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The federal government has assumed a key role in stimulating state and local efforts to improve transition Future challenges to the field of through a variety of policy, interagency, systems change, model demonstration, and research efforts.
From this federal legislation, regulations were established requiring state and local education agencies specifically to address the school and postschool transition service needs of students with disabilities.
These needs are to be met through coordinated planning among special educators, general educators, community service agencies, parents, and students. Much of the rationale for establishing these new provisions was based on the recognition that many young adults with disabilities were exiting high school unprepared for adult life.
Predominant themes emerging from these and other studies include lower than desired academic achievement levels; high dropout rates; substantial levels of unemployment and underemployment; economic instability, dependence, and social isolation; and low levels of participation in postsecondary education and training programs.
For two decades, the Office of Special Education Programs OSEP has sponsored transition research, demonstration, and training initiatives that have resulted in a knowledge base of promising approaches and strategies for the delivery of transition services for students with disabilities.
Advances and innovations in interagency cooperation, access to postsecondary education and training, supported employment, transition planning, student and parental involvement in school and postschool decision making, development of adult living skills, and self-determination and self-advocacy, are all valued examples of previous and current efforts.
These varied approaches and strategies serve as the foundation upon which state and local education agencies, in partnership with community service agencies, parents, and students, have based the development of their transition programs and services.
Emergent Policy Influences on the Provision of Secondary Education and Transition Services Since the mids, the efficacy of public education programs has been challenged by policymakers, business leaders, professionals, and the general public.
While these concerns initially focused on improving general education, there are now efforts to closely align special education programs with emerging general education reforms e. Special education programs have been influenced by several recent federal education reforms, including the School-to-Work Opportunities Act ofGoals These reforms stress high academic and occupational standards; promote the use of state and local standards-based accountability systems; point to the need to improve teaching through comprehensive professional development programs; and call for broad-based partnerships between schools, employers, postsecondary institutions, parents, and others.
With the reauthorization of IDEA insignificant new requirements were put into place to ensure students greater access to the general education curriculum and assessment systems.
The IEP must also include, beginning at age 16 or younger, a statement of needed transition services and interagency responsibilities or needed linkages.
The current reauthorization of IDEA will continue to support and strengthen these requirements. The current challenge is to integrate and align these transition requirements with other legislated requirements giving students with disabilities greater access to the general education curriculum and assessment systems.
These problems have been complicated further by state and local standards-based assessment systems that either fail to include students with disabilities or provide inadequate accommodations to support their participation.
Limited levels of service coordination and collaboration among schools and community service agencies create difficulties for students with disabilities as they seek to achieve positive postschool results. Strategies are desperately needed to help state and local education agencies and community service agencies address transition service requirements as students access the general curriculum and meet state standards and graduation requirements.
The next reauthorization of IDEA, set foris expected to retain the current focus on high academic achievement and the inclusion of students with disabilities in state and local standards-based accountability systems. Further, discussions will continue to focus on effective strategies and interventions that help students develop other essential adult life skills through vocational education, training, community participation, and other means.
Federal policy, research and demonstration, state and local initiatives, and other developments since have focused considerable effort on improving school and postschool results for youth with disabilities. This results-based policy ideology will no doubt continue as a major influence on both special education and general education throughout the current decade.
The Role of Federal Legislation Given the complexity and long-term nature of transition, it is evident that families, schools, adult service providers, state agencies, and postsecondary institutions cannot carry the entire burden of fiscal, programmatic, and planning responsibility.
Over the past two decades, Congress has enacted a broad range of federal legislation to make available an array of programs and services designed to support young people with disabilities in their transition from school to postsecondary education, employment, and community living.
The following briefly summarizes several of these major legislative developments. Rehabilitation Act of This law provides comprehensive services to all individuals with a disability, regardless of the severity of the disability, and outlaws discrimination against citizens with disabilities.
Section of this law specifically prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of disability. It also focuses on adults and youth transitioning into employment settings. The act ensures the development and implementation of a comprehensive and coordinated program of vocational assistance for individuals with disabilities, thereby supporting independent living and maximizing employability and integration into the community.
Technology-related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act of This law assists states in developing comprehensive programs for technology-related assistance and promotes the availability of technology to individuals with disabilities and their families. Americans with Disabilities Act of This landmark legislation guarantees equal opportunity and assures civil rights for all individuals with disabilities.
This act requires states to ensure that special population students have equal access to vocational education and that localities ensure the full participation of these students in programs that are approved, using Perkins money.
States receiving federal vocational education money must fund, develop, and carry out activities and programs to eliminate gender bias, stereotyping, and discrimination in vocational education.
The act includes a wide range of programs and services, including vocational education classes and work-study for students in high schools, as well as access to postsecondary technical education programs. Education America Act of This law established a new framework for the federal government to provide assistance to states for the reform of educational programs.
It encourages the establishment of high standards for all children, including children with disabilities, and specifies eight national education goals for all children.
WIA creates a comprehensive job training system that consolidates a variety of federally funded programs into a streamlined process allowing individuals to easily access job training and employment services.
As outlined in Section of WIA, states and localities are required to develop and implement workforce investment systems that fully include and accommodate the needs of individuals with disabilities.The concept of sustainable development is defined as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
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The Future Cities Catapult is a government supported centre for the advancement of smart cities. Discussion Paper. January Current Challenges Facing the Future of Secondary Education and Transition Services for Youth with Disabilities in the United States.
THE FUTURE OF FAMILIES TO PROJECTIONS, POLICY CHALLENGES AND POLICY OPTIONS A Synthesis Report InternatIonal Futures programme.