Development funded by the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs
Teaching Specific Skills Allows Youth to Take
Charge of Their Own Transition Planning
An OSEP-funded intervention model designed to help students develop the skills to take an active role in their own futures is showing encouraging results. Developers of TAKE CHARGE for the Future, a five-part program, report a marked attitudinal and behavioral change in high-school youth who have been actively participating in their transition programs.
The program's five parts consisted of:
- individual coaching sessions for the youth that taught them strategies regarding achievement, partnership development, and self-regulation;
- monthly community-based workshops for youth and their parents, with adult mentors who had similar disabilities and who lived independently;
- community activities performed by mentors and students to encourage independence;
- telephone and home visit support for parents to provide information about community resources, to encourage parents to think about their own futures and what they wanted for their children, and to offer emotional support;
- in-service education for transition staff to promote student involvement and develop strategies to support transition planning activities.
The program was developed cooperatively by staff at the Center on Self-Determination at Oregon Health and Science University and colleagues at Dartmouth Medical School. By the end of the program, developers noted that "youths started to independently initiate activities to work on their goals, and they actively solicited information and help from their families, educators, and guidance counselors. A few youths shared that, for the first time, they felt like they were the ones in charge."
This program was supported in part by the Office of Special Education Programs, US Department of Education, (Grant #H158U940001, directed by Laurie Powers). For more information, see Powers, L.E., Turner, A., Westwood, D., Matuszewski, J., Wilson, R., & Phillips, A. (2001, Spring). TAKE CHARGE for the Future: A controlled field-test of a model to promote student involvement in transition planning. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals 24(1), pp. 89-103.
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