ERIC Number: EJ889355
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Reference Count: 5
When Will Our Values Finally Result in the Creation of New Pathways for Change--Change that We Can Believe In?
Rusch, Frank R.; Wolfe, Pamela
Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities (RPSD), v33 n3 p96-97 Fall 2008
Despite efforts over the past several decades to improve the delivery of transition services for youth with disabilities, outcomes continue to be unacceptably dismal for most youth, including high rates of unemployment, residential independence, and financial dependence, concurrent with low rates of enrollment in college or other postsecondary education alternatives. One of the most important messages that Certo et al. (2008) delivered in their article detailing their vision for critically needed legislative and service change is that combined efforts to promote integrated employment and postsecondary education outcomes for individuals having severe disabilities after they receive an education in public high schools are no more successful today than they were 30 years ago. They suggest a blueprint for change. Specifically, Certo et al. call for explicit statements in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act, permitting school districts to subcontract with appropriate private agencies at the point of transition and call for amendments to the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (2000). The authors agree with Certo et al. that such change is needed to provide long-term support for individuals with severe disabilities after exiting high schools. To substantiate their recommendations, Certo et al. reported data on the Transition Services Integration Model, which exemplifies successful efforts to promote employment after high school. Specifically, 177 students found employment because of customized employment and working with nonschool agencies that provided long-term support. Inarguably, these are impressive outcomes. Current entitlements are vague in identifying valued outcomes. The authors contend that these outcomes must become the explicit goals of all high schools: That all youth, including those with severe disabilities, are entitled to make choices, to work, and to receive the support that result in dreams realized. Certo et al. provided direction and proof that valued transition outcomes are possible when there is a pathway that leads to and supports those outcomes.
Descriptors: Postsecondary Education, High Schools, Employment, Transitional Programs, Developmental Disabilities, Severe Disabilities, Federal Legislation, Accountability
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: High Schools; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act; Individuals with Disabilities Education Act