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Transitioning Into Adulthood

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melissa lewis

on 29 April 2010

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Transcript of Transitioning Into Adulthood

Transitioning into adulthood Melissa Lewis
Matt Kohn
leonard freeman How Do Former Special Ed. Students
Fare As Adults? Transition Services
And Models
Employment Goodwill Post-Secondary
Alternatives Recreation & Leisure The Ultimate Transition Goal:
A Better Life Famous People With
Sources TRANSITIONING INTO ADULTHOOD WHERE one lives determines a great deal about HOW one lives.
Where one lives influences where a person can work, what community services and resources will be available, what opportunities for recreation and leisure exist, and to a great extent, what feelings of self and place in the community will develop.
At one point in time, a person with disabilities had no residential alternatives. Either they lived with family or in a state operated institution.
Some residential alternatives for individuals with disabilites include group homes, foster homes, apartment living, supported living, and institutions.
Group homes provide family-style living for a small group of individuals (usually 3-6).
Most group homes serve adults with mental retardation, although some have residents with other disabilities.
Some group homes are principally a permanent place to live for their residents. Staff in this type of home help the people who live there develop self-care and daily living skills, form interpersonal relationships, and participate in recreation and leisure skills. During the day, most residents work in the community or in a sheltered workshop.
Compared to institutions, two aspects of group homes make them a much more normalized place to live: their size and their location.
Because the number of people in a group home is small, there is a greater chance for a family-like atmosphere to develop. Size is also directly related to the neighborhood's ability to assimilate the members of the group home into typical activities within the community.
The location and physical characteristics of the group home itself are also vital determinants of its ability to provide a normalized lifestyle. A group home must be located within the community in a residential area, not a commercially zoned district. It must be in an area where the people who live there can conveniently access shopping, schools, churches, public transportation, and recreational facilities. The house must also look like a home, and not conspicuously different from other family dwellings on the same street.

When a family opens its home to an unrelated person for an extended period, the term foster home applies.
In return for providing room and board for their new family member, foster families receive a modest financial reimbursement.
Life in a foster family home can have numerous advantages for an adult with disabilities. Instead of interacting with paid group-home staff who may or may not actually live at the same address, the person lives in a residence that is owned or rented by the individuals or families as their primary domicile. The person can participate and share in day-to -day family activities, receive individual attention from people vitally interested in his continued growth and development, and develop close interpersonal relationships.

A rented apartment is one of the most common living arrangements for people without disabilities in our society. Today, an increasing number of adults with disabilities are enjoying the freedom and independence that apartment living offers.
Apartment living offers a greater opportunity for integration into the community than do group homes. Burchard and colleagues found in 1991 that people who lived in supervised apartments had about twice as many social and leisure activities in the community as did individuals who lived in small group homes or with their natural parents.
There are three common types of apartment living for adults with disablities: 1. Apartment Cluster- Small number of apartments housing those with disabilities, and a nearby apartment housing the support person or staff member. 2. Co-Residence Apartment- Shared by a roomate with disabilities and a roomate without disabilities. Live in roomates are often volunteers. 3. Maximum-Independence Apartments- Two to four adults with disabilities, who have the skills to take care of themselves, share an apartment, and a supervisory visit is made once or twice a week to help them deal with any special issues.

Supported living is the term used to describe a growing movement toward helping people with disabilities live in the community as independently and normally as possible.
Rather than a single model or approach, supported living is a philosophy. Klein suggested supported living is guided by these nine principles: 1. INDIVIDUALIZATION- Supported living must focus on one person without exception. 2. EVERYBODY IS READY- There are no criteria for receiving sopport, because what occurs is individually designed. 3. FUTURE PLANNING- People who are assisting others must get to know the individuals they are supporting. What are their desires and preferences? What would an ideal living situation look like for each person? After determining the answers to these questions, the people who care about the person get together regularly with the person to develop a plan for creating , as closely as possible, that ideal living situation. 4. USE OF CONNECTIONS- Traditonal residential services rely on system solutions to problems, referring to the procedured and policy manual to find out what rules and regulations suggest. Supported living relies on the assistance of all who want to and can help. 5. FLEXIBLE SUPPORTS- Supports are based and provided on the individual's schedule and needs, not on a program's schedule. Persons receive support where, when, how, and with whom it is needed. 6. COMBINING NATURAL SUPPORTS, LEARNING, AND TECHNOLOGY- As much as possible, supports are natural to the time, place, and person. Individuals are given opportunities to learn to provide their own support and use technology to gain control over their environment as much as possible. 7. FOCUSING ON WHAT PEOPLE CAN DO- Supportive living focuses on what people can do, provides support for things they cannot do, and provides opportunities for them to learn how to do the things they want to do. 8. USING LANGUAGE THAT IS NATURAL TO THE SETTING- The language of supported living is natural and promotes inclusion in the community. The places where people live are described as Joe's home or Mary's home, and people with disabilities are referred to as neighbors, friends, and citizens rather than clients, consumers, and residents. 9. OWNERSHIP AND CONTROL- Last and most important, the home is the person's, and that person controls the support that is received.

