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P.L. 95-602 - a continuum for service : a study of content issues affecting uninterrupted programming between rehabilitation and the residential school for the low functioning deaf student
The Comprehensive Services and Developmental Disabilities Amendments of 1978, P.L. 95-602 recommends changes and additions in language in order to more appropriately serve the developmentally disabled. Significantly, new language speaks directly to mandates for early coordinated Individual Education Plans (IEP's) and Individual Written Rehabilitation Plans (IWRP's) between educational agencies and rehabilitation services. This action tacitly commits services to an uninterrupted continuum. These changes impact directly on services to the deaf, especially the low functioning and/or multiply handicapped deaf. The purpose of this study is to examine and analyze content issues affecting the implementation of P.L. 95-602 as the legislation impacts on uninterrupted services between the residential school for the deaf and rehabilitation services. Historically provisions for uninterrupted services have been fragmented or nonexistant. Agency involvement has been established along chronological lines irrespective of individual needs and abilities. This study focused on the opinions of Vocational Principals in the residential school and the State Coordinators of the Deaf for Vocational Rehabilitation Services as they interpreted their current working situation, and what they felt should be an improved working relationship using P.L.95-602 as a basis for comparison. The findings indicated no major differences in opinions between what was felt to be the current situation and what should be a more appropriate working situation. Significantly, the majority of the respondents felt that the current working relationship was less than should be to meet the needs of the target population. Implications point to a more unified approach to planning within the states to bring services up to the level the respondents perceived that they should be. Opinions expressed a need for closer planning and mutual involvement that allows for a more consistent approach with rehabilitation becoming more involved while the student is still in school and continuing after educational programming has been terminated.