This paper assesses the transition-related strength of students with severe disabilities from the perspective of the educators, parents and the youth. It is based on various ratings for those students with severe disability by their teachers, parents and fellow students (Carter, Sun & Owens, 2009, p.74)
The writers have used several findings in the support of their arguments. Findings from the National longitudinal transition study, various books, and other assessments have provided a lot of backing in the preparation of this article (Carter, Sun & Owens, 2009, p.75). The authors interviewed all parties that interact with students having severe disabilities.
Statement of the Problem
The article provides an insightful revelation to the quality and effectiveness of special education and transition services. It exposes the failure by this very important sector of education to equip the needy students with relevant knowledge, skills and supports important to the realization of their goals for adulthood. In this article, the authors reveal that most of these needy youths, upon completion of their study, are still devoid of essential knowledge that would enable them to attain their adult life goals. They lack the capacity for independent living, participation in the community and other areas that would allow then to live normal lives in the society (Carter, Sun & Owens, 2009, p.75).
The research questions have been laid out. The authors’ purposes to answer the four research questions which they go-ahead to address in the rest of the paper. According to the authors, previous assessments have all concentrated on discrete skills areas such as reading fluency and social skills. Extant researches were more involved in the recognition of shortcomings portrayed by the disabled youth rather than on their strengths.
These earlier researches did not focus on the possibility of involving parents and other stakeholders in the transition planning thus bringing a lot of discontentment on the side of parents. The authors of this article sought to address the need for transition services and supports for youths with severe disabilities. Its authors are more concerned with addressing issues extending beyond the co-curricular areas and behavior. They focus on assessing the existing strengths of the disabled youths and also the possibility of involving other parties including these youths in the transition planning. This would avail additional information on transition planning.
Various populations are set to benefit from this change and include educators, parents, the disabled youths and their fellow normal youths. The result of the findings carried out on 160 disabled students in primary and secondary special education and 99 teachers have been summarized.
The authors use statistical methods (e.g. the chi-square, t-distribution, percentages, tables and other variables) to present their interesting findings (Carter, Sun & Owens, 2009, p.78). Table 1 summarizes the characteristics of the focus students by disability category. Table 2 is a presentation of the teacher ratings of the focus students by domain and the disability group. Table 3 presents the average ratings of transition domains, disability groups, and respondents while the final results table is a display of the percentage of the items for which respondents indicated whether they knew or was not appropriate to them. Figure 1 is a bar graph showing the average teacher ratings of the focus students by disability group and domain. Generally, these figures and tabulation add more validity to the results which answers the earlier addressed research questions to the fullest.
Towards the end of this paper, the authors address the limitations of the research and offer a recommendation. Accordingly, they focused on ratings across items rather than item level ratings, did not collect comparison data among other shortcomings (Carter, Sun & Owens, 2009, p.90).
Summary and Recommendations
This article addresses the discrepancy between it and the traditional assessment research and provides a clear execution of the research. The findings have been analyzed and presented to give an easily understandable outcome. What is interesting about this article is the way its authors have used a variety of methods to come up with the results. I would recommend the use of more figures and a simpler language for a better understanding.
Carter, W. Sun, Y. & Owens, L. (2009). Assessing the transition related strengths and needs of adolescents with high-incidence disabilities, Council for exceptional children, Vol. 76, No- I. pp. 74-94.