence both transition decisions and self-determination strategies. Yet the appropriateness of these approaches for culturally and linguistically diverse students with learning disabilities (LD) remains unknown. This study examined self-determination perceptions and behaviors of European American, African American, and Hispanic American male adolescents with LD. Data were collected during focus group and individual interviews, observations, and document reviews. Qualitative data analysis provided information about students’ behaviors and perceptions during postsecondary transition planning. The findings indicated that differences within this group of diverse participants were subtle. Students identified themselves and family members—rather than teachers—as key players in transition planning. Students perceived that self-determination efforts were thwarted in school contexts, whereas self-determination opportunities in home contexts were more accessible and productive.


Emery, L.J., Schneck, C.M., & Spencer, J.E. (2003). Occupational therapy in transitioning adolescents to post-secondary activities. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 57(4), 435-41.
PMID #: 12911085
ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of special education directors on the current role of occupational therapy in high school transition programs for adolescent students with disabilities. Additionally, barriers to providing occupational therapy services and perceptions about new occupational therapy services were examined. METHOD: A mailed questionnaire was administered to all special education directors in a rural state in the United States. One hundred and four (57.5 percent) responses were received. Descriptive statistics were generated with an emphasis on percentages to examine current occupational therapy services in high school transition programs and barriers to service delivery. RESULTS: In this study, occupational therapists provided less than one fifth of transition services in high schools for students with disabilities. They provided more assistive technology consults (30.3 percent), task or environmental modification (25.8 percent), and Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and Individualized Transition Plan (ITP) planning (20 percent) than other providers. Barriers to occupational therapy use included funding, lack of inter-agency planning, and lack of parent participation. About 35 percent of special education directors suggested that additional occupational therapy services were needed for adolescents with cognitive disabilities and for job performance and related work skills programming. CONCLUSION: Occupational therapists in this study provided ancillary services to high school students with disabilities with greater emphasis on technology, task or environmental modification, and IEP or ITP planning, as perceived by special evaluation directors.


Connolly, B.H. (2001). Transition from childhood to adulthood. Physical & Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics, 21(4), 1-2.
PMID #: 12043169
No abstract is available.


Brown, P.L., & Roessler, R.T. (2000). Transition and the community college: A Career Keys model for students with disabilities. Work, 14(1), 23-29
PMID #: 12441537
ABSTRACT: Transition models are needed that address multiple phases in the postsecondary education of students with disabilities. These models must first address the recruitment of high school students with disabilities for community colleges through career exploration experiences that help students clarify their educational and vocational interests and relate those interests to a two-year postsecondary program. Students with disabilities then need a comprehensive service program while attending community college to help them identify accommodation needs in classroom and workplace environments and develop the skills to request such accommodations from their instructors and employers. With this skill base, they are well prepared to initiate the next transition in their lives, that is, the movement from the community college to a four-year educational institution or to employment. Programs are needed to facilitate this transition, such as a placement planning seminar involving rehabilitation professionals and employers and an accommodation follow-up assessment with students in their new educational and employment settings. The “Career Keys” model describes how to deliver the services needed in each of these critical transition phases.

Koch, L.C. (2000). Career development interventions for transition-age youths with disabilities. Work, 14(1), 3-11.
PMID #: 12441535
ABSTRACT: Youths with disabilities are often precluded from participating in career exploration and planning activities that prepare them for meaningful employment. They do not always have the same opportunities as their non-disabled peers to learn about different career options and to develop important work-related skills. This article presents experientially-based career development interventions that can be incorporated into the transition planning process to guide these youths in (1) career exploration and decision-making, (2) career planning, (3) job development and placement, and (e) career maintenance.


