The purpose of the article is to show the significance of the self-determination transition planning procedure for intellectually and physically challenged students. The authors have reviewed previous relevant studies that support their perspective and have learned that self-determination was a very important forecaster during the whole planning process.
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A further review showed that self-regulation and self-knowledge, which are elements of self-determination, were the key indicators of the transition process (Wehmeyer, Palmer, Soukup, Nancy, & Lawrence, 2007). As an individual, I am convinced that the authors of the article are indeed addressing a fundamental social problem. In many communities, people with disabilities have been overlooked and only a few people have come to their rescue. Therefore, the authors of the article represent the few who are actively lobbying for the rights of people with disabilities.
The authors have identified their research question that is, the importance of actively involving students with disabilities in the transition and planning process. The authors describe the scenario in the1990’s, in which there was no active student involvement in the planning of transition for physically challenged students. However, later there was the emergence of the self-determination movement that advocated for assimilation of active student involvement into the existing policies.
At the present, active student involvement is by far accepted as a paramount system in the transition planning and is recognized as a road to self-determination promotion. The authors suggest a study should be conducted verifying the correlation between active student involvement and self-determination in a bid to understand future outcomes. There is also the need to need to continue educating children with disabilities, an activity that was found to be extremely important (Wehmeyer et al., 2007).
The researcher used a sample population of a hundred and eighty students randomly picked from twenty-five districts in four states. The factions that would be affected by the proposed new changes include students who are mentally retarded, those with learning disabilities, those with autism or emotional disorder, those with impaired speech or language and those with impaired vision. After carrying out the various tests, the authors used statistical methods in analyzing the data and they summarized their findings. They found out that for the test given, gender diversity and disability had no significant difference in the score. However, there was a big difference in the score depending on the disability type. The mentally retarded scored low compared to the students with learning disabilities (Wehmeyer et al., 2007).
The data from the analysis was well tabulated and from the tables, it was evident as per the figures that of the three categories of students, those with learning disabilities scored higher than the rest. The research implied that the key elements of self-determination, which are self-realization and self-regulation, were the most significant factors in the transition planning process. The interesting thing about the research is that disability status played a less significant role in all the regression analyses. Also, the authors did not indicate any limitations or challenges that may have been encountered during the research process (Wehmeyer et al., 2007).
This article reflects on the importance of engaging the students with disabilities to participate more actively in the transition planning process to ensure that self-determination and self-realization are fully promoted. Students and other people with disabilities should be treated fairly. They also have great potential and should, therefore, be given an opportunity of growth and development in the society just like any other person. The bottom line, as portrayed by this study, is disability is not inability.
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Wehmeyer, M. L., Palmer, S. B., Soukup, J. H., Nancy, W. G., & Lawrence, M. (2007). Self- determination and student transition planning knowledge and skills: Predicting involvement. Exceptionality, 15(1), 31–44.