Teaching for Transition
Introduction to Secondary Transition Education and Services
About Part 2: Teaching for Transition
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Between the ages of 14-21, education shifts to focus on students' postschool outcomes. As educators, it is our job to identify:
Part 2: Teaching for Transition is designed to provide you a basic understanding of the essential components of secondary curriculum and programming for students with disabilities. We will include evidence-based practices with creative examples that will provide you with an inspirational jump start highlighting what other teachers have tried. If you find yourself wanting to learn more, we also include links to additional resources and training throughout Part 2.
Taxonomy of Transition Programming
In Part 1: Talking about Transition, we introduced Kohler's (1996) Taxonomy for Transition Programming. In Part 2, we will focus on two areas of the Taxonomy: student-focused planning and student development. For each Taxonomy area we will provide:
Let's begin looking at the Taxonomy of Transition Programming. Click "next page" to begin learning about our first area, student-focused planning.
Student-focused planning is the foundation of Transition IEP. It builds upon the student's present level of performance and identifies the student's academic, transition services, and accommodation needs. As shown in the graphic below, there are three components in student-focused planning: IEP development, student participation, and planning strategies.
The student must learn and use his self-determination and self-advocacy skills to be a leader of his case conference committee. By working together to develop a transition IEP, the case conference committee will understand the student's strengths, interests and preferences and will identify supports and skills the student needs in order to achieve the his postschool goals (NSTTAC, 2013).
Click "next page" to begin looking at each component in greater detail.
The Transition IEP is the cornerstone of the student's education and defines the student's program and services. We know that when teachers write a quality Transition IEP, students experience better outcomes. Every Transition IEP is student specific and should be a useable document which can be reviewed daily to guide and prioritize academic programming, transition services, and support services.
You will recall in Part 1:Talking About Transition we outlined the federal and state requirements for Transition IEPs. Hoosier educators are striving to surpass minimum compliance and develop and implement quality Transition IEPs. For a quality Transition IEP it is essential for students to be active contributors to the Transition IEP process. The case conference committee must always include the student and should always remain focused on the student and his individual interests, strengths, preferences, and support needs. You will find that Kohler's Taxonomy (1996) specifies requirements for a quality Transition IEP. Each quality indicator for a Transition IEP is listed below. (Click on the underlined items for a related resource.)
When you compare this list with one of your Transition IEPs, can you say that your Transition IEPs have a student focus in each of these areas? If not, you will want to complete more in-depth training than provided in this introductory module. The Indiana Secondary Transition Resource Center (INSTRC) has developed multiple resources and online training modules which are available by clicking HERE.
Indiana IEP Resource Center(indianaieprc.org) contains many online resources and training modules for Indiana teachers.
CLICK HERE to watch an online training module entitled The IEP Case Conference: Collaborating for Student Success.
Click HERE for an IEP tip sheet for teachers to assist in preparation, conducting meeting, and follow-up after IEP meetings.
In order for students to be active contributors of the Transition IEP process, students must first be prepared by teachers and family members through instruction and practice. Student participation must be respected, nurtured and welcomed into the IEP process including pre-meeting preparations, meeting participation, and follow-up after the meeting. Accommodations will be required for students to be as independent as possible throughout the planning and meeting process.
There are many ways in which a teacher may facilitate their students to be active participants in the IEP process. The graphics below highlights some examples of nurturing and facilitating a student's participation.
Adapted from: Thoma, C. & Wehman, P. (2010) Getting the most out of IEPs, an educator's guide to the student-directed approach. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing.
There are two evidence-based curricula (roll over for a definition) that have been identified by the National Secondary and Transition Technical Assistance Center (NSTTAC) for student-focused planning and student participation. Click on the tabs below for a brief description of each. Links to locate these curricula are under Resources.
If you would like to learn more about how to implement student-focused planning curriculum, click HERE to watch a slideshow from NSTTAC. Scroll down to find more links to beneficial resources.
