A r c h i v e d I n f o r m a t i o n
To Assure the Free Appropriate Public Education of All Children with Disabilities - 1996
Activities and Results of the State Transition Grants
A 5-year cooperative agreement was awarded to the National Transition Network to evaluate and document the approaches and outcomes of the State educational agency/vocational rehabilitation grants. The purpose of the cooperative agreement is to develop, implement, and improve systems that provide transitions services for youth with disabilities. This Appendix contains information about the activities developed in selected States to improve transition services.
Overview of the National Transition Network (NTN)
In 1983, the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) identified the transition from school to work as one of the major Federal priorities of special education programs across the nation. The decision to develop this Federal school-to-work transition initiative was prompted by numerous studies and reports conducted during the early 1980s, which unilaterally found high levels of unemployment, economic instability and dependence, and social isolation among young adults with disabilities. Since 1983, significant research and demonstration activities have ensued for the explicit purpose of improving the transition of youth with disabilities from school to work, postsecondary education, and community living. Throughout the 1980s, school-to-work transition services for youth with disabilities expanded, principally emphasizing: (1) State and local efforts to improve the high school curriculum to address students' development of functional skills for work and community living; (2) opportunities for students to learn in "real-world" contexts, i.e., work sites and other community-based settings; (3) increased student and family participation in the development of transition plans focused on a range of postschool outcomes in the areas of employment, postsecondary education, and community living; and (4) concerted efforts to increase the level and intensity of interagency cooperation among educators, employers, and community-service agencies in addressing the transition needs of secondary students with disabilities.
In 1991 OSERS, as authorized under Section 626(e) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1990, initiated a special grants program making available Federal funds to support a series of 5-year State systems change projects on transition. By the fall of 1993, a total of 30 States (12 States in 1991, 12 in 1992, and 6 States in 1993) entered into cooperative agreements with OSERS to undertake systems change projects. In 1994 no new States were funded. However, in 1995 an additional four States were funded. Specific goals of these systems change grants are described below.
- To increase the availability, access, and quality of transition assistance for youth with disabilities.
- To improve the ability of professionals, parents, and advocates to work with youth with disabilities in ways that promote the understanding of and the capability to successfully make the transition from student to adult.
- To improve working relationships among those who are, or should be, involved in the delivery of transition services, in order to identify and achieve consensus on the general nature and specific application of transition services to meet the needs of youth with disabilities.
- To create an incentive for accessing and using the existing, or developing, expertise and resources of programs, projects, and activities related to transition.
In 1992, OSERS finalized a cooperative agreement with the University of Minnesota to establish the National Transition Network. The Network was established for the purpose of providing technical assistance and evaluation services to States implementing these statewide systems change projects on transition. More specifically, the role of the National Transition Network is to strengthen the capacity of individual States to effectively improve school-to-work transition policies, programs, and practices by providing technical assistance and consultation in essential areas of State project implementation. Further, the Network operates to generate and disseminate policy-relevant information for the purpose of improving State and local policy and program structures and achieve higher levels of intergovernmental cooperation to benefit individuals with disabilities and their families as they make the transition from school to work and community living.
Description of the NTN and its Tasks
The Institute on Community Integration at the University of Minnesota serves as the headquarters of the National Transition Network. Drs. David R. Johnson and Robert H. Bruininks are Co-Principal Investigators, with Dr. Johnson serving as the Project Director. Drs. Johnson, Barbara Guy (Associate Project Director), and Teri Wallace are primary liaisons between six Network collaborators, individual State project directors, and OSERS. The six Network collaborators are universities and nationally-based parent and consumer organizations that assist in the Network's technical assistance and evaluation activities. They include:
- University of Vermont, Center for Technical Assistance in Transition and Supported Employment - Dr. Susan Hasazi;
- University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Department of Educational Psychology - Dr. Lizanne DeStefano;
- Colorado State University, School of Occupational and Educational Studies - Dr. Brian Cobb;
- University of Arkansas, Arkansas Research & Training Center in Vocational Rehabilitation - Dr. Kay Schriner;
- Technical Assistance for Parent Programs (TAPP) of Boston, Massachusetts - Janet Vohs; and
- PACER Center of Minneapolis, Minnesota (Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights) - Marge Goldberg.
State-Level Technical Assistance
The National Transition Network establishes with each State grantee an annual technical assistance plan detailing strategies and activities to improve the availability, access, and quality of State-level transition policies, programs, and practices for youth with disabilities. Technical assistance plans are based on each State's assessment of current transition-related policies, administrative practices, interagency approaches, and service delivery strategies. Each State's technical assistance plan identifies relevant audiences to receive technical assistance, their specific needs, conditions for providing the technical assistance, and the resources required.
