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HOW DO FORMER SPECIAL EDUCATION STUDENTS FARE AS ADULTS? Employment Status W The unemployment rate for young adults with disabilities who have been out.

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Presentation on theme: "HOW DO FORMER SPECIAL EDUCATION STUDENTS FARE AS ADULTS? Employment Status W The unemployment rate for young adults with disabilities who have been out."— Presentation transcript:

1 HOW DO FORMER SPECIAL EDUCATION STUDENTS FARE AS ADULTS? Employment Status W The unemployment rate for young adults with disabilities who have been out of school for 3 to 5 years is 36.5%, but nearly 1 in 5 state they have given up looking for work (NLTS). W The employment outcomes outlook is much worse for students with severe and multiple disabilities. One study reported an unemployment rate of 78.6% for young adults with moderate, severe, or profound mental retardation (Wehman, Kregel, & Seyfarth, 1985b). W Extremely low employment rates 3 to 5 years after secondary school have also been reported for young adults with orthopedic impairments (22%) and visual impairments (29%) (NLTS). W Between one-half and two-thirds of young adults with disabilities who are employed work in part-time jobs. Wages and Benefits W Median hourly wage for all youth with disabilities was $5.72, less than $12,000 per year for full-time, year-round employment (NLTS). W Of all youth with disabilities who had jobs 3 to 5 years after school, only 40% earned more than $6.00 per hour (NLTS). W The average hourly pay for individuals with mental retardation who were working in sheltered workshops 3 years after graduating from high school was $1.59 (Frank & Sitlington, 1993). W Less than half of employed youth with mental retardation received health insurance, sick leave, or vacation benefits (Frank & Sitlington, 1993). T 15.1 W. L. Heward, Exceptional Children, 6e,  2000 by Prentice-Hall, Inc. All rights reserved.

2 HOW DO FORMER SPECIAL EDUCATION STUDENTS FARE AS ADULTS? (con’t) Postsecondary Education W Only 27% of young adults with disabilities who had left high school had enrolled in post-secondary education programs within 3 to 5 years, compared to 68% of the general same-age population (NLTS). Dropouts W Only 58% of students with disabilities who exited from the public schools in graduated with a diploma or received a certificate of completion. W 22% of students with disabilities drop out of high school and 18% exit for unknown reasons (U.S. Department of Education, 1994). Living Arrangement and Community Participation W Only 37% of youth with disabilities who have been out of high school for 3 to 5 years were living independently, compared to 60% of the general population (NLTS). W 56% of adults said their disabilities prevented them from moving about the community, attending cultural or sporting events, and socializing with friends outside their homes (Louis Harris and Associates, 1986). Overall Adjustment and Success W Four out of every five former special education students still have not achieved the status of independent adulthood after being out of high school for up to 5 years (NLTS). T 15.2 W. L. Heward, Exceptional Children, 6e,  2000 by Prentice-Hall, Inc. All rights reserved.

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4 INDIVIDUALIZED TRANSITION PLAN When a student with a disability reaches the age of 16, an individualized transition plan (ITP) must be developed. The ITP may be written at an earlier age if the IEP team determines it appropriate for an individual student. A well-written ITP details the types of curricular programming and supports that will facilitate a smooth and successful transition to adult life. Some key points to remember in developing transition services: W Postschool outcomes should drive the secondary programming for every student with disabilities over the age of 16. W Transition plans are designed within an outcome-oriented process based on the student's and family’s vision of the future. The student's IEP/ITP team specifies postschool outcomes and goals in four major areas— employment, postsecondary education/training, residential, and recreation/leisure—and then develops an individualized program of instruction and activities designed to reach those outcomes. W Identify and build the necessary supports and linkages by developing a transition team consisting of persons who can help in developing or reaching goals. W Transition is a process involving the coordination, delivery, and transfer of services from the secondary school program to receiving agencies (e.g., employers, postsecondary education and vocational training programs, residential service providers). W After graduation, the ITP can be incorporated into an individual rehabilitation plan if the young adult is served by vocational rehabilitation, or made part of an individualized habilitation plan if the young adult is served by a community adult services agency. T 15.4 W. L. Heward, Exceptional Children, 6e,  2000 by Prentice-Hall, Inc. All rights reserved.

5 COMPETITIVE EMPLOYMENT A person who is competitively employed W performs work valued by an employer, W functions in an integrated setting with nondisabled co-workers, and W earns at or above the federal minimum wage Only through significant revision of the public school curriculum and improved coordination of school and adult vocational habilitation services can the prospect of competitive employment be enhanced for young adults with disabilities. Three characteristics critical to good secondary school programs for students with disabilities (Wehman et al., 1985): W The curriculum must stress functional skills; students must learn vocational skills that they will actually need and use in local employment situations. W School-based instruction must be carried out in integrated settings as much as possible. W Community-based instruction should begin early—at about age 12 for students with severe disabilities—and must be used for progressively extended periods as students near graduation. T 15.5 W. L. Heward, Exceptional Children, 6e,  2000 by Prentice-Hall, Inc. All rights reserved.