Center for Disability Information and Referral (CeDIR), Indiana Institute on Disability and Community is a lending library with over 8000 resources, including curriculum which may be check out online for educators to view and use items prior to purchase. http://www.iidc.indiana.edu/?pageId=34
Choicemaker Self-directed IEP curriculum may be purchased online at Sopris Learning at http://www.soprislearning.com/
I'm Determined, Virginia Department of Education. Lesson plans were developed and field tested by general and special education classroom teachers. Elementary, middle, and high school plans focus on core component areas of self-determination.
Transition Assessment Matrix provides a number of self-determination assessment tools.
Whose Future is It Anyway? Download a free version at: https://www.ou.edu/content/education/centers-and-partnerships/zarrow/self-determination-education-materials/whos-future-is-it-anyway.html
Regardless of the curriculum or planning strategies and technique used to include students in problem-solving, decision-making and goal-setting, it is essential that professionals and parents listen to and respect the students' voices. The student credo reminds us what is important and guides our planning strategies. (This may take an extra minute to load, but it will be worth the wait.)
Evidence-based Practice for Planning Strategies: Person-centered Planning
Person-centered planning (PCP) provides is a strong foundation for transition planning. PCP is an individualized assessment which enables a student, family, and support team to identify the student's strengths, interests, and preferences and then develops an action plan for supporting the student to achieve his goals and dreams. Person-centered planning has been associated with increased student participation in the IEP process (Test 2004). View the video below to listen to a young man share his experiences with person-centered planning and the impact it has had on his life.
There are multiple tools which may be used to facilitate a person-centered plan (PCP). The PCP's ultimate outcome is creative, individualized goals, services and activities which may be included in the Transition IEP and daily programming. To learn more about how to incorporate person-centered planning follow this link to an NSTTAC lesson plan starter.
Making a Change: Your Personal Plan
This web-based activity helps a student to think about his/her goals and develop and action plan to achieve those goals. The end product of this planning activity is a printable booklet.
The mission of PACER Center (Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights) is to expand opportunities and enhance the quality of life of children and young adults with disabilities and their families, based on the concept of parents helping parents. The PACER Center website contains resources and online training material.
Zarrow Center for Learning Enrichment
The Zarrow Center conducted a study on Self-Directed IEP instructional program. The results of this study are shared on the above link along with strategies to increase student participation in IEP meeting discussions and implement the self-directed IEP curriculum.
Student development is the foundation of quality transition planning, services, and postschool outcomes. Student development contains the educational components that a secondary teacher includes in programming for students to learn, practice and master during their secondary education. Understanding each individual component of student development will help you develop quality individualized programming for students. The components are:
Let's look at each of these seven components in greater detail.
In order for students to obtain their Transition IEP goals and obtain the skills needed to achieve their post-secondary goals, students must receive quality academic instruction with access to the general education curriculum. Quality academic instruction is achieved through the implementation of evidence-based practices. These instructional methods should be utilities in all instructional settings in the classroom and the community. (Grossi and Cole, 2013)
Lesson Plan Starters
National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center (NSTTAC) has created lesson plan starters that utilize evidence-based practices. Teachers can then include these lesson plan starters into their life skills curriculum. Each lesson plan provides details for the lesson's objective, materials needed, content, and teaching procedures. In addition to the citation of the supporting research. Click HERE to explore the lesson plan starters.
Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
Students are all individuals with unique ways of learning, processing information, and demonstrating their knowledge. Regardless of the instructional content, Universal Design for Learning (Rose and Meyer, 2006) seeks to minimize barriers, maximize learning and address individual differences by providing multiple means of representation, expression, and engagement. For an in-depth review of UDL and transition-focused education, read Universal Design for Learning and Secondary Transition Planning for Students with Disabilities: 101.
The following video is just one example that demonstrates a Universal Design for Learning (UDL) approach to presenting academic content related to health care in an engaging format.
Use of this video was authorized by Mr. Parr. Find more videos on his youtube channel:http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJjstNDkwktHyvUdtcBfb2g
A complementary instructional method to UDL is Differentiated Instruction. Differentiated Instruction is a "systematic approach to planning curriculum and instruction for academically diverse learners. It is a way of thinking about the classroom with the dual goals of honoring each student's learning needs and maximizing each student's learning capacity" (Tomlinson & Edison, 2003, p.3).
