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OSERS: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
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National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2009

The Evidence on Evidence-Based Practices in Secondary Transition

The National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center (NSTTAC) is funded by U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs to assist all states and territories in building their capacity to provide secondary transition education and services through the dissemination of evidence-based practices in secondary transition. Through a review of high quality intervention studies, NSTTAC has identified evidence-based practices regarding the instruction of specific employment skills as well as social-communication skills for employment. Further NSTTAC has identified 16 in-school predictors of post-school employment, including paid work experience or vocational education in secondary school. Resources related to these evidence-based predictors of positive employment outcomes and evidence-based practices for teaching employment skills are available at NSTTAC’s Web site, www.nsttac.org, under Evidence-Based Practices.

In an effort to build capacity NSTTAC also collaborates with local school sites in the four states it is engaged with intensively. The focus of the local work is to improve transition education and services by providing monetary and professional development resources, guided by the specific needs and priorities of the local district. The following stories are provided from one of the local NSTTAC technical assistance sites in Durant, Oklahoma. The teachers (general and special education) at this site participated in a workshop on self-determination curricula. The students featured participated in the Take Action: Making Goals Happen (Marshall, Martin, Maxson, Miller, McGill, Hughes, & Jerman, 1999) component of the ChoiceMaker curriculum, which helps them learn about identifying, setting, and achieving goals.

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Calvin Howe “Calvin graduated from Durant High School in 2009. He is learning disabled. He went through the Take Action curricula. He mapped out his goals in great detail. His post secondary goal was to join the Air Force. He graduated from his Air Force basic military training just a few weeks ago. He struggled with training but I believe the goals he created for himself helped keep him focused and on track. His official title is Airman Howe. He is stationed at Shepherd Air Force in Wichita Falls, TX. He is excited about starting his career training. We have a great essay he wrote for us on going into the military.”

– Debbie Sears, high school special education teacher at Durant High School in Oklahoma

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Brent Sears Chickasaw “Brent graduated from Durant High School in 2008. Brent has mild cerebral palsy and is learning disabled. He became a part of the Durant vocational work program his sophomore year in school. He transitioned from working on campus to working for a local business. He attended vocational workshops presented by Diana Kizer (vocational rehabilitation counselor). His post-secondary goal has been to own or work in upper management of a successful business. His senior year he walked into WalMart, sat at their computer, filled out an application and was hired within two days as a cashier. He now attends Murray State Junior College where he is working on a degree in Business Management. He worked for Choctaw Casino as a cashier and then decided work for his own tribe, the Chickasaw in Thackerville at WinStar World Casino. He is a casino floor attendant. In his words, “I love, love, love my job”. He has already been approached by management to consider a supervisor’s position. He recently received a WOW award for going above and beyond the call of duty. He is now eligible for the employee drawing for a new truck, cruise, cash, Caribbean vacation and more. He plans on completing his business degree and will hopefully have a management position with Chickasaw Enterprises. “

– Debbie Sears, high school special education teacher at Durant High School in Oklahoma

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Resources

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Disclaimer

The contents of this document do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

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Last Modified: 10/15/2009