added a research item
Over the past three decades, transition practices research has demonstrated that post-school outcomes of students with disabilities improve when educators, families, students, and community members and organizations work together to implement a broad perspective of transition planning, more appropriately referred to as transition-focused education. In general, this concept represents the perspective that “transition planning” is the fundamental basis of education that guides the development of students’ educational programs – including strategies that keep them in school – rather than an “add-on” activity for students with disabilities when they turn age 14 or 16. The impact of transition focused education is greatly enhanced when service systems and programs connect and support the implementation and application of such learning. The Taxonomy for Transition Programming 2.0 (Kohler, Gothberg, Fowler, and Coyle, 2016) builds upon the earlier Taxonomy for Transition Programming (Kohler, 1996) and provides concrete practices—identified from effective programs and the research literature—for implementing transition-focused education. As indicated in the references at the end of this document, Taxonomy 2.0 brings in the latest literature regarding predictors of postschool success, strategies to increase the graduation and reduce dropout, school climate, and vocational rehabilitation services focused on fostering successful transition of youth with disabilities in college and careers. The model continues with five primary practice categories: StudentFocused Planning, Student Development, Interagency Collaboration, Family Engagement, and Program Structure. It includes additional practices in the areas of student supports and the instructional context within Student Development, as well as school climate in Program Structure. Within Family Engagement, a focus on cultural relevancy, empowerment, and family preparation are emphasized. Across categories, collaboration with service agencies, especially vocational rehabilitation, emphasizes the importance of such connections prior to and during school and post-school transitions.
Post-school outcomes are poor for youth with disabilities, in general, but even more discouraging for certain sub-populations of individuals with disabilities, particularly those from culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) backgrounds. The authors discuss structural inequalities in public schools which potentially contribute to the poorer transition outcomes of CLD youth with disabilities compared with their White peers with disabilities and identify 11 research-based practices (RBPs) for supporting CLD youth with disabilities and their families during the transition planning process. A study is subsequently described involving the development and implementation of a survey measuring the degree to which these 11 RBPs are being implemented in public school districts. The survey was administered during 2011 to 2016 to interdisciplinary transition teams representing more than 90 school districts in the United States who were attending state capacity-building transition services training institutes. Group consensus was sought on the 11 items appearing on the survey. Results from the study found that most school districts were not implementing any of the RBPs to any significant degree, school staff were in need of cultural competence professional development training, CLD families of transition-aged youth with disabilities lacked access to quality resources and supports, and CLD youth with disabilities lacked opportunities to strengthen their self-determination skills. Implications for practice and future research on this topic is presented and discussed.
Attaining successful outcomes in school and life requires a process of supports and individualized learning experiences that begin long before high school graduation. This need for supports and planning early is true for all learners but particularly important for vulnerable populations, such as individuals with disabilities. Individuals with disabilities are at increased risk of poorer long term outcomes such as increased high school dropout and lower employment rates (Newman, Wagner, Cameto, & Knockey, 2009). However, we know that if we begin planning early and provide supports early there can be significant changes in long term trajectories. To this point, early transition planning has typically referred to the early teenage years, around high school entry. Yet, we know that particular early learning experiences beginning at birth, such as curriculum based home visiting or high quality preschool, have been linked to school readiness, post-school, life, and even long-term health outcomes (Shonkoff, 2010; Schweinhart, 2005). Continuity and alignment are key to success transitions and post school outcomes. Therefore, it is important we begin viewing transition as a lifelong process beginning at birth. In this chapter the authors utilize Kohler’s well-known theoretical framework of research-based practices in transition (Kohler, 1996; Kohler, Gothberg, Coyle, & Fowler, 2016) to align and discuss key evidence-based practices that are linked to successful post school outcomes and span from birth to adulthood.
Despite legislative initiatives and mandates, numerous studies have shown that student with disabilities have higher dropout rates compared to students without disabilities and the post-school outcomes for students with disabilities lag significantly behind their peers in all outcome areas including postsecondary education, employment, and independent living (Newman, Wagner, Cameto, & Knockey, 2009). This chapter introduces the recently updated Taxonomy for Transition Programming 2.0 (Kohler, Gothberg, Fowler, & Coyle, 2016). Over the past three decades, transition practices research has demonstrated that post‐school outcomes of students with disabilities improve when educators, families, students, and community members and organizations work together to implement a broad perspective of transition planning, more appropriately referred to as transition‐focused education. The Taxonomy 2.0 brings in the latest literature regarding predictors of post‐school success, strategies to increase graduation and reduce dropout, school climate, and vocational rehabilitation services focused on fostering successful transition of youth with disabilities in college and careers. Readers will increase knowledge of the evidence-based and promising practices (EBPPs) for transition education and services represented in the Taxonomy 2.0 including those recently identified for education, vocational rehabilitation, family engagement, and program structures.