RehabWire Volume 1 Number 7, August 1999

We’re going “back to school” for the seventh edition of RehabWire. As kids get ready to begin a new school year, RehabWire looks at secondary and post secondary education and disability. What’s next for these students?

New Research: Selections from REHABDATANew Research.

Malian, I.M., Love, L.L. (1998) Leaving High School: An Ongoing Transition Study. Teaching Exceptional Children 30(3), 4-10. Accession Number: J34397.
Abstract: Article reports on a survey of high school teachers, parents, and students participating in special education programs in Arizona to determine the need for school services for students with disabilities, the services actually available to these students, and the quality of life during the last year of high school. Reports on: the need for transition and job training; the impact of community services; the success of inclusion; quality of life for students who complete high school versus those who do not; victimization, substance abuse, and criminal activity among "completers" and those who drop out of school; and expectations for students after high school. Discusses implications and recommends greater commitment to potential drop-outs, increased interagency cooperation, and better school-parent communication.

Farley R.C., Johnson V.A. (1999) Enhancing The Career Exploration And Job-Seeking Skills Of Secondary Students With Disabilities. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 22(1), 43-54. RRTC on Enhancing Employability of Individuals with Disabilities, University of Arkansas, Arkansas RRTC in Vocational Rehabilitation. Accession Number: J36573.
Abstract: This study examined outcomes from 38 students with a variety of disabilities, the majority of whom had a primary disability of mild mental retardation and/or learning disability. Students from the experimental group demonstrated better vocational decision-making confidence and career decisiveness and performed better in completing a job application and in a simulated employment interview as compared to students from the control group.

Lehmann, J.P. Bassett, D.S. Sands, D.J. (1999) Students' Participation In Transition-Related Actions: A Qualitative Study. Remedial and Special Education, 20(3), p160-169. Accession Number: J36684.
Abstract: This qualitative study explores high school students' participation in transition-related activities. Findings indicated that teachers, students, and mothers did not perceive formal transition-related processes as occurring at school or home. Better communication and administrative support was agreed upon by mothers and teachers as necessary for an effective transition process in which students can become involved. The results of this study suggest that for many, transition is more of a promise than a reality due to limited resources and confusion about roles in planning and implementing transition; transition meetings are an important venue for linking students' involvement to the transition process; and although teachers and mothers desire student involvement, achieving this involvement will require changes in everyone's roles.

(1998) Rehab Update. Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Rehabilitation and Childhood Trauma, New England Medical Center, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Accession Number: O12440.
Abstract: Quarterly newsletter of the Medical Rehabilitation Research and Training Center in Rehabilitation and Childhood Trauma, Tufts University School of Medicine / New England Medical Center. Fall 1998: Life before and after Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; The future for high school students with disabilities; Disability services at the college level; and job exploration.

(1998) Tech Express, 25. United Cerebral Palsy Associations, Inc. Accession Number: O12975.
Abstract: Newsletter of the Assistive Technology Funding and Systems Change Project (ATFSCP) of the United Cerebral Palsy Associations, Inc. The Fall 1998 issue contains articles on two actions by the US Department of Education: a guidance enabling school districts to transfer assistive technology when students move from secondary school to higher education or employment services, and issuance to every US school district of a computer accessibility packet with information on the legal obligations of school districts to make computer technology accessible to students with disabilities.

Izzo, M.V. (1999) The Effects Of Transition Services On Outcome Measures Of Employment For Vocational Students With Disabilities: Final Report. Nisonger Center, Ohio State University Accession Number: O12992.
Abstract: Study of the effects of transition services delivered to youth with disabilities enrolled in a secondary vocational school program from 1990-1993. Participants were youth with disabilities (including mental retardation, learning disabilities, and sensory or orthopedic disabilities), nominated by staff because they were judged at risk for not obtaining or maintaining employment. Earnings, hours of employment, and benefits for the two groups were compared along with the relation of these outcome measures to transition service predictors.

What happens after high school? These sites can point students with disabilities in the right direction.

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NIDRR Projects: Research in the New Millenium

Disability and education are closely associated in preschool and primary education. But what happens after 8th grade? What about college? These projects focus on secondary and post-secondary students with disabilities.

Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Educational Supports, University of Hawaii at Manoa (H133B980043) led by Robert Stodden, PhD. Project Officer: Joyce Y. Caldwell.
Abstract: The research this project conducts on educational supports is designed to increase access to postsecondary education programs and improve outcomes for people with disabilities. The research includes: educational supports; educational and support practices and models of delivery that contribute to successful completion of postsecondary programs; identifying specific barriers to the provision of disability-related services; educational and transitional assistance; providing training, technical assistance, and information to support personnel, public and private rehabilitation personnel, career placement specialists, and students with disabilities; and implementing a consumer-driven empowerment evaluation plan for assessment of the Center's progress in achieving its goals.
Find out more at:

Speaking to Write: Realizing the Potential of Speech Recognition for Secondary Students with Disabilities, Education Development Center, Inc. (H133G70143) led by Patricia Corley and Robert Follansbee. Project Officer: Robert J. Jaeger, PhD.
Abstract: This project helps secondary students with cognitive and physical disabilities to become successful writers by using voice recognition technology. The project plans to develop, pilot, publish, and market adaptations to voice recognition systems that make them more accessible to secondary students with physical or learning disabilities, tools that help educators and parents understand the demands of voice recognition for secondary students with disabilities, revised training protocols and materials that are tailored to the needs of secondary students with disabilities, and tools that help educators integrate voice recognition technology into meaningful instructional activities.
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Developing and Evaluating an Interactive Tool to Support Literacy Learning in Adolescents with Severe Speech and Physical Impairments, Gustavus Adolphus College (H133G80055) led by David Koppenhaver, PhD. Project Officer: Carol Cohen.
Abstract: This project creates a Web-based tool, the Adolescent Literacy Learning Link (ALL-Link), that provides adolescents with Severe Speech and Physical Impairments (SSPI) with an innovative learning environment. ALL-Link reading and writing activities are theoretically grounded in inclusive models of comprehension and composition that apply equally to people with and without disabilities. Projected outcomes of ALL-Link development include: implementation of an innovative and interactive literacy-learning Web site for adolescents with SSPI and their teachers; and wide dissemination of the site, and parallel or related materials for classrooms without Internet access.

Louisiana's Self-Determination Research Project, Louisiana State University Medical Center (H133G990169) led by Jane M. Everson, PhD. Project Officer: Roseann Rafferty.
Abstract: The purpose of this project is to longitudinally investigate both the short-term and the long-term effects that self-determination instruction, participation in a Youth Leadership Forum (YLF), or both have on the self-determination abilities, IEP involvement, and adult outcomes of adolescents with disabilities. The curricula and the YLF are based on these premises: (a) self determination is a critical factor for successful transition into adulthood, (b) individuals with disabilities do not easily achieve desired adult outcomes because they generally do not possess self-determination skills, and self-determination instruction will improve these students' adult outcomes.

PALS: Postsecondary Adjustment, Literacy, and Socialization for Secondary Students with Mild/Moderate Disabilities, Vanderbilt University (H133G70050) led by Douglas Fuchs and Lynn Fuchs. Project Officer: Roseann Rafferty.
Abstract: This project conducts an upward extension of Peer Assisted Learning Strategies (PALS) to improve Postsecondary Adjustment, Literacy, and Socialization (PALS) for secondary students with mild and moderate disabilities (MMD): PALS for PALS. The goals are to improve literacy and numeracy, enhance socialization, and facilitate successful postsecondary adjustments for students with MMD who enter technical training and nonsupported work settings after high school. Development of this instructional approach is expected to contribute to high schools' capacity to provide comprehensive and effective programs for students with MMD.

Seeking, Screening, Evaluating, Describing, and Disseminating Approaches Used by Two-Year Colleges to Serve Rehabilitation Services Clients with Severe/Multiple Functional Limitations in Highly Effective Ways, University of Wisconsin/Madison (H133G70073) led by John Gugerty. Project Officer: Richard Johnson, EdD.
Abstract: This project improves the ability of two-year colleges to serve rehabilitation clients and other students with severe and multiple functional limitations by providing ready access to current, detailed descriptions of highly effective approaches other two-year colleges use to serve these populations. This project serves professionals, parents, individuals with limitations, and educators who wish to address and solve the continuing employment problems of individuals with severe/multiple functional limitations, and strengthen the approaches used by two-year colleges to serve rehabilitation clients and other students with severe/multiple functional limitations.
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Many students with learning disabilities are choosing two-year and community colleges after high school. Location, program variety, and cost are among the deciding factors for these students. The PostSecondary LD Report, April-June, 1997 by Wayne Cocchi.