Universal Design for Transition: A Roadmap for Planning and Instruction / Edition 1

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Apply the principles of universal design for learning to transition for students with disabilities with this groundbreaking guidebook. Schools across the country already use universal design for learning to improve all students' access to the general curriculum and tap each learner's individual strengths-and now they'll have a practical book that takes this powerful teaching approach one step further for students approaching the transition to adult life. Transition specialists and educators will discover how to apply universal design for transition (UDT)during the critical middle- and high-school years, using its guiding philosophy-presenting information in multiple formats and media-to help students achieve academic goals, make sound decisions about their future, and make a successful transition to adult life. This timely, concise guidebook reveals how and why UDT can help readers enhance students' self-determination skills plan multiple assessments that measure the full range of student strengths and needs develop IEPs tailored to student goals and interests help students explore career possibilities and prepare for the working world support all the elements of successful transition to community life, including finding a home, managing finances, making personal connections, and enjoying recreational activities create universal access to postsecondary options and help students develop the skills they'll need in college Throughout the book, readers get practical guidance, teaching tips, and case studies that clearly demonstrate how to present information and skills in multiple settings in a variety of engaging ways. They'll also find suggestions for a wide range of technology supports they can use to accommodate diverse learning needs, including video recordings, Internet tools and resources, audiobooks, podcasts, speech-to-text software, and assistive technology devices. With this one-of-a-kind guide to UDT, transition spe

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Editorial Reviews

Transition Specialist in Private Practice, Learning and Career Connections, East Lansing, MI - Peg Lamb
"I strongly endorse this book for any professional involved in teaching practitioners about the area of transition or providing these services. It is one of the most complete books on all of the domains of transition."
University of Florida, Gainesville - Jeanne B. Repetto
"Filled with strategies to link transition planning and the general education curriculum. As teachers and students understand this linkage both transition and academic student outcomes will improve. What a GREAT resource!"
Professor of Special Education, University of Kansas; Director, Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities - Michael L. Wehmeyer
"A blueprint for transition in the era of school reform, access to the general education curriculum, self-determination, and, of course, Universal Design for Learning. If you've just acquired this book, welcome to transition in the 21st Century."
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee - Dave L. Edyburn
"Practical resources, strategies, and tools for improving transition practices. Readers will learn how to proactively implement Universal Design for Transition to support diverse learners."
Diane S. Bassett

"Both content-rich and practical . . . seamlessly weaves the current educational practice with universal design, all within the lens of a transition perspective. This text will advise our field for years to come."
Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
"Valuable and thought provoking."
Inc. Book News
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781557669100
  • Publisher: Brookes, Paul H. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 1/1/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 632,696
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Christina C. Bartholomew, Ph.D., earned her doctoral degree from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond in December 2007. Prior to enrolling in the doctoral program, she worked as a special educator in the Commonwealth of Virginia. During her teaching experience, she worked with students with disabilities in both academic and employment settings. She has served as the student representative on the board of the Council for Exceptional Children’s Division on Career Development and Transition and was awarded the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society Scholarship Award for VCU’s School of Education in 2006. Dr. Bartholomew has worked on a statewide project promoting the instruction of self-determination skills in secondary settings and has created and implemented professional development seminars for middle school teachers in the areas of coteaching, collaboration, and assessment practices. Dr. Bartholomew has taught several graduate-level courses in secondary and transition programming, co-teaching and collaboration, instructional methods for individuals with intellectual disabilities, and trends and characteristics in special education. She has presented at numerous state and national conferences on self-determination, student-led individualized education programs, and linking transition to academic goals and instruction. She has conducted dissertation research in the area of teacher perceptions of school and classroom influences on their support for student self-determination, and she has coauthored articles for educational journals. She currently works in the field of special education as an adjunct instructor at VCU and as an educational consultant.

LaRon A. Scott, Ed.D., received a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice, with a psychology minor, from Radford University in Virginia. He worked as a mental health/mental retardation case manager before completing a master’s degree in education from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). Qualified in special education and mental health, LaRon continues his career, which includes working with at-risk and children and adolescents with special needs by serving as an intensive in-home counselor and special education teacher. Mr. Scott teaches students with disabilities in both academic and community settings. He continues to guest lecture in graduate-level courses at VCU on universal design for learning and self-determination. He was recently named the special education department chairperson at the school where he is employed. In 2007, Mr. Scott received the Iva Dean Cook Teacher of the Year Award, given by the Division on Career Development and Transition of the Council for Exceptional Children.

