To help students plan their postsecondary goals, we reflect on disability- and learning- related needs. But are we also attentive to how a student’s culture and traditions will influence their futures? How can we increase multicultural awareness and strengthen partnerships with families when planning for their child’s future?
Recognizing potential barriers to connecting with multicultural families is essential to transition planning. Conquering barriers beforehand can help guide our steps and assist with collaborative transition planning.
Potential Barriers and Possible Solutions
Barrier: School's unfamiliarity with the country of origin
Solution: Research! Videos such as Greetings from Around the World cover courtesies from across the globe.
Barrier: School's understanding regarding traditions and cultural expectations
Solution: Learn about the family’s culture and their expectations before the transition meeting. Create a family survey in the student’s home language. You can find some great questions in Families Have Much to Share Survey Question Examples.
Barrier: Family’s lack of background knowledge of formal education practices
Solution: Explain the transition IEP process to families. Provide a document in the family’s native language with clear steps.
Barrier: Family’s lack of familiarity with the transition practices in the U.S.
Solution: Discuss the expectations of participation in education/training, employment, and community living for people with disabilities in the U.S. Share stories or examples that demonstrate those expectations and achievements.
While we cannot solve every barrier immediately, we hope that by identifying some solutions, your school and community can continue the important work of making improvements for families and ultimately helping students find success throughout the transition process.
- CCLC Transition Miniseries, Course #11 — Transition Miniseries: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice in Transition to Adulthood
- Critical Reflection with Transition Leaders & Educators: A Focus on Culture & Equity with Brooke Harris Garad
- Designing Transition Programs for Culturally & Linguistically Diverse Students with Disabilities
- Tips for Translating Materials