The network uses a variety of technical assistance strategies, including an annual on-site visit by network staff, teleconferencing, and information dissemination via written correspondence, telephone, and electronic mail. In addition, the network promotes the sharing of information and ideas between States through regional meetings, an annual project directors meeting, and exchange of information. Another important aspect of the network's technical assistance activities is the establishment of collaborative working relationships with OSEP's Regional Resource Centers and other organizations (i.e., RTCs, UAPs, Transition Institute of Illinois, and State and national parent and consumer organizations). Through these collaborative relationships, the Network helps to maximize opportunities for individual States to have ready access to, and use of, the best possible resources and information on transition.
Responsibilities for establishing technical assistance plans with individual State projects is shared among primary collaborators. Listed below are the member universities and key contact persons of the National Transition Network that assume direct responsibility for initiating and planning technical assistance with individual States. The list identifies the States to be served by each university collaborator.
- University of Minnesota (Drs. David R. Johnson and Barbara Guy, Teri Wallace) - States served: Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin.
- University of Vermont (Dr. Susan Hasazi) - States served: Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and New York.
- University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (Dr. Lizanne DeStefano) - States served: Connecticut, Kentucky, New Hampshire, and Vermont.
- Colorado State University (Dr. Brian Cobb) - States served: California, Indiana, Kansas, and Utah.
- University of Arkansas (Dr. Kay Schriner) - States served: North Carolina, New Mexico, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Evaluation Services The National Transition Network works cooperatively with each State to evaluate the outcomes and impact of efforts to improve transition policies and programs resulting from the activities of State systems projects. This includes providing assistance to States in the design of meaningful project evaluation methods and procedures, reviewing current procedures for determining State-level transition needs and activities, assisting States in evaluating and documenting the extent to which Federal and State laws create disincentives to cooperation and coordination, and helping States evaluate the impact of the requirement to include a statement of needed transition services in students' Individualized Educational Programs (IEPs). The Network will, based on the nature and comprehensiveness of individual State evaluation activities, compile reports and make recommendations on the manner in which the program under Section 626(e) of the IDEA can be improved.
Related Support Activities In addition to these technical assistance and evaluation activities, the National Transition Network engages in several related support functions intended to assist States in the successful implementation of their cooperative projects. Related support activities are described below.
- Assisting OSERS in analyzing and disseminating relevant information on changes in Federal policies and laws affecting the transition of youth with disabilities from school to work and community living.
- Conducting an annual project director's meeting in Washington, D.C., for the purpose of promoting communications and effective networking among State project staff.
- Organizing and conducting an annual working conference in Washington, D.C., to present evaluation results and encourage the exchange of information among policy makers and representatives from key Federal agencies and organizations.
- Widely disseminating information that Federal and State policy makers and professionals, consumers, and families can use in the planning and implementation of strategies to improve transition services.
- Making available advanced graduate training in the areas of evaluation and technical assistance. A special emphasis on graduate training is placed on recruitment of minority students and persons with disabilities. Up to three individuals are provided graduate assistantships annually.
State Systems Change Projects on Transition Summary of Project Activities
Improve Knowledge and Skills
Thirty-four States have received funding to develop, implement, and improve systems to provide transition services for youth with disabilities from age 14 through the age they exit school. Funding for the first 12 States began October 1, 1991 (Arkansas, California, Colorado, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, Texas, Utah, and Vermont). Connecticut, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia were funded in 1992. Six States (Florida, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, and Wisconsin) were funded in 1993, no States were funded in 1994, and an additional four were funded in 1995 (Maryland, Montana, South Dakota, and Tennessee). The results of a content analysis of activities across all 34 currently funded projects is listed below. Further evaluation data will be available at the completion of the projects. A complete listing of States and their key contacts follows the list of activities.
Improve Knowledge and Skills
- Conduct assessments of transition needs, training needs, barriers to success, and employers' knowledge of transition.
- Design/deliver training to State agency staff, providers, employers, advocates, transition teams, and others.
- Deliver technical assistance to agency staff, service providers, LEA staff, employers, advocates, and transition teams.
- Organize/participate in interagency conferences aimed at State agency staff, providers, LEA staff, and families/youth.
- Provide training for families/youth in transition planning.
- Establish/expand family and youth involvement in transition planning through provision of training in:
- Self empowerment/determination/advocacy;
- Consumer case management;
- Personal futures planning; and
- Peer supports/natural supports.
- Encourage family involvement in support groups and advocacy organizations.
- Conduct public forums/community meetings on transition issues and transition policy; obtain consumer input regarding methods for publicizing transition best-practice strategies.
- Develop/update resource directories of providers, best-practice sites, examples of successful collaboration; develop clearinghouse for information/referral/dissemination.