Universal Design for Differentiated Instruction (UDDI)
Building upon both UDL and Differentiated Instruction, UDDI provides teachers with the knowledge to develop rigorous academic curriculum which meets individual student's needs. What's in Your Toolbox is a participatory session designed to build awareness of the Universal Design for Differentiated Instruction framework. You may also visit the Center for Education and Lifelong Learning, Indiana Institute on Disability and Community website for additional resources.
CAST is a not-for-profit, educational research and development organization whose mission is to expand learning opportunities for all individuals, especially those with disabilities and at-risk learners, through innovative uses of technology and UDL.
Differentiation Central has current resources, k-12 lesson plans, videos and training opportunities to assist teachers implement differentiated instruction.
Edudemic has an extensive list of websites, videos, and other resources for teachers to incorporate technology into the classroom.
Teacher Training Videos is a British website that offers free online training videos for teachers to learn how to incorporate technology into their classrooms.Test, D. and A. Bartholomew(2011). Universal design for learning and secondary transition planning for students with disabilities: 101. National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center. Thoma, C., Bartholomew, C., & Scott (2009). Universal design for learning: A roadmap for planning and instruction. Baltimore: Brookes Publishing.
U.S. Office of Special Education Programs. Toolkit on Teaching and Assessing Students with Disabilities provides information and resources on assessment, instructional practices, behavior, and accommodations.
Figuring out a student's strengths, interests, and needs is the first step for you in designing a quality,transition IEP and individualized services. These discoveries are made through formal and informal assessments of each student.
The goal of assessment is to ensure that you are getting the complete picture of your students.
There are many valuable tools you can use to get to know your student. Keep in mind that not only is it important to gather information across settings and time, but it is also important to collect information from multiple sources. We have organized the assessment tools into three steps:
Get to know the student
Talk with the family
Talk with the family about their perspectives on their child's interests, strengths, preferences and support needs. Remember that the tool(s) you choose should match the family's comfort zone and align with their culture, beliefs and values. Click here for a tip sheet on supporting culturally diverse families.
Review existing data.
Just as a reminder, you should get to know the student first, then review the data. Ask yourself: Does this information match what you know about the student?
Remember that each example given may or may not collect information that is useful for your specific student. It is important to find assessment tools that match your individual student. An easy-to-use tool now allows you to find age-appropriate transition assessments. Search by employment, education/training, or independent living and by grade level and disability. Then scroll through descriptions of the assessments before downloading them for your students. Click HERE to begin using the transition assessment matrix.
Afer reviewing all of the collected assessment data, you will identify the knowledge and skills a student needs to achieve her/his postschool outcomes. Remember the postschool goals in the Transition IEP must be based on assessment results in the areas of
(Roll over these terms for the definition.)
Want to learn more?
Watch an online webinar by Dr. Jim Martin on Transition Assessment for Students with Severe & Multiple Disabilities by clicking on the graphic to the left.
Complete the Transition Assessment Module with Dr. Mary Held by clicking on the graphic to the left.
O'Net Resource Center contains free resources, online interest inventories, and video clips of many jobs. http://www.onetcenter.org/
National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth is a partnership of experts in disability, education, employment and workforce development which is a source of information about employment and youth with disabilities. www.ncwd-youth.info
America Institute for Research (AIR) Self-determination assessments. These assessments develop a profile of the student's self-determination, strengths and areas for improvement, and identifies academic goals which could be incorporated into the Transition IEP. Click here to review this free assessments (Spanish version also available).
Life skills instruction develops students' daily living skills. Research has shown that students with disabilities, who exit high school with proficient life skills, have better postschool outcomes than those students who do not (Roessler, Brolin, Johnson, 1990).
