Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Easter Seals Contributes to AUCD Report on Transition

By Whitney E. Gray

For young adults to transition seamlessly to adulthood, many different agencies and entities must coordinate and work together. Transportation is one aspect of transition, which can require coordination between parents, educators and transportation providers.

Judy Shanley, director of the Administration for Community Living, mobility management and student engagement programs at Easter Seals, recently contributed to a resource on transition produced by the Association of University Centers on Disability.  A Collaborative Interagency, Interdisciplinary Approach to Transition from Adolescence to Adulthood  aims to help stakeholders pursue a more comprehensive, coordinated, supportive, and successful transition process for youth with disabilities. As discussed in the paper, four core concepts are essential to the development and implementation of effective transition plans and processes:

(1)  Self-determination should be the foundation for transition planning.
(2)  Transition should be viewed through a cultural lens.
(3)  Interagency collaboration is essential to effective transition.
(4)  Transition planning should include all the perspectives, disciplines, and organizations that will impact the transitioning student.

In the section on transportation, Shanley discusses ESPA’s multi-tiered framework to help educators think about approaches to teach students about transportation options. “At its foundation and the least intense level, students with and without disabilities are oriented to public transit by participating in opportunities to visit and use public transit, through examples that are embedded in academic materials, and by the collaboration and participation of transportation professionals in school forums…At the top tier or the most intense level, travel training, a one-to-one service provided to students by trained travel training professionals, is delivered to enable students to navigate on public transportation.” Through collaboration and choosing the most appropriate educational method, parents, transit professionals and educators can help ensure that transportation will not be a barrier in the transition to adulthood for youth with disabilities.

Start improving the transition process for youth with disabilities in your community. Download the full paper for free or order print copies for $10 plus shipping. Visit AUCD’s website for more information.

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