The Parents' Guide to Transition site is funded by the U.S. Department of Education through an agreement with Montana's Office of Public Instruction for the Montana Systems Change for Transition Services for Youth with Disabilities Project. This site provides an overview of the transitions a student with disabilities makes into the adult world after leaving high school. Answers to the following main questions are provided: 1) What roles do parents play in transition? 2) How can parents provide financially for their son or daughter with a disability? 3) What government financial benefits are available for adults with disabilities? 4) What about health insurance for adult children with disabilities? 5) When should we begin planning for transition? 6) How can we foster independence in our child with special needs? 7) Overall, what are the most significant barriers to successful transition? 8) How does the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) affect young people in transition? 9) If I need help with advocating for services for my adult child, where can I go? 10) What are functional skills? 11) What do we plan for transition? 12) How long does transition take? 13) Practically speaking, how does transition occur? 14) What should I do if my child with disabilities wants to go to college? 15) What exactly is an Individualized Transition Plan (ITP)? 16) How can parents be involved in transition planning? 17) How should students be involved in transition planning? 18) Is there just one ITP meeting or are there several? 19) What is futures planning? 20) What are the strengths and weaknesses of the futures planning process?
The major learning goal for this site is for users to have all of their pertinent questions answered regarding the transition of students with disabilities into the adult world of work, play, and education. The site is directed toward students with developmental delays.
Target Student Population:
The target audience does not appear to be one of higher education; the primary focus is clearly on parents of students with disabilities. However, teachers in training would find this a valuable tool when working with their students' families and during ITP meetings. Students in the areas of social work and vocational rehabilitation would also find this site helpful.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Type of Material:
This site is an excellent resource that provides a step-by-step explanation of key issues to address during the transition process. Parents of students with disabilities would use this as an introduction to the transition needs of their child. Professors of teachers in training could use this to demonstrate the many resources for families available on the Internet.
None. The opening page of the site indicates "This material is available in alternative formats by contacting the publisher above." It is not stated whether or not those alternatives are available on screen.
Evaluation and Observation
The answers to the questions listed above are written in a clear and introductory manner. All content seems to be accurate. In many cases, contact information is given to locate further information on a particular topic. The site is practical, easy to understand, and well organized.
There are other sites available which deal more in-depth with some of these topics. It would be nice to have links to these related sites, not just phone numbers or addresses for further information. Users should keep in mind that while this site is specifically designed for the state of Montana, it offers relevant information for every family and professional working with a student who has a developmental delay. Unfortunately, this information is not noted.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
Clearly, this site was created as a general, introductory resource for parents. In order to be an effective source of information for other audiences (such as teachers in training), more much detail would have to be supplied for each topic. It would make a nice outline for parent in-services.
Transition issues for individuals with mild disabilities, such as learning disabilities, are not addressed.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
Each of the sections of this site are reachable through the opening page's links, or by clicking on "next" or "previous" throughout. A "return to the beginning" link is also available so the user can access the full list of sections at any time. The site is very easy to understand and well organized.