Integrating Essential Elements of Person-Centered Transition Planning Practices Into the Development of the Individualized Education Program




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Integrating Essential Elements of Person-Centered Transition Planning Practices Into the Development of the Individualized Education Program

With All Students with Disabilities

Produced by:


Program on Employment and Disability

School of Industrial & Labor Relations

Cornell University

Sponsored by:




The New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council

January 2003

Executive Summary

This is the second of two white papers that have been developed to help policy-makers, educators, human service agencies, students and their families examine the benefits of applying person-centered planning as a tool to facilitate transition planning and the development of the transition components in the Individualized Education Program (IEP) with high school students who have disabilities. These documents represent the work that was conducted through nine DDPC grant-funded demonstration sites between 1998 and 2001. The project, Transition Technical Assistance and Support Program (T-TASP), was developed to support school and community agency systems meet the federal and state mandates to involve students in his or her own educational process.


The first paper, Infusing a Person-Centered Approach into Transition Planning for Students with Developmental Disabilities (2000), identified the barriers present within and between systems of support for youth as they transition from school to post-secondary endeavors and explored opportunities to integrate person-centered processes within these systems. This second paper takes a deeper look at the strategies, methods and approaches that proved effective in supporting and/or sustaining person-centered student involvement in the development and implementation of the IEP.
One of the intended outcomes of these papers is to reaffirm the efforts and energy of the people who committed three years to learn, develop and/or implement high quality transition services and supports as a component of the IEP that increase the likelihood of success for youth with disabilities. Members joined the project community through public high schools, the Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), independent living centers and community-based organizations. Everyone within the project community holds a core belief that student-driven, or person-centered transition planning is a critical factor leading to the post-secondary success of the young adults who participated in the pilot project as students facing transition from school to community living, learning and earning. While this paper provides information that supports the efficacy for using a person-centered approach to developing an IEP based on the accomplishments within the various project communities, as well as providing strategies and recommendations for integrating this approach within existing systems, it also serves as a reflection of how early we are on the journey that leaves no child behind.
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Acknowledgements …………………………………………………………………5




Format for the paper ……………………………………………………………… 6



Introduction ……………………………………………………………………….. 7

SECTION I: An Introduction to the Theory of Social Role Valorization and the

Accomplishments of Person-Centered Work

Social Role Valorization Theory ………………………………………………….. 8



The Five Accomplishments – Person-Centered Work Principles ……………… 9
SECTION II: Transition Planning and Post-School Outcomes: The Road to

Inclusion or Segregation? The Imperative of Strength-Based Planning and Assessment
What are Post-School Outcomes? …………………………………………………11
Why Do Post-School Outcomes Matter? ………………………………………… 11
Consider Chris …………………………………………………………………….. 12
In the Nick of Time ……………………………………………………………….. 14
Building the Bridge to Inclusion Using Person-Centered Practices …………… 14

SECTION III: Infusing Student-Driven Practices into the Development of the IEP



Hallmarks of Person-Centered Planning ………………………………………… 19



Sequence of Events in the Development of the IEP ………………………………19
SECTION V: Creating A “Seamless” Transition from School to Careers …… 22
Elements of Seamless Transition …………………………………………………. 23
Strategies for Developing Partnerships ………………………………………….. 24
SECTION V: Summary, Recommendations and Conclusion
Collapsed Data from the GRETA Report ……………………………………….. 27

Emerging Themes …………………………………………………………………. 28



Accomplishments ………………………………………………………………….. 28
Challenges ………………………………………………………………………….. 29
Recommendations …………………………………………………………………. 30
Conclusion …………………………………………………………………………. 31
References ………………………………………………………………………….. 32
Attachment – Summary Brief – August 2000 White Paper: Infusing a Person-Centered Approach to Transition Planning for Students with Developmental Disabilities

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS FROM THE AUTHOR

In 1998 Cornell University’s Program on Employment and Disability began a three-year initiative to explore strategies and utility and effectiveness of person-centered transition planning with the sponsorship of the New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council. The purpose of the Transition Technical Assistance and Support Project (T-TASP) was to provide training and technical assistance to nine demonstration sites across New York in support of person-centered transition planning processes for students who have been identified as having a disability. This paper is the second of two documents that are intended to address strategies and make recommendations based upon project findings and best practices in the field that promote and lead to the integration of person-centered planning approaches into current educational and transition planning policy and procedure for students with disabilities.


We are grateful to the people who contributed to the development of this second document. Members and associates of the nine demonstration sites, including students and family members served as a valuable resource for the development of much of the content of this paper. We appreciate the guidance provided us by the New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council in establishing a framework for the paper and to the New York State Education Department, Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID) for mentoring us through various interpretations of federal and state regulations surrounding transition policies. Finally, we would like to call specific attention to those who played a critical role in shaping the direction of this paper:
David Brewer, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University, Program on Employment and Disability

Wayne Borek, New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities

Thomas Golden, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University, Program on Employment and Disability

Barbara Levitz, NYS Developmental Disabilities Planning Council Member

Joe Marrone, Institute on Community Inclusion, University of Massachusetts Boston & Boston Children’s Hospital

Charles Miskovsky, Rensselaer County Chapter, NYSARC

Beth Mount, Ph.D., Capacity Works

Nicholas Rose, NYS Developmental Disabilities Planning Council

New York State Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities, (VESID)
We hope that this is just the beginning of a dialogue on how person-centered planning approaches can be best utilized to create a more comprehensive and effective individual education program planning process for all students.
Carol Blessing, CSW

Program on Employment and Disability

School of Industrial and Labor Relations

Cornell University


Format used for the Paper
This second and final paper is charged with looking at the strategies, methods and approaches that have been, can be or must be effectively implemented in order to promote and sustain student-directed transition planning processes. It will serve to delve deeper into the connection between the development of the IEP, transition planning and person-centered practices and to make recommendations for future application. The paper represents a synthesis of the individual and combined experiences of the nine demonstration sites over the three-year project period.
The paper is broken into five sections. Section I sets the stage for the paper with a brief introduction to the theory of social role valorization and the accomplishments of person-centered work. Section II looks at transition planning, the role it plays in the development of post-school outcomes and the importance of using strength-based person-centered planning in the development of transition goals. Section III links person-centered practices to the coordinated set of activities embedded in the Individualized Education Program and provides a framework to keep the planning process moving progressively forward. Section IV discusses the elements of “seamless” transition and offers suggestions for avoiding common transition pitfalls. Section V summarizes findings from the T-TASP project community, provides recommendations and concludes the paper.

For the purposes of continuity, a summary brief of the first paper, Infusing a Person-Centered Approach into Transition Planning for Students with Developmental Disabilities, (2000) highlighting the main points connecting person-centered planning to the development and implementation of the individualized education program, (IEP), can be reviewed as an attachment to this document.

Integrating Essential Elements of Person-Centered Transition Planning Practices into the Development of the Individualized Education Program with all Students with Disabilities: an Ideology and Practice Whose Time Has Come

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