Most of the large, state-operated institutions in the U.S. were founded in the 19th or early 20th century, when it was generally believed that people with mental retardation could not be educated or trained. Large institutions kept people with disabilities segregated from society, and were never designed to help people learn to live in the community. In the 1960's and 1970's institutions like those came under criticism for their inability to provide individualized residential services in a comfortable, humane, and normalized environment. Great improvements were made in the 1970's when the government introduced several new standards for residential facilities housing people who suffer from mental retardation.
Deinstitutionalization is the movement of people with disabilities out of large institutions and into smaller, community-based living environments such as group homes or apartments. Deinstitutionalization has been an active reality over the past four decades. The number of persons living in institutions has dropped dramatically from almost 200,000 in 1967 to around 40,000 in 2005.

Without question, significant strides have been made in the lives of many people with disabilities. Tens of thousands of people who previously were forced to a life in an institution now live in real homes in regular neighborhoods.
Most advocates and professionals now realize that the physical presence of people with disabilities in integrated residential, work, and community settings is an important first step, but that the only truly meaningful outcome of human service programs must be an improved quality of life.
One measure of the quality of a person's life is the extent to which he can make choices. The choices we make play a significant role in defining our individual identities--from everyday matters, such as what to eat or wear, to the choices we make on larger matters, such as where to live or what kind of work to do.
One widely used measure of the quality of life of a person with intellectual disabilities is the Quality of Life Questionnaire. The instrument consists of 40 items in four domains: a) overall satisfaction, b) competence/productivity, c) empowerment/independence, and d) social belonging/community integration.

A continuing problem for many adults with disabilities is lack of acceptance as full members of our society, with all the rights, privileges, and services granted to any citizen.
Most adults with disabilities believe the biggest barriers to full integration into society are not inaccessible buildings or the actual restrictions imposed by their disabilities, but the differential treatment from others without disabilities. 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.
Only when a man or a woman with a disability is allowed to be simply an ordinary person--given the opportunity to strive and perhaps succeed, but also allowed the freedom and dignity to strive and sometimes fail--can full membership and participation in society become a reality. Only then can people with disabilities enjoy a quality of life that citizens without disabilities take for granted.

Family members, friends, professionals, and atorneys have traditionally undertaken advocacy for persons with disabilities. Evidence indicates, however, that people with intellectual and edvelopmental disabilities are beginning to use internet resources and tools to further their civil rights.

In general, the quality of life for most adults with disabilities is better today than it has ever been. Not only do more adults with disabilities live, work, and recreate in community-based, integrated environments, but more adults with disabilities have acquired or are acquiring the personal, social, work, and leisure skills that enable them to enjoy the benefits of those settings. But MORE people with disabilities is not the same as ALL people with disabilities. And individuals don't live life "in general"; they experience specific instances of joy and sadness, success and failure. There is still a long way to go.
True, the quality of life for someone who now has his own bedroom in a group home and works for wages in a sheltered workshop is appreciably better than it was before he left the institution where he ate and slept communally, and his "work" consisted of an endless series of arts-and-crafts projects. But do the unacceptable standards of the past mean that a relatively better quality of life today is therefore good? Would it be good enough for you or your family members?

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Composer)
Tim Howard (International Soccer Player)

Heather Mills (Model, former wife of Paul McCartney)
Bethany Hamilton (Pro-Surfer)

Hank Williams, Sr. (Musician)
John Cougar Mellencamp (Musician)

Charles Darwin (Darwin Theory, Author)
Billy Bob Thornton (Actor)

Heward, William, L. (2009). Exceptional Children: An Introduction to Special Education. (9thEd.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill/Pearson.


Down Syndrome Guild of Dallas

www.downsyndromecommunity.org SPD 231 4-29-10 the end!! Thank You!! One of the greatest challenges faced by adults with Down syndrome is how to stay
involved and productive in the community after completing school. One of the ways to accomplish this goal is through employment. The following provides a simple introduction to employment options:
Competitive employment - the individual secures employment in the community, for example,by responding to ads or job postings or proactively approaching businesses – and works independently without any support services.
Supported employment - most commonly used by people with Down syndrome.
The individual works in an integrated setting and receives support services from a job coach. Supported employment provides the person with the disability with the long-term support services needed to be successful in competitive employment – training, job matching, job development, job coaching, on-going on-site
monitoring, etc.
Sheltered employment (also called “enclave” or “workshop”) - individuals work in selfcontained settings with others who have disabilities without the integration of non-disabled workers. Sheltered employment is often obtained through agencies, and wages for this type of work do not meet minimum wage standards. The “workshop” is usually paid a fee for providing the work and support, virtually negating any wages earned. Sheltered employment typically involves manual labor tasks such as assembling goods.
Volunteer employment - volunteer job that is unpaid. This is sometimes an alternative for those who need more flexibility, or in the event that paid employment is difficult to find. A volunteer position allows a person to continue to improve their skills and build social networks in the community, and may sometimes lead to paid employment
Regardless of the type of employment that is pursued, the challenge will often be locating a job and coordinating appropriate support services. The primary agency that funds employment related programs in Texas is called DARS - Texas Department of Assistive Rehabilitative Services.
Regular physical exercise is very important for all adolescents and adults, including those with Down syndrome. It is documented that adolescents and adults with Down syndrome show improvements in muscle strength, endurance, balance, and coordination through regular training programs. Ongoing exercise increases physical activity and is effective in weight management if balanced with appropriate food intake. An optimal environment for exercise is through recreation programs. By participating in these programs, it is also possible to enhance social skills, increase self-confidence and generate a new sense of self-expression.

