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 specialists and educators will help all students succeed in school, make informed choices about their future, and build lives beyond the classroom that reflect their goals and dreams.

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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: 429,368
  • 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 VirginiaCommonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond in December 2007. Prior toenrolling in the doctoral program, she worked as a special educator in theCommonwealth of Virginia. During her teaching experience, she worked withstudents with disabilities in both academic and employment settings. She hasserved as the student representative on the board of the Council forExceptional Children’s Division on Career Development and Transition andwas awarded the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society Scholarship Award for VCU’sSchool of Education in 2006. Dr. Bartholomew has worked on a statewideproject promoting the instruction of self-determination skills in secondary settingsand has created and implemented professional development seminars formiddle school teachers in the areas of coteaching, collaboration, and assessmentpractices.Dr. Bartholomew has taught several graduate-level courses in secondaryand transition programming, co-teaching and collaboration, instructionalmethods for individuals with intellectual disabilities, and trends and characteristicsin special education. She has presented at numerous state and nationalconferences on self-determination, student-led individualized education programs,and linking transition to academic goals and instruction. She has conducteddissertation research in the area of teacher perceptions of school andclassroom influences on their support for student self-determination, and shehas coauthored articles for educational journals. She currently works in thefield of special education as an adjunct instructor at VCU and as an educationalconsultant.

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. Sheis currently Associate Professor in the Department of Special Education andDisability Policy and Director of Doctoral Studies in the School of Education atVirginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond. She teaches courseson 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 selfdeterminedtransition planning, student-directed individualized educationprogram development, and the impact of student self-determination on transitionand academic outcomes. She has mentored doctoral candidates at VCU(including her co-author, Dr. Christina Bartholomew) in their own research onself-determination, teacher preparation, and transition services.Dr. Thoma’s scholarship, teaching, and service have focused primarily inthe areas of self-determination, transition planning and services, and teacherpreparation. She co-authored a book on transition assessment with Dr. CarenSax

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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 Designfor Transition andStudent Self-Determination
© 2009. Brookes Publishing. All rights reserved.

Teacher's Voice

Self-determination is important for everyone. The premisebehind self-determination is that everyone has a right tochoose his or her own destiny, to work toward making his orher dreams a reality. It’s been important in my own life andhas to be taught and nurtured for students with disabilitiesas well. Unfortunately, there are still members of our communitywho have their lives controlled by those aroundthem. They are told what they will eat for breakfast, howthey will dress in the morning, where they will work, howthey will play, and where they will live. This is especially truefor students who have greater support needs. Let’s face it,it’s more difficult for those students to communicate whatthey want and more difficult for their teachers to imaginethe possibilities. That’s where UDT needs to start and end:with finding a way to ensure that students are activelyinvolved in the entire process, from choosing their longtermand academic goals to choosing the supports that willhelp them achieve and maintain those goals. It’s somethingthat has to happen across the school day, not just when wetalk about transition planning. I do that by ensuring that Ihave resources available that help students learn what theyare interested in, communicate those interests to their familiesand 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 theapproach were outlined. This chapter focuses on one of those characteristics—student self-determination—and its role in balancing the universal nature ofthis approach with the individual needs of students with disabilities. Successfultransition outcomes for individual students are usually clearly tied to the selfdeterminationthat they demonstrate in the transition process. When individualsare the causal agents for finding supports, instruction, and services in theirown lives, they have an increased chance of achieving their goals (Wehmeyer& Schwartz, 1997).

Self-determination helps individuals with disabilities to find their voice sothat 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 manyother ways that individuals with disabilities communicate their preferences,including nonverbal body language, behavior, and augmentative and alternativecommunication devices or systems. This chapter will introduce you to strategiesthat can be incorporated into a UDT approach to instructional planning,delivery, and assessment to ensure that students also develop the self-determinationskills that are so critical to achieving their postsecondary outcomes.


As noted in Chapter 1, Wehmeyer defined self-determination as “acting as theprimary causal agent in one’s life, free to make choices and decisions aboutone’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 umbrellaof self-determination (1997): choice making; decision making; problemsolving; goal setting and attainment; risk taking, independence, and safety;self-regulation; self-instruction; internal locus of control; positive perceptionsof self-efficacy and outcome expectancy; self-advocacy and leadership; selfknowledge;and self-awareness. Each of these skills is important for the developmentof 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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