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TRANSITION ISSUES 1

Transition Issues for People with Disabilities

Emily A. Dyer

College of Southern Nevada

EDU 203- Intro to Special Education


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Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to state what transitioning is, and the issues that come with

transitioning into adulthood for people with disabilities. What challenges do these individuals

face and how do they overcome these challenges? Under the Individuals with Disabilities

Education Act (IDEA), all students are entitled to an Individual Education Program (IEP), to

ensure their needs are met and they receive the resources necessary. Creating an IEP that

addresses transitional goals is vital to helping the student become a contributing member of

society. I learned that giving students the best education possible extends even after they have

reached an age of adulthood.


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By researching the topic of transition issues for people with disabilities, I hope to broaden my

knowledge and better prepare myself for helping my students transition to the next step. By

knowing the process and challenges that come with transitioning, I feel I can help my students

reach their goals and avoid and frustration. As I observed in the classroom, a teacher can never

be too prepared, especially when it comes to special education and meeting the student’s needs.

Transitioning

The process of moving from one grade to the next, or graduating from high school and

becoming an adult is what educators refer to as transitioning. To help students with disabilities

transition into becoming adult members of society, an Individual Education Program (IEP) is

created. To ensure the student makes a successful transition into adulthood, a team of

professionals meets with the student and their family. In this meeting, the goals of the student are

addressed, and a plan is put together to help the student become a functioning member of the

community. Transition planning should begin no later than the age of 16. It is never too early to

begin working on the skills necessary to reach the students goals and preparing them for the rest

of their lives.

Creating the IEP

The process of creating the IEP involves a few different people; the student, parents and other

family, a special educator as well as a general education teacher, and any service providers

required. It is also suggested there be a vocational counselor present. It is important to prepare

the parents and the student before the initial meeting, so all concerns can be addressed. It is

equally important that all team members be prepared, and all documents are available.
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First, they must determine what is important to the student. It is vital for the success of

the IEP, as well as the student, that their hobbies, interests and goals be the focus point. The

student is what drives the program, so their input must be heard. Long term and short-term goals

are made regarding hobbies, education, work, and community life. They also assess what skill

will be needed to reach these goals, such as social skills. A transitional IEP must include

academic goals, as well as any employment or independent living goals. Services and skills

needed to reach these goals must be considered. Living independently may be a goal of the

students, in which case housing arrangements, as well as employment must be addressed. The

individual must have the skills to successfully live on their own. Determining where the adult

will live, work or participate in community events. Parents and other family members, such as

siblings, and teachers should also be allowed a chance to voice their thoughts and concerns.

After the IEP is put into place, progress needs to be monitored. By setting short-term

goals, students and team members will be able to celebrate any progress made, or make changes

to see better results. Annual reviewing of the IEP is required by team members and family, as

well as the student, by IDEA.

Challenges

One of the challenges that comes with transitioning happens when the student reaches the

age of 18. Under IDEA, the student is considered a legal adult and has the right to make their

own decisions about their IEP, without their parents. If the student allows, parents also have the

have the right to help make decisions and express their opinions.

Students need the support to transition properly into adulthood. Challenges may also

include inadequate education planning, or the student may just be behind. Learning the skills
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necessary to function in everyday life cannot always be taught quickly, some skills take time to

learn.

Family of personal problems are also a challenge that may occur and should be

considered. If a student lacks confidence or motivation to work on their IEP, it may be very

difficult to make any progress. Team members should be aware of any personal issues that may

interfere with the students education.

Other academic challenges that have to be considered come when the student attends

college. Admission and testing can be challenging, and differing requirements can lead to

confusion. Housing arrangements, as well as financial support can also be major obstacles. It is

important the student has the skill to maneuver the challenges that come with attending college,

and that they use the resources available. Schools must provide aids to students with disabilities

under IDEA. However, students must notify their school of any aids needed in order to receive

them.

Services and Programs

There are many transition services that can help students with the process of becoming adults. A

transition IEP will include services to address concerns such as:

 Language and communication skills

 Reading and math skills

 Self-help and even social and emotional behavior

It is important students have an understanding of their disability and know their strengths

and weaknesses. If they can evaluate themselves and monitor their own progress, they are more
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likely to succeed. Knowing when to ask for help and getting the resources is a big part of

students succeeding.

As a result of my research, I have learned that students still need the assistance of their

teachers even after they graduate. When creating a student’s IEP, team members are helping

shape the student’s future and will have a lasting impact on their life. It’s a lot of pressure to

make sure the student succeeds as an adult, and is able to reach their goals. Having the skills and

resources is vital to students succeeding in the real world. The responsibility that educators and

IEP team members have is monumental, and requires a lot of time and thought, and really

knowing the student. Knowing their strengths and weaknesses, and what they enjoy doing will

keep the transitional plan on track, and keep the student motivated.

The importance of preparing young adults for college and adult life is a very important

part of their educational needs, and begins before they even enter the education system.

Our students are entitled to a “free and appropriate education” by law, and it is the

responsibility of the educators to ensure this. Guiding our students and helping them reach their

goals is part of the transition process. Realizing their talents and using their interest to shape their

future.
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References

 Gargiulo, Richard M. (2015). Special Education in Contemporary Society. Thosuand

Oaks, CA. SAGE Publications, Inc.

 Utah Parent Center. (2011). “Developing the Tranistion Plan.” Retrieved from:

http://www.utahparentcenter.org/publications/infosheets/developing-the-transition-plan/

 US Department of Education. (March 2011). “Transition of Students with Disabilities to

Postsecondary Education: A Guide for High School Educators.” Retrieved from:

https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/transitionguide.html

 Center for Parent Information & Resources. (June 21, 2017). “Transition to Adulthood.”

Retrieved from:

http://www.parentcenterhub.org/transitionadult/#

 Disabilities, Opportunites, Internetworking, and Technology. (June 29, 2017). “What

Challenges do Students with Disabilities face as They Transition from two-year to four-

year colleges?” Retrived from:

https://www.washington.edu/doit/what-challenges-do-students-disabilities-face-they-

transition-two-year-four-year-colleges