Bellini, J., & Royce-Davis, J. (1999). Order of selection in vocational rehabilitation: implications for the transition from school to adult outcomes for youths with learning disabilities. Work, 13(1), 3-11.
PMID #: 12441407
ABSTRACT: Interagency cooperation between special education and vocational rehabilitation (VR) is central to ensuring the continuity of services to young adults with disabilities who are in transition from school to adult living. However, the interface between special education and VR may be complicated by order of selection, an equally binding mandate in federal VR policy to provide priority services to individuals with the most severe disabilities. Because students with learning disabilities are typically perceived as having mild rather than severe disabilities, these youths are most at risk for falling through the cracks in the service landscape once they leave the school setting in states where the VR agency is implementing an order of selection procedure. This article identifies and discusses common impediments to collaborative transition planning for students with learning disabilities that may be intensified when the state VR agency is operating under an order of selection plan. Recommendations are provided to facilitate greater interagency cooperation among schools and VR agencies so that transition planning and implementation for students with learning disabilities is not subverted as a result of the order of selection mandate.

Search Terms for Transition: Post-Secondary, Employment & Community

  • Academic Achievement
  • Access to Information
  • Accessibility
  • Accommodation
  • Accountability
  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adolescent/Attitudes/Development
  • Adulthood
  • Advocacy
  • Agency Cooperation
  • Assistive Devices/Technology
  • Attitudes toward Disabilities/Health
  • Barriers
  • Behavior Disorders
  • Career Choice/Counseling/Development/Education/Planning
  • Case Studies
  • Child/Development
  • Cognitive Development
  • College
  • Communication Skills
  • Community Living/Programs/Resources/Support/Services
  • Counseling/Counselors
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Cultural/Influences
  • Curriculum
  • Data Analysis
  • Deaf
  • Delivery Systems
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Disabilities/Discrimination/Multiple
  • Disabled Persons/Education/Psychology/Rehabilitation
  • Diversity
  • Education/Access to/Change/Legislation/Planning/Policy/Practices/Resources Status/Work relationship
  • Employment/Experience/Programs/Success
  • Ethnic Groups
  • Evaluation Techniques
  • Family/Involvement/Programs/Role
  • Federal Aid/Legislation/Programs
  • Financial Support
  • Functional Status
  • Gender Differences
  • Goal Orientation/Setting
  • Hearing Impairments
  • High School Graduates/Students
  • Higher Education
  • IDEA
  • Incentives
  • Inclusion
  • Independent Living
  • Individual Transition Plans (ITPs)
  • Individualized Education Plans (IEPs)
  • Interagency Cooperation
  • Interdisciplinary Approach
  • Interpersonal Communication/Relations
  • Intervention
  • Job Placement/Training
  • Learning Disabilities/Modules/Problems
  • Legislation
  • Literature Reviews
  • Long Range Planning
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Mentoring
  • Minority Groups
  • Model Programs/Modeling
  • Models/Educational/Theoretical
  • Motivation Techniques
  • National Surveys
  • Needs Assessment
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Organizations
  • Outcomes
  • Parent Attitudes/Education/Parenting/Participation
  • People with Disabilities
  • Policy
  • Postsecondary Education
  • Program Development/Effectiveness/Evaluation
  • Psychoeducational Methods
  • Public Schools
  • Qualitative Analysis
  • Quality of Life
  • Rehabilitation/Counseling/Programs
  • Research and Training Centers (RTC)
  • Research Methodology/Reviews/Utilization
  • Resources
  • Rural Areas
  • School(Elementary, Secondary, Post-Secondary)
  • Self Advocacy/Concept/Determination/Help
  • Service Delivery/Integration/Utilization
  • Social Adjustment/Behavior
  • Social Networks/Services/Skills/Support
  • Special Education/Needs/Students
  • State Agencies
  • Student Attitudes/Characteristics/Development Evalutation/Motivation/Needs/Participation
  • Supported Employment
  • Teacher Attitudes/Methods
  • Teamwork
  • Technical Assistance
  • Training Materials
  • Transition/Programs
  • Universities
  • Vocational Education/Evaluation/Rehabilitation/Training
  • Work Adjustment/Experience/Relationship/Transition

About reSearch:

reSearch is a new information product from the National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC). Each issue is based on real-world queries received by our information specialists from researchers, educators, and rehabilitation professionals around the world.

We search several sources both in-house and online, to fill these requests including:

We hope you find these reSearch briefs informative in your own research.

- NARIC Information and Media Team