- Infuse transition-related training into college/university level undergraduate and graduate level courses.
- Increase families' knowledge of transition by publicizing information about project activities and available resources.
- Increase involvement of minority families through targeted mailings, outreach activities, training modules modified for cultural diversity.
Improve Working Relationships
- Clarify/develop interagency agreements regarding agencies' roles and responsibilities; establish formal and informal relationships with key organizations, committees, post-secondary institutions, and legislators.
- Establish focus groups, transition teams, governing boards, and advocacy committees; ensure broad representation and cultural diversity.
- Disperse project staff across State agency offices; encourage dialogue with State-level staff, providers, and employers; pair staff from various agencies as project co-directors.
- Assist in local interagency planning and collaboration; ensure equal involvement of participating agencies, promote information sharing and use of fiscal and personnel resources.
- Ensure linkages between project activities and existing State/Federal transition projects; collaborate with education and adult service agencies on transition planning issues.
Promote Systems Change
- Review and analyze State and Federal transition policy; identify and enact needed legislation to change policy.
- Establish consensus at local levels regarding transition planning procedures (e.g., transition team responsibilities, single planning documents, reciprocal assessment, use of transition case managers, work training programs).
- Identify critical issues, duplication of services, service gaps, and barriers to access; develop/recommend policy and procedure changes to address problem areas.
- Support State task force activities, demonstration projects, and transition team activities; assist in identification of strategies for pooling resources and expanding preservice transition-related training.
- Provide various incentives to stakeholders to increase sense of ownership and support of projects' efforts.
- Establish one agency as point of entry into transition planning.
- Establish multiple sites throughout State for coordination of transition planning.
- Conduct/support development of statewide surveys of transition needs.
- Participate in development of State/local systems for collection of follow-along/follow-up data.
- Assist in development/utilization of State agency databases for use in transition planning.
- Conduct follow-up studies/outcome evaluations.
- Conduct cost-benefit analyses for students who participated in transition planning.
- Conduct surveys/collect data to assess impact/effectiveness of project activities, policy change, and procedural change.
- Assist local school districts/agencies/communities to develop model programs; provide stipends and/or on-site training and technical assistance for implementation.
- Develop guidelines for provision of rehabilitation counseling as a related service; pilot test feasibility of providing rehabilitation counseling during transition planning process.
- Develop videotapes dealing with transition planning.
- Develop transition-focused core components and content for secondary school curricula.
State Systems Change Projects on Transition
State Primary Contact Listing
Last Name First Name Address/Telephone/FAX ========= ========== ===================== Clements Virginia Division of Special Education #4 State Capitol Mall, Room 105C Little Rock, AR 72203 (501) 682-4297 (501) 682-4313, FAX Dougan Patricia CA Department of Education/Special Education Division Transition Services and Work Ability 515 L Street, Room 270/Downtown Plaza Sacramento, CA 95814 (916) 327-4214 (916) 445-4643 (916) 327-3516, FAX Reichle Judy California School to Work Interagency Transition Partnership 717 K Street, Suite 400 Sacramento, CA 95814 (916) 443-8693 (916) 443-3289, FAX McAlonan Susan Colorado Department of Education Colorado Systems Change Transition Project 201 East Colfax Avenue Denver, CO 80203 (303) 866-6715 (303) 830-0793, FAX Thomson Sandy Rocky Mountain RTI 1391 N Speer Boulevard Suite 350 Denver, CO 80204 (303) 534-1027 (303) 534-1075, FAX Palma-Halliday Karen Connecticut State Department of Education Division of Educational Support Services 25 Industrial Park Road Middletown, CT 06457 (203) 638-4242 (203) 638-4231, FAX Chandler Shirley Florida Blueprint for School to Community Transition 114J Stone Building FSU - Center for Policy Studies in Education Tallahassee, FL 32306 (904) 644-1307 (904) 644-5122, FAX Van Geldern Lu Hawaii Department of Education Special Education Section 3430 