While most teachers identify independent living skills (i.e. cooking, personal hygiene, money skills, and street safety) as life skills, there are additional areas considered life skills. Life skills instruction also can include (Roll over each of these terms for a definition):
Students with age-appropriate life skills may not need additional instruction beyond those taught in general education classes or at home. Elective classes, such as personal finance or adult roles and responsibilities, may be enough to develop a student's skills. Other students may need additional instruction and practice which can be found in a functional curriculum. Regardless of the setting for instruction, it is important that evidence-based practices are used by teachers when implementing curriculum.
Before we move on, let's test your knowledge of community-based instruction.
Some students with disabilities struggle to generalize information from one activity to another and across settings (Snell and Brown, 2011). The goal of community-based instruction (CBI) is to provide students the opportunity to learn skills in the natural environment with real materials. CBI allows students to repeatedly practice in the natural setting and increase their ability to retain the needed skills (Steere and DiPipi-Hoy, 2012).
Community-based instruction is especially effective for teaching life skills and employment skills. It enables a teacher and student to identify the supports that are necessary for success as well as practice using those supports in real-life settings. The following video demonstrates some of the content that could to be included in a CBI for a student learning street safety.
We realize there may be limitations conducting community-based instruction as frequently as you would like. Click HERE to read the article which identifies ways to reinforce community-based instruction in your classroom and school building (Steere & DiPipip-Hoy, 2012).
Example of Evidence-Based Practice: Using Instructional Strategy of Video Modeling to Teach Life Skill
Video modeling is an instructional strategy to teach specific skills. Video modeling allows students to learn a skill by watching the task being performed repeatedly. Then the student practices the skills (Neumann, L. 2004). For example, the video below would be watched by students prior to a cooking activity to teach them the specific skills associated with preventing cooking fires (Mechling, Gast and Gustafson, 2009). The use of video modeling as a prompt during the activity rather than using a physical or verbal prompt by staff is currently being researched. With the availability of portable technology, this strategy is a promising practice for supporting people with disabilities.
Data shows that if a peer has been given a clear role and instructions on how to support a student with a disability, peer mentoring is an effective instructional method (Hughes, Carter, Hughes, Bradford, & Copeland, 2002). Peer mentoring provides instruction and support in an age-appropriate way. For example, if a peer mentor supports a student with a disability to ride the city bus, the instruction and supports look very typical. Peer mentors can help students with disabilities access general education classes, become included in the school, and develop friendships. Peer mentors can serve in a variety of roles: friend, role model, coach and/or supporter.
Center on Community Living and Careers, Indiana Institute on Disability and Community (CCLC)
CCLC focuses on career development, secondary education and transition to adult life and services, person-directed planning, benefits, community inclusion, and systems and policy analysis.
iPad Learning Cohorts is a project with G0 WISE (Washington Initiative for Supported Employment) in Washington State.This project has developed a list of ipad apps, cost, description, and devices which may be helpful to develop independence for people with disabilities. Click here to download the app list.
inPromptu is an iPad, iPod, iPhone application which may be downloaded through itunes. This app is designed to assist individuals with significant intellectual disabilities with acquiring and maintaining daily living skills using video technology, as shown on the left.To learn more visit inpromptu.ehe.osu.edu.
Looking for more apps that could support your students' independence? Check out BridgingApps which allows you to search for apps that meet your student's specific needs. Click HERE to start a search.
National Gateway to Self-Determination
Resources for individuals with disabilities, parents and professionals for developing self-determination skills.
National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center
NSTTAC helps states build capacity to support and improve transition planning, services, and outcomes for youth with disabilities and disseminate information and provide technical assistance.
Peer Mentoring: Learning Together is a curriculum which is FREE to Indiana educators. Click HERE to order.
Everyone goes to work. We just may take different paths to get there. Some students go directly to work following high school while others choose to go on for further education and training prior to entering the workforce. Regardless, during secondary school, students need training on the specific skills needed for successful future employment such as
Some students will obtain these skills through the general education curriculum, project-based activities, and/or service learning projects. Other students will require additional opportunities to learn, practice and demonstrate these skills through work experiences, school-based jobs, and supported employment.
No matter the ability or disability the expectation is that all students will become employed. View some highlights of employment outcomes in 100 Jobs in Indiana.
