Instructional Technology and Education of the Deaf

Supporting Learners, K — College
An International Symposium

National Technical Institute for the Deaf
Rochester Institute of Technology
Rochester, NY

Plenary II

Knowing and Understanding Transition: Its History, Barriers and Future

Thomas E. Grayson, Ph.D.

As the Assessment Program Coordinator for the Office of the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Dr. Grayson provides evaluation consultation to Student Affairs Division Heads (e.g., housing, campus recreation, health services, Illini Union, disability services, international student services, and so forth) on how to assess their programs and services. He is the recent past director of the National Transition Alliance for Youth with Disabilities (NTA). The Alliance membership included The Transition Research Institute at Illinois, The National Transition Network at Minnesota, The Academy for Educational Development, The Council of Chief State School Officers, National Alliance of Business, and National Association of State Directors of Special Education. The NTA was designed to identify proven practices, evaluate transition program effectiveness, provide technical assistance to OSERS Model Programs, School-to-Work Opportunities Systems, and State Change Grantees, and prepared and disseminated information to relevant audiences on how best to meet transition needs of youth with disabilities. Dr Grayson continues to provide consultation with many of these members on program planning and evaluation. In addition to his current responsibilities, he teaches a course on individual differences and exceptionalities likely to be found in regular elementary and secondary classrooms. The course covers the history of services for students with special needs and the legal bases for special education.



The notion of change or transition is not new. However, the notion of transition services for individuals with disabilities is relatively recent (since the middle 1980s) and has been conceptualized as a "bridge to the future." This concept of "bridge" continues but the strategies for building bridges continues to evolve. There are some indications that transition services are becoming systemic. However, there are also indications that transition services are not fully recognized as being important and necessary for enabling youth with disabilities to move from secondary school to post-secondary schooling and/or to move into meaningful and gainful employment.

This presentation will focus on transition legislation, bridge building strategies, and transition issues of diversity, partnerships and entrepreneurial-ships, technology and sustainability. The history of transition, a look at what some experts are saying and doing, and the future of transition, including the role of technology will be addressed. In addition, examples of model demonstration projects that are using technolgy to plan, implement and assess their transition services will be highlighted.