ERIC Number: EJ889357
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Reference Count: 8
Seamless Transition for All
Test, David W.
Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities (RPSD), v33 n3 p98-99 Fall 2008
Postschool outcomes for students with disabilities have been dismal for quite some time now. Although recent data from the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2 indicate some improvement, students with severe intellectual disabilities continue to transition into segregated employment at unacceptable rates in spite of a multitude of studies, indicating that supported employment is a more cost-effective solution. To solve this problem, Rusch and Braddock (2004) recommended that all students: (1) leave high school either competitively employed or admitted to postsecondary education; and (2) have access to long-term support services to ensure a successful transition. Now, Certo et al. (2008) suggested another possible solution, this time with a legislative twist. Certo et al. began their call for seamless transition and federal entitlement to long-term support by describing the legislation behind the three public systems responsible for school-to-work and adult living for individuals with severe intellectual disabilities: (1) public schools; (2) rehabilitation; and (3) developmental disabilities (DD). Postschool outcomes for students with disabilities have not met the intent of this legislation. As a result, the rate of return on the public's investment of money in the education for students with disabilities is poor. To improve this situation, they recommended revising current legislation and policy, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Rehabilitation Act, the Developmental Disabilities Assistance of Bill of Rights Act, and the Social Security policy. To support the fact that their recommendations can work, Certo et al. (2008) described and provided outcome data from a service delivery model called the transition services integration model (TSIM). The TSIM includes both service integration by integrating staff from different agencies and eliminating the need for a fixed school site by providing services in the community. The TSIM used "hybrid agencies" with funding from both the rehabilitation and the DD systems to allow the same personnel to support individuals through a holistic approach. Public schools were then able to subcontract with these nonprofit "hybrid agencies" to provide students with community-based services in their final year of school, with schools having a teacher of record to ensure that student individual education program goals were being met. This system allowed students a seamless transition by exiting school with the same customized job and integrated community living activities with support from the same hybrid agency. For more than a 5-year period, postschool outcomes for employment for TSIM students were better than the national average for students with intellectual disabilities. The author offers suggestions to hopefully move the process forward.
Descriptors: Supported Employment, Public Schools, Mental Retardation, Outcomes of Education, Developmental Disabilities, Holistic Approach, Federal Legislation, Disabilities, Severe Disabilities, Evaluation, Individualized Education Programs, Employment, Rehabilitation
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act; Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; Rehabilitation Act 1973