Evidence-based Practices: Examples for Employment
Lesson Plan Starters
The National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center (NSTTAC) has many lesson plan starters to help teachers implement evidence-based practices. Click HERE for the lesson plan starter which outlines how to teach students specific employment skills using computer-aided instruction. To view all of the lesson plan starters related to employment, click HERE.
For many people with disabilities, an employment specialist (or job coach) will implement evidence-based practices and on-the-job instruction during supported employment. Throughout the supported employment process, the employment specialist focuses on the individual's competitive employment goal. Supported employment improves the employment outcomes of people with disabilities by:
Do2learn A website featuring social skills and behavioral regulation activities and guidance. It includes learning songs and games, communication cards, academic material, and transition guides for employment and life skills.
Real People, Real Jobs: Stories from the Front Lines A website featuring people with disabilities working competitively in the community.
Department of Labor (DOL), Office of Disability and Employment Policy (ODEP) The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) provides national leadership by developing and influencing disability employment-related policies and practices effecting an increase in the employment of people with disabilities. Resources and curricula are also available on the website to teach specific skills, i.e. mastering soft skills in the workplace.
The National Longitudinal Transition Study (2011) determined that students with disabilities who had vocational experiences or opportunities in high school were much more likely to be employed both upon graduation and 1-3 years after exiting high school. One way students may obtain vocational experiences is through career technical education. Students learn many marketable job specific skills through career technical education. Career technical education includes programs which will enable students to immediately enter the workforce after high school, as well as, programs that will required advanced training/education beyond high school.
Career Technical Education Definition...
Association for Career and Technical Education This professional development association provides many resources to learn about Career and Technical Education.The website includes a Lesson Plan Library which may be sorted by content area and specific skill, i.e. Build and Maintain Productive Relationships with Peers and Adults.
Structured work experience helps students develop, practice and master work skills. Specific work-related skills and self-management skills are learned through hands-on paid experiences with community employers in apprenticeships, work study, or a summer job. As seen in the following video, structured work experience provides an in-depth, career education that cannot be replicated in simulated settings.
Evidence-based Practice: Example of Social Stories Supporting Individual
Most people are apprehensive when starting something new. Starting a new job, riding a new bus, meeting new people and other first-time experiences can cause a person to be anxious and nervous. Social stories are an evidence-based practice that can assist students in knowing what to expect in a new situation and can highlight what is happening, what is being said, and how to respond appropriately (Gray & Garund, 1993).
The social story below was created for staff and family to review with the student (Neisha) each workday. Because the support staff often changed on the job, the social story had the additional benefit of ensuring consistency in how Neisha was supported to perform tasks. (Use the play bar at the bottom of the screen to move between pages of the social story.)
Austin, K. (2011). Teaching social skills through social narratives:Another evidence based practice. http://www.ttacnews.vcu.edu/2011/09/teaching-social-skills-through-social-narratives-another-evidence-based-practice.
Kids Can Dream. These stories use Boardmaker pictures with text. http://kidscandream.webs.com/page12.htm
Region 2 Digital Library. This site has several premade PowerPoint social stories with prerecorded audio – http://region2library.org/SocialStories.htm
The Watson Institute. These social stories cover elementary and high school issues. Some templates require pictures to be inserted. – http://www.thewatsoninstitute.org/teacher-resources2.jsp?pageId=2161392240601226415747290
Support Services is a broad category of assistance used to develop a student's highest level of independence. The video above provided one example of a support service - assistive technology. Other examples of support services include:
It is also important to note that over a student's school career, the support services provided will change to meet his needs. The video above reflected the changes in Jared's technology over time to adapt to his skills, goals, and needs. Identifying and developing support services during secondary education is a crucial link for a seamless transition. Long-term success requires the student to have:
It is important to not only to identify the supports a student needs, but also have adult support services in place prior to the student exiting school. It is essential for the student and family be key partners when identifying assistive technology needs. The student, family and the other case conference members should include a discussion on funding the technology, training on the equipment, and locations for repairing the technology to ensure long-term success. To begin this process with a student and family click here for a Family Information Guide to Assistive Technology and Transition Planning.