Recreation takes many forms and can be done individually or in a group. The activities chosen need to highlight each person's abilities and skills. They need to be age appropriate and based on the individual's and the family's interests. They need to be available in the community and accessible. Examples include: walking, hiking, dancing, running, aerobics, skating, skiing, cycling, horseback riding, swimming, weight training, bowling, softball, volleyball, soccer, tennis and golf. Recreation programs are available through local school districts, local departments of parks and recreation, community and church groups, and through private health clubs and exercise and physical fitness programs.

Exercise and recreation play vital roles in our lives. For adolescents and adults with Down syndrome, they provide healthful and lifelong activities that can be performed independently and promote interaction within the community.
Individuals with Down syndrome have the opportunity to
participate in a variety of post-secondary education programs,
such as:
• Academic programs or courses at a community college or
other college or university;
• Vocational or training programs, such as apprenticeships and
trade schools; or
• Innovative programs that combine these two types of
Programs and schools vary widely in terms of what they offer with
respect to academics, independent living skills training, residential
options, and the type of diploma or certificate earned. And even
though IDEA requires that all schools make proper accommodations
post-secondary education for their students with disabilities, it is very important to find a school whose staff clearly respects the student's
learning style and is willing to go the extra mile to meet his or her needs.
As many of these post-secondary education programs have eligibility or
entrance requirements and are not necessarily located in your community, it is important to start researching early. Knowledge of existing programs and entrance requirements can help identify specific goals to include in the
transition plan. For example, students can plan to take certain courses in high school has preparation for particular programs. Or, they might
secure part-time jobs or volunteer work in a specific
field of interest. Deciding which program to enroll in is just like researching
any college or program. It is important to find a good fit between the individual and the school. The upcoming NDSS Transition Series brochure
Post-Secondary Education will include more in-depth information for students and their families to help them identify a program that fits their interests and needs.
National Longitudinal Transition Studies (NLTS1 and NLTS2) funded by the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs.

Completing High School: Most special education students who do not complete high school face lower levels of employment and wages, reduced access to post-secondary education and training opportunities, higher rates of problems with the criminal justice system, and less overall satisfaction with life in general.

Employment: Data from NLTS1 showed an unemployment rate of 46% for all youth with disabilities who had ben out of school for less than 2 years. The unemployment rate for young adults with disabilites drops to 36.5% when they have been out of school for 3 to 5 years, but nearly 1 in 5 youths (19.6%) reported giving up looking for work.

Postsecondary Education: Attending college or a postsecondary vocational program greatly increases the chance of being employed or being successful as an adult. NLTS2 found that 31% out-of-school youth with disabilities had been enrolled in some kind of postsecondary school in 2 years since leaving high school, a rate that is far below 77% of those who had included postsecondary education goals as part of their transtion plans in high school.

Overall Adjustment and Success: Being successful as an adult involves much more than handling a job. It means achieving status as an independent and active member of society. This includes the ability to participate in society, work, have a home, raise a family, and share the joys and responsibilities of community life. Will's Bridges Model of School-to-Work Tranisition: Madeline Will, director of U.S. Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services proposed three levels of service. The first service are students who require no special transition services. The second service are people with disabilities who require time limited transitional services. The third service consists of ongoing employmeny services that are necessary to enable persons with severe disabilities to enjoy the benefits of meaningful paid work.

Definition of Transition Services in IDEA: A coordinated set of activities for a child with a disability that: is designed to focus on the acedemic and functional achievement of that child, is based on the individual child's needs, and includes instruction, related services, community experiences, the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives.

Individualized Transition Plan: IDEA requires that IEPs for older students include information on how the child's transition from school to adult life will be supported. The intent of this provision is to focus the IEP team's attention on secondary curriculum and course planning related to postschool success. This portion of the IEP is called the individualized transition plan (ITP). This can be written at an earlier age if the IEP team determines it is appropriate for an individual student. It is important to begin coordinated transition planning early.

Transition planning requires a team that can help the student identify and reach his or her postschool goals. Transition involves the coordination, delivery, and transfer of services from the secondary school program to receiving agencies (ex: employers or postsecondary education).

Three basic principles underlie the provision of career education and transition services: 1) Education for career development and transition is for individuals with disabilities of all ages. 2) Career development is a process begun at birth and continues throughout life. 3) Earliy career development is essential for making satisfactory choices later in life.

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