Colleen A. Thoma, Ph.D., earned her doctoral degree from Indiana University, where she began her research on self-determination in transition planning. She is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Special Education and Disability Policy and Director of Doctoral Studies in the School of Education at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond. She teaches courses on disability policy, transition and secondary education, curriculum and instruction, and characteristics of students with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. Her research interests include preparation of teachers to support selfdetermined transition planning, student-directed individualized education program development, and the impact of student self-determination on transition and academic outcomes. She has mentored doctoral candidates at VCU (including her co-author, Dr. Christina Bartholomew) in their own research on self-determination, teacher preparation, and transition services. Dr. Thoma’s scholarship, teaching, and service have focused primarily in the areas of self-determination, transition planning and services, and teacher preparation. She co-authored a book on transition assessment with Dr. Caren Sax

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Read an Excerpt

Excerpted from Universal Design for Transition: A Roadmap for Planning and Instruction
By Colleen A. Thoma, Ph.D., Christina C. Bartholomew, Ph.D., & LaRon A. Scott, M.Ed.

Chapter 2: Universal Design for Transition and Student Self-Determination
© 2009. Brookes Publishing. All rights reserved.

Teacher's Voice

Self-determination is important for everyone. The premise behind self-determination is that everyone has a right to choose his or her own destiny, to work toward making his or her dreams a reality. It’s been important in my own life and has to be taught and nurtured for students with disabilities as well. Unfortunately, there are still members of our community who have their lives controlled by those around them. They are told what they will eat for breakfast, how they will dress in the morning, where they will work, how they will play, and where they will live. This is especially true for students who have greater support needs. Let’s face it, it’s more difficult for those students to communicate what they want and more difficult for their teachers to imagine the possibilities. That’s where UDT needs to start and end: with finding a way to ensure that students are actively involved in the entire process, from choosing their longterm and academic goals to choosing the supports that will help them achieve and maintain those goals. It’s something that has to happen across the school day, not just when we talk about transition planning. I do that by ensuring that I have resources available that help students learn what they are interested in, communicate those interests to their families and the individualized education program (IEP) team, and create educational goals that help them get there.

In Chapter 1, the concept of UDT was introduced and characteristics of the approach were outlined. This chapter focuses on one of those characteristics— student self-determination—and its role in balancing the universal nature of this approach with the individual needs of students with disabilities. Successful transition outcomes for individual students are usually clearly tied to the selfdetermination that they demonstrate in the transition process. When individuals are the causal agents for finding supports, instruction, and services in their own lives, they have an increased chance of achieving their goals (Wehmeyer & Schwartz, 1997).

Self-determination helps individuals with disabilities to find their voice so that other transition planning team members hear their goals for adult life. Voice in this scenario refers not only to the spoken word, but also to the many other ways that individuals with disabilities communicate their preferences, including nonverbal body language, behavior, and augmentative and alternative communication devices or systems. This chapter will introduce you to strategies that can be incorporated into a UDT approach to instructional planning, delivery, and assessment to ensure that students also develop the self-determination skills that are so critical to achieving their postsecondary outcomes.


As noted in Chapter 1, Wehmeyer defined self-determination as “acting as the primary causal agent in one’s life, free to make choices and decisions about one’s quality of life, free from undue or unwanted external influence” (1992, p. 13). He later described 12 core component skills that fit under the umbrella of self-determination (1997): choice making; decision making; problem solving; goal setting and attainment; risk taking, independence, and safety; self-regulation; self-instruction; internal locus of control; positive perceptions of self-efficacy and outcome expectancy; self-advocacy and leadership; selfknowledge; and self-awareness. Each of these skills is important for the development of overall self-determination.

UDT and technolo

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Table of Contents

About the Authors
About the Contributors

I: Universal Design for Transition

1: Background and Explanation of Universal Design for Transition

2: Universal Design for Transition and Student Self-Determination

3: Universal Design for Transition in Assessment

4: Using a Universal Design for Transition Approach to Individualized Educational Planning

II: Universal Design for Transition to Facilitate the Transition from School to Adult Life

5: Universal Design for Transition and Employment
with Darlene D. Unger

6: Universal Design for Transition and Postsecondary Education
with Donald E. Finn & Jennifer Watson Klein

7: Universal Design for Transition and Community Living
with Beth A. Bader, Santa E. Perez, & Mary Bryant

8: Universal Design for Transition Applied to Recreation and Leisure
Kimberly R. Dell & Ronald Tamura

9: Using Technology to Put It All Together
with Judith E. Terpstra, Ronald Tamura, Donald E. Finn, & Darlene D. Unger

Appendix: Blank Forms

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