Before you move on, click on the activity below to see other examples of students using various assistive technology from "low tech" to "high tech".
An Example of Support Services Collaboration
Collaboration with support services professionals is an effective approach to design quality transition services prior to a student exiting secondary education. For example, occupational therapists (OT) play a vital role on a student's transition team. The OT provides expertise to teach functional daily life activities and job skills, and helps the support the development of an ergonomically friendly work setting (American Occupational Therapy Association, 2008). The graphic below highlights transition services and activities which could be provided by an OT to support the student to develop skills needed for a successful transition to adulthood.
Center for Youth and Adults with Conditions of Childhood (CYACC) Youth to Adult Transition Support Clinic provides transition resources and guidance to youth ages 11-22 with special needs (chronic conditions, developmental delay, physical disabilities).
Got Transition?- National Health Care Transition Center provides easy access to proven health care transition tools for professionals, youth, and families.
Health Care Transitions provides information for youth to help them transition from pediatric to adult health care services. The information provided help youth understand how to talk to doctors and take a more active role in their health care. A variety of materials are provided to enhance the health care transition-related knowledge and skills of adolescents, young adults, families and health care professionals.
Healthy Transitions: Moving from Pediatric to Adult Care also provides tools for care coordination, keeping a health summary, and setting priorities during the transition process as well as a variety of interactive tools that foster self determination and collaboration.
In Part 2 we focused on two areas of the Taxonomy: student-focused planning and student development. You have been:
We hope you are confident in your knowledge and are inspired to provide quality programming for your secondary students. If you need further inspiration on how you can make a positive impact on a student with a disability, watch the video below.
In Part 3: Teaming for Transition, we will discuss the final three areas of the Taxonomy of Transition Programming - Family Involvement, Interagency Collaboration and Program Structure. Join us in Part 3 to address the necessity of including families, transition stakeholders in developing quality program structures for transition services.
American Association for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. (2012) Retrieved from http://www.aamr.org/content_190.cfm?navid=67.
American Occupational Therapy Association (2008). FAQ: Occupational Therapy's Role in Transition Services and Planning [PDF]. Retrieved 5/13/2013.
Bellini, S. & Akullian, J. (2007). A Meta-Analysis of Video Modeling and Video Self-Modeling Interventions for Children and Adolescence with ASD. Teaching Exceptional Children, 73(3),264-287.
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Hughes, C., Carter, E. W., Hughes, T., Bradford, E., & Copeland, S. R. (2002). Effects of instructional versus non-instructional roles on the social interactions of high school students. Education & Training in Mental Retardation,3 7, 146-162.
Mason, C., McGahee-Kavoc, M. & Johnson, L. (2004). How to help students lead their iep meetings. Teaching Exceptional Children, (36),3, 18-25.
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Mechling, L., Gast, D., & Gustafson, M.(2009). Use of video modeling to teach extinguishing of cooking related fire to individuals with moderate intellectual disabilities. Education and Training in Developmental Disabilities, 44, 67-79.
Rose, D., & Meyer, A. (Eds.). (2006). A Practical Reader in Universal Design for Learning. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.
Neuman, L. (2004). Video modeling: A visual teaching method for children with autism. Brandon, FL: Willerik Publishing.
National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center. (2011). Predictors of In-School and Post-School Success[Technical document]. Retrieved from http://www.nsttac.org/sites/default/files/assets/pdf/InSchoolPostSchoolPredictorsSuperTable.pdf.
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Zins, J., Weissbert, R., Wang, M., & Walberg, H. (2004). Building academic success on social and emotional learning: What does the research say. New York: Teachers College Press.
This module was created by the The Indiana Secondary Transition Resource Center (INSTRC). INSTRC is located within the Center on Community Living and Careers, Indiana Institute on Disability and Community at Indiana University-Bloomington. INSTRC is part of the Indiana Resource Network funded by the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE). Any information or opinions presented in this module are those of INSTRC and do not necessarily represent those of the IDOE. Questions regarding this module may be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org.