6 SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT The supported work movement recognizes that many adults with severe disabilities require ongoing, often intensive support to obtain, learn, and hold a job. Support employment is W competitive work in integrated settings; W for persons with the most severe disabilities; W for whom competitive employment has not traditionally occurred; W or for whom competitive employment has been interrupted or intermittent as a result of a severe disability; and W extended services in order to perform such work. (PL ) Four models for supported employment: W Individual placement model W Work enclave (or workstation) model W Mobile work crew model W Small business enterprise model T 15.6 W. L. Heward, Exceptional Children, 6e,  2000 by Prentice-Hall, Inc. All rights reserved.

7 SHELTERED EMPLOYMENT Sheltered employment—work in a segregated setting with ongoing training and support—is the most common type of vocational setting for adults with disabilities. Transitional workshops try to prepare clients for competitive employment. Extended or long-term workshops provide training and supports to enable persons with severe disabilities to work productively within the sheltered setting. Work activity centers offer programs of activities for individuals whose disabilities are viewed by local decision makers as too severe for productive work. Problems with Sheltered Employment W little or no pay For example, persons with mental retardation working in sheltered employment settings in 1987 earned an average of $1.02 per hour and about 40,000 adults who attend work activity centers earn no wages at all. W little chance for job placement in the community Only about 10% of sheltered workshop employees were placed in community jobs from 1977 to W too much down time The “average individual in workshop society spends less than 50% of his or her time on the lines actually working" (Turner, 1983). Because of these problems, sheltered employment has been called a "dead-end street" for individuals with mental retardation (Frank & Sitlington, 1993). T 15.7 W. L. Heward, Exceptional Children, 6e,  2000 by Prentice-Hall, Inc. All rights reserved.

8 SUPPORTED LIVING Supported living is a growing movement of helping people with disabilities live in the community in as independently and normalized a fashion as they possibly can. Supported living, according to Klein (1994), is guided by nine principles: 1. Individualization The magic number becomes one. 2. Everybody is ready There are no criteria to receive support. 3. Future planning What would an ideal living situation look like for each person? 4. Use of connections Who do we know who can help? 5. Flexible supports Supports are based and provided on the individual's schedule and needs. 6. Combining natural supports, learning, and technology Supports natural to the time, place, and person are used; individuals are given opportunities to learn to provide their own support and to use technology as much as possible. 7. Focusing on what people can do Focus on what people can do, provide support for things they cannot do, and provide opportunities for them to learn how to do the things they want to do. 8. Using language that is natural to the setting People clean their homes and do their laundry rather than learn programs; they live with roommates, not with staff. 9. Ownership and control The home is the person's and that person controls the support that is received. T 15.8 W. L. Heward, Exceptional Children, 6e,  2000 by Prentice-Hall, Inc. All rights reserved.

9 HANDICAPISM Just as the terms racism and sexism indicate prejudiced, discriminatory treatment of racial groups and women, the term handicapism has been coined to describe biased reactions toward a person with a disability. Handicapist expectations and reactions are not based on an individual's qualities or performance, but on presumptions of what the disabled person must feel or must be like because of the disability. Examples of handicapism in personal relations (Biklen & Bogdan, 1976): W presuming sadness on the part of the person with a disability W feeling pity for the person with disabilities W focusing on the disability and not the person W treating adults with disabilities as children W avoiding people with disabilities W engaging in handicapist humor W speaking for a person with disabilities as if they were not present or were unable to speak for themselves T 15.9 W. L. Heward, Exceptional Children, 6e,  2000 by Prentice-Hall, Inc. All rights reserved.

10 SELF-ADVOCACY Persons with disabilities have begun to assert their legal rights, challenging the view that persons with disabilities are incapable of speaking for themselves. W Perhaps most conspicuous has been the self-advocacy of individuals with physical disabilities (e.g., the independent living movement). W Individuals with sensory impairments have also engaged in self-advocacy. W Persons with mental retardation have engaged in little self-advocacy, perhaps because many have not learned to recognize when their rights are being violated and because they lack the verbal skills to advocate on their behalf. Freedom to choose, what kind of job to have, where to live, to have relationships, to make all of the everyday decisions (big and small), and the freedom to make mistakes. Dignity of failure. (Cone, 1994) We want everything we are entitled to as citizens, nothing more, but nothing less. We want the privileges of full citizenship, but we also welcome its responsibilities. We now recognize that empowerment is not a gift to be given, but a right to be demanded. (Tony Coehlo, Chairperson of the President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, 1994) T W. L. Heward, Exceptional Children, 6e,  2000 by Prentice-Hall, Inc. All rights reserved.


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