Category Archives: Inter-Agency Collaboration

Special Education Services After High School Uncoordinated, Unmonitored, GAO Finds

Huffing post article from 2012

This is an interesting article on the coordinated services in transition planning.  Beyond the article, read the comments.  There are varying positions on points made in the article.

Thirty-six hours after Marlyn Wells gave birth to Anna, she learned her daughter had Down syndrome. Just a few years later, the family started talking about Anna’s career. In pre-school, Anna had said she wanted to be a “fire truck” when she grew up.

But 20 years later, the family hit roadblocks trying to help find paid work for Anna. One program responsible for helping Anna find a job only kicks in six months before students like her graduate from high school. A different vocational agency was required to contact her once a month, “which is not adequate,” Wells said. “We were not told how the funding part of that particular service works, so it left us out of being able to make an informed choice as to which service provider might be the most appropriate one for Anna’s needs.”

According to a new Government Accountability Office report released late Tuesday, Anna’s struggles are far from the exception. Students with disabilities, like Anna, face massive challenges using federal services that are supposed to help them transition from high school and into college or the workforce, the report found. Parents in five states told GAO researchers about struggles faced by their families trying to find services that help their children move on with their lives after school.

Continue reading here.

National Transition Dialogue: Report

Federal Partners in  Transition National Transition Dialogue

 The Federal Partners in Transition National Online Dialogue was held on May 13 to May 27, 2013 through the U.S. Departments of Labor, Education, Health and Human Services and the Social security Administration.  The dialogue generated ideas and comments about federal legislative and regulatory barriers and other opportunities to improve transition outcomes for youth with disabilities.

Based on the input of participants, a report entitled Federal Partners in Transition National Online Dialogue: Participation Metrics was developed to summarize the dialogue’s results. “Your thoughtful responses have added tremendous value and will help to frame our efforts to work together strategically to develop a plan to improve transition results for youth with disabilities by 2020”.

To view the full report, click on this link:View PDF File.

ILR to study teens with disabilities in $32.5M effort

Cornell University ILR School article , November 11, 2013

The ILR School’s Employment and Disability Institute is supporting the New York governor’s office and the state Office of Mental Health by leading the research and implementation of a $32.5 million federal award to improve education and career outcomes for low-income children with disabilities who receive Supplemental Security Income.

Funding for New York state from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services was announced Nov. 8 by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The initiative, “Promoting the Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income,” or PROMISE, was proposed by the Obama administration to improve services for more than 2,000 teens ages 14 through 16 and their families.

The grant is designed to help students graduate from high school, complete postsecondary education and job training, obtain employment and reduce reliance on Supplemental Security Income.

Read more here.

Charting a Course for the Future – A Transition Toolkit

Colorado Department of Education

Numerous follow-up and follow-along studies of youth with disabilities in areas such as employment, living arrangements, post-secondary education and training, and community participation have shown that these individuals do not succeed as well as young adults when compared to the general population. In order to improve these outcomes for youth with disabilities, transition services requirements were included in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA P.L. 101-476). The basic purpose of including transition components in the legislation is to better prepare students with disabilities to gain access to the supports and services necessary to reach their desired outcomes and become as independent as possible. The transition planning process should promote successful movement from school to post-secondary education and training, employment, independent living, and community participation based on students’ preferences, interests and abilities.

The concept of transition is simple. First help students and their families think about their life after high school and identify desired outcomes and then to design their school and community experiences to ensure that the student gains the skills and connection necessary to achieve those outcomes. The transition services requirements of IDEA provide opportunities to:

  • Help students and families think about the future and consider what they want to do after high school.
  • Plan how to make the high school experience most relevant to the student’s desired outcomes, and
  • Help students and families make connection to supports and services that they make need after high school.

Although the concept of transition is simple, the process of planning and providing transition services based on individual student needs may be challenging in our complicated systems of education with limited resources. This toolkit provides information and tools necessary in creating a comprehensive and individualized transition process.

See more information and download the toolkit here.

A Collaborative Interagency, Interdisciplinary Approach to Transition from Adolescence to Adulthood

Association of University Centers on Disabilities document 

As youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) leave school, they face several transitions including school to work or postsecondary education, family home to community living, and child oriented health care to adult care.
Youth should be able to expect self-determined transitions with coordinated support from family, community, professionals, and agencies, but they and their families often experience very little choice, control, or collaboration from the
myriad of systems to which they look for support and services for transition.
Multiple barriers stand in the way of a coordinated approach to supporting all aspects of successful transition to adulthood. These barriers include failing to support self-determination as a central element of the person-centered process of transition; insufficient understanding of the role of culture in an individual or family’s concept or approach to transition; the tendency for professionals within each transition domain (education, health, community living, employment, others) to use language that is not easily understood by other professionals, youth,
families, or other community partners; and neglecting to specifically explore how transition in the different realms could/should be linked for maximizing success.
To that end, this paper promotes four core concepts that are essential to the development and implementation of effective transition plans and process.

Read the document here.

What Do Parent Center Transition Specialists Need to Know?

What Do Parent Center Transition Specialists Need to Know?” is a white paper prepared by the Technical Assistance on Transition and the Rehabilitation Act (TATRA) Project at PACER Center, on the knowledge areas, skills, and abilities important for professionals working with transition-focused parent information and training.

Read the paper here.

Disability effort takes flight: Diversity Matters

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article

Giant Eagle has a long history of hiring and training workers with disabilities. For decades, the O’Hara-based supermarket chain has counted among its employees people who are deaf, blind or have other physical or mental challenges.

So the company was an ideal place to pilot a recently launched initiative with United Way of Allegheny County that will tap high school students with disabilities for jobs, and provide coaching to help them transition from school to the workforce.

Read more here.

New agreement aims to find jobs for students with disabilities

Mansfield News Journal (Ohio) article

A new agreement Monday among local schools and developmental disabilities services in Richland County aims to help find students with disabilities jobs.

Read more here.