Improving the Post-Secondary Education and Employability of Learning Disabled Students
Using a collaborative approach in three York County (Maine) school districts, representatives from special education and vocational rehabilitation implemented a model program of transition services for specific learning-disabled (SLD) individuals, aged 16 to 22 years old. The experimental group consisted of 32 SLD individuals and the control group consisted of 32 SLD individuals from two non-demonstration school districts. The project's intervention involved a comprehensive SLD assessment, interdisciplinary team planning, individualized service plans, program preparation, and curriculum modifications. At team meetings, assessment results were reported, transition needs were identified, and an individual transition plan was developed for each subject, outlining recommended services and a timeframe. In-service training and technical assistance were provided to community agencies, postsecondary institutions, and school sites to instruct staff to accommodate the learning-disabled subjects in their programs. An evaluation component of the program determined that: (1) project participants who carried out their transition plans more often reported benefits from the project in the areas of job search, job satisfaction, college admission, increased self-confidence, etc., and (2) parents viewed the project as helpful to their children and indicated that the project enhanced their awareness of the availability of funds, services, and transition programs for learning-disabled students. At the time of the follow-up survey, the participants had a higher full-time employment rate and lower part-time employment rate than the control subjects.
Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the Council for Exceptional Children - 66th Washington, DC ED296543