Leahi Avenue Honolulu, HI 96815 (808) 733-4839 (808) 733-4841, FAX Ginavan Roberta Iowa Department of Education Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services 510 East 12th Street Des Moines, IA 50319-0146 (515) 281-4144 (515) 281-4150, FAX Ames Terry Indiana Transition Initiative 902 W. New York Street Indianapolis, IN 46202-5155 (317) 274-6701 (317) 274-6864, FAX Sweeney Pat Kansas Transition Systems Change Project 120 SE 10th Avenue Topeka, KS 66612-1185 (913) 296-6054 (913) 296-7933, FAX Fleming Barney Kentucky Systems Transition Project IHDI-University of Kentucky 102 Mineral Industries Building Lexington, KY 40506-0051 (606) 257-4408 (606) 323-1901, FAX Harrison Ron Human Development Institute 110 Mineral Industries Building University of Kentucky Lexington, KY 40506-0051 (800) 288-0961 (606) 333-1901, FAX Mullins Jeanna Human Development Institute 110 Mineral Industries Building University of Kentucky - IHDI Lexington, KY 40506-0051 (800) 288-0961 (606) 333-1901, FAX Lindahl Marie Massachusetts Department of Education 350 Main Street Malden, MA 02148-5023 (617) 388-3300 (617) 388-3394, FAX Glantz Larry Univ. of South Maine Transition Project Muskie Institute 145 Newbury Street Portland, ME 04101 (207) 874-6538 (207) 874-6529 Winans Amy MI School to Work/Transition Initiative Victor Center, 1st Floor 201 N. Washington Square Lansing, MI 48913 (517) 373-9388 (517) 373-8179, FAX Thompson Sandy Minnesota Department of Education 828 Capitol Square Building 550 Cedar Street St. Paul, MN 55101 (612) 296-2965 (612) 297-7368, FAX Lee Freda North Carolina Department of Public Instruction Division of Exceptional Children's Services 301 North Wilmington, Education Building Raleigh, NC 27601-2825 (919) 715-2003 (919) 715-1569, FAX Fischer Valerie ND Transition Project Minot State University 500 University Avenue West Mino, ND 58707-0208 (701) 857-3167 (701) 839-6933, FAX Schliesser Barbara Nebraska Department of Education PO Box 94987 Lincoln, NE 68509 (402) 471-4324 (402) 471-2701, FAX Shepard Jack Vocational Rehabilitation Services Suite 470, Landmark Center 2727 West Second Hastings, NE 68901 (402) 462-4478 (402) 462-5889, FAX Nisbet Jan University of New Hampshire Institute of Disabilities 312 Morrill Hall Durham, NH 03821 (603) 862-4320 (603) 862-1034, FAX Haugh Bob NJ Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs CN - 500 Trenton, NJ 08625-0500 (609) 292-4462 (609) 292-5558, FAX Winnegar Andy New Mexico State Department of Education Division of Vocational Rehabilitation 435 St. Michaels Drive, Building D Santa Fe, NM 87505 (800) 866-2253 (505) 827-3746, FAX Davis Kelly Division of Vocational Rehabilitation 435 St. Michael's Drive, Building D Santa Fe, NM 87505 (800) 866-2253 (505) 827-3523 (505) 827-3746, FAX Colley Debra New York State Education Department Technical Assistance and Support Services One Commerce Plaza, Room 1613 Albany, NY 12234 (518) 473-4381 (518) 473-6073, FAX Gloeckler Lawrence New York STSYD Program c/o NYS VESID One Commerce Plaza - Room 1613 Albany, NY 12234 (518) 474-3060 (518) 473-6073, FAX Dennis Lawrence Department of Special Education 933 High Street Worthington, OH 43085 (614) 466-2650 (614) 752-1622, FAX Flannery Brigid Oregon Department of Education Public Service Building 255 Capitol Street, N.E. Salem, OR 97310-0203 (503) 378-3598 (503) 346-5818, FAX Walls Linda Texas Collaborative Transition Project Texas Education Agency 1701 N. Congress Avenue Austin, TX 78701 (512) 463-9414 (512) 475-3575, FAX Suter Donna STUDY Project 350 East 500 South, Suite 202 Salt Lake City, UT 84111 (801) 533-6264 (801) 533-6279, FAX de Fur Sharon Virginia Department of Education Office of Special Education Services PO Box 2120 Richmond, VA 23216 (804) 225-2702 (804) 371-8796, FAX Sugarman William University of Vermont Center for Transition & Employment 499B Waterman Building Burlington, VT 05401 (802) 656-2936 (802) 656-1357, FAX Edgar Eugene Center for Change in Transition Services Experimental Education Unit WJ-10 University of Washington Seattle, WA 98195 (206) 543-4011 (206) 543-8480, FAX Elliot Sue ARC of Washington 1703 State Avenue, NE Olympia, WA 98505 (206) 685-9665 (206) 543-8480, FAX Rich Jim State of Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction Old Capitol Building, FG-11 PO Box 4720 Olympia, WA 98504-7200 (206) 753-6733 (206) 586-0247, FAX Kellogg Ann DPI/BEC 4th Floor 125 South Webster Street PO Box 7841 Madison, WI 53707-7841 (608) 267-3748 (608) 267-1052, FAX Lee Ghaski West Virginia Department of Education Special Education and Program Assurances 1900 E Kanawha Boulevard, Room B304 Charleston, WV 25311 (304) 558-2696 (304) 558-0048, FAX
[Technical Assistance Activities]