As students transition from adolesence to adulthood thier lives are in a flux. This is especially true for students with special educational needs. This transition is rarely smooth and there are conflicting priorities and expectations between school and the community due to low expectations and lack of services coordination. Everyone says they are the experts and no one will be responsible for outcomes. Transition IEPs are generalized to group or expected skills vs individualized to the students specific needs and strenghs. Skills are not generalized from school into the home and the community, thus they do not exist as functional skills.
We should all have a common goal of student independence and reducing the barriers to inclusion, but this is rarely accurate. There is a territorial attitude among agencies and the school and a blatent lack of collaboration that was identified by the Government Accountability Office reports back in 2012. "The current federal approach to assisting students with disabilities in their transition to postsecondary education or the workforce necessitates that students and their parents navigate multiple programs and service systems to piece together the supports these students need to achieve maximum independence in adulthood,”
Multiple barriers continue to exist:
Government programs are confusing
Documentation needed to qualify for programs is confusing
Students have not received critical vocational or life skills training, despite a requirement that all students with disabilities have transition plans
Inaccurate, untimely or little information is disseminated to families
An attitude of low expectations persists
Delays in receiving services is frustrating and leads to regression. This results in the difference between achieving potential levels of self-sufficiency versus relying on public assistance.
U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa. noted that, “Transition services to help students succeed in college and careers are vitally important, and I hope that we can ...increase access and make it easier for students and their families to navigate programs that are here to help people with disabilities lead full, independent lives.”