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Supporting Students with Disabilities in Making the Transition from School to Adult Life

For more than 25 years, federal legislation has played a major role in supporting the participation of youth with disabilities in secondary and postsecondary education programs, employment, and other aspects of community living. Postschool follow-up studies conducted over these years, however, provide substantial documentation concerning the difficulties these young adults with disabilities experience in achieving postschool goals. This OnDemand Webinar will highlight research, policies, and practices that have been used with students with disabilities to prepare for and make a successful transition to adult life. More specifically, this program will help professionals in: a) preparing students with disabilities for transition-ensuring students access to appropriate and meaningful high school courses, implications of high-stakes testing policies, strategies for engaging and retaining students to successfully complete high school, and examination of the implications of granting diplomas other than the standard diploma for students with disabilities; b) working with students and families in planning for transition by—engaging in effective transition planning, working with students to develop self-determination and self-advocacy skills, and improving interagency collaboration in supporting post school transition goals; and c) achieving a successful transition to employment and community living by—achieving access to meaningful, integrated employment, and community living options. The information provided through this OnDemand Webinar is intended to share information essential in helping students with disabilities and their families make a successful transition from school to postschool participation in postsecondary education, employment and community living overall.

Learning Objectives:
•You will be able to discuss the high school experience-preparing students for transition.
•You will be able to identify strategies for improving interagency to ensure a successful transition.
•You will be able to discuss disability disclosure-preparing students to advocate for support services and accommodations.



David R. Johnson, Ph.D.

David R. Johnson, Ph.D.

University of Minnesota

  • Birkmaier Professor of Educational Leadership in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development, College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota
  • Director of the Institute on Community Integration, a federally designated University Center of Excellence on Developmental Disabilities, with a major focus on secondary education and transition services
  • More than 35 years of professional experience in conducting research studies on postschool outcomes of students with disabilities, school completion, state systems change, state and local graduation requirements and diploma options, cost benefit analysis, employment services and other policy related research
  • Previous director of two national technical assistance and dissemination centers - National Transition Network and National Center on Secondary Education and Transition - funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs
  • Published more than 150 book chapters, journal articles, research monographs, technical reports and products on topics concerning secondary education and transition services, interagency collaboration and employment
  • Consultant to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs, Rehabilitation Service Administration, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research; Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy; U.S. Congress; and various state legislatures and state agencies
  • Can be contacted at [email protected] or 612-624-1062

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