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ERIC Number: EJ902292
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 15
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0040-0599
Getting Everyone Involved: Identifying Transition Opportunities for Youth with Severe Disabilities
Swedeen, Beth L.; Carter, Erik W.; Molfenter, Nancy
TEACHING Exceptional Children, v43 n2 p38-49 Nov-Dec 2010
The general education curriculum comprises more than just the academic courses students take. The wide range of extracurricular clubs, sports teams, performing arts programs, student government positions, career development activities, service-learning projects, and other school-sponsored activities offered in middle and high schools provide a rich range of valuable learning opportunities. These activities can shape students' career paths; help them develop the communication, team-building, and leadership skills needed for the world of work; and link what is learned in the classroom to students' everyday lives. Schools offer these opportunities because of the contributions they make to a well-rounded transition experience for all youth. For students with significant disabilities--such as intellectual disabilities or multiple disabilities--a broad range of school experiences are especially valuable for increasing functional life skills, peer relationships, self-determination, and a sense of belonging. Yet, for many youth with disabilities--and a substantial number of students without disabilities--involvement in the array of social and learning opportunities available within their middle or high school can be quite limited. "Opportunity mapping" offers a promising approach for engaging youth with disabilities more fully in the life of their schools. Every middle and high school is full of rich and diverse opportunities for youth to engage in activities that will equip them with the skills, experiences, and knowledge they need to transition to adulthood. The process of opportunity mapping also enables self-assessment of a school's strengths in terms of its available offerings to students, as well as the gaps and barriers that are preventing students with disabilities from participating. This article describes the steps and strategies schools can take to more intentionally connect youth with disabilities to the full range of experiences and opportunities that constitute middle and high school life. (Contains 3 figures.)
Council for Exceptional Children. 1110 North Glebe Road Suite 300, Arlington, VA 22201. Tel: 888-232-7733; Fax: 703-264-9494; e-mail: cecpubs@cec.sped.org; Web site: http://www.cec.sped.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Publications1
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Middle Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: Practitioners
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A