Preparing Students with Disabilities for the Transition from Special Education Services to Adulthood

This project examined the transition from high school to adulthood for students eligible for special education services who have low incidence disabilities (i.e., intellectual and developmental disabilities). The research answered the question, “What are evidence-based best practices and community resources for assisting in the transition of individuals with low incidence disabilities from high school and special education services to adulthood?” To answer this question, the researcher reviewed literature of evidence-based practices that increased success rates of students in special education after they transitioned into adulthood. A review of literature revealed that interagency collaboration, functional skill curriculum and assessment, vocational skill training, and self-determination awareness and training delivered to student between the ages of 16 and 22 positively influenced transition from special education services into adulthood. The product of this project is a 16-chapter transition manual of evidence-based best practices in transition planning and community resources available to facilitate transition. The manual is designed for use by transition planning teams supporting students with low incidence disabilities, students themselves and their families, and adult service providers. The community resources included in the manual are those accessible to North County San Diego residents. The evidence-based best practices for transition presented in the manual are appropriate for any student eligible for special education diagnosed with a low incidence disability and who is preparing for the transition from high school to adulthood.