Transition Assessment Annotated Bibliography

Prepared for NSTTAC by Dawn A. Rowe - Updated March 03, 2021

Overview of Issue

The reauthorization of the Individualized with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 2004 requires that beginning no later than age 16, all students will include in their individualized education programs, coordinated, measurable annual IEP goals and transition services that will reasonably enable them to meet their post-secondary goals. To meet this requirement of the law, educators must begin the transition assessment process of collecting information about an individual's strengths, preferences, interests, and needs as they relate to the demands of current and future working, educational, living, and personal and social environments (IDEA, 2004). Recently, Morningstar and Liss (2008) conducted a survey to examine how SEA's are interpreting the transition assessment language of IDEA and to determine what types of policies and guidance documents are being developed by states. They discovered that only 5 states have developed new policies to define and interpret transition assessment and 24 states stated that they were in the process of developing a transition guidance document. Overall, states reported that secondary educators did not understand how to collect transition assessment data or how to use the information derived to develop appropriate programs. Therefore, the purpose of this annotated bibliography is to provide educators with sources that define transition assessment and offer suggestions for conducting assessments with students. Finally, NSTTAC is not endorsing any programs or products that are sold for profit and described in the articles included in this annotated bibliography (e.g., LCCE, TPI, Enderle-Severson).


Morningstar, M.E., & Liss, J.M. (2008). A preliminary investigation of how states are responding to the transition requirements under IDEIA 2004. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 31, 48-55.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act 2004, P. L. No. 108-446. U. S. C. sections 611-614.

Annotated Bibliography

Agran, M., & Morgan, R.L. (1991). Current transition assessment practices. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 12, 113-126.

  • Provided findings from a survey that investigated: (a) the frequency with which specified assessment procedures were administered by secondary level teachers, transition specialist, and employment training center staff; and (b) types of decisions made based on assessment data
  • Found that: (a) intelligence, achievement, adaptive behavior, staff developed assessments, and direct observation were used most frequently; (b) direct observation was used by the highest number of respondents for each of the 10 decisions except complying with state and district policy; (c) intelligence and Achievement test were used most frequently to comply with district and state policy; and (d) motor performance, work sample, staff developed tests, and survival skills test were used least frequently,
  • Suggested that assessment should also involve students or consumers performing real work in actual employment settings

Carothers, D.E., & Taylor, R.L. (2005). Using portfolio assessment to develop transition programs for students with mental retardation. Assessment for Effective Intervention, 30(4), 33-40.

  • Recommended that assessment should include evaluation in areas that result in improving life functioning (e.g., human development, teaching and education, home living, community living, employment, health and safety, behavioral, social, and protection and advocacy)
  • Recommended two steps that lead to individual support plan: considering relevant support activities and level or intensity of support needed
  • Described a portfolio assessment as a collection of work over time that represents the attitudes, interests, and range of skills of an individual.
  • Described advantages of using portfolio assessment as:
    • Can be used to evaluate any transition skill deemed appropriate
    • Can actively involve students in the assessment process
    • Can modify assessment to address specific transition skills
  • Suggested artifacts for portfolio assessment could include:
    • Minutes of IEP meeting or other measures of progress
    • Anecdotal records
    • Video tapes, photographs, and/or audio tapes
    • Academic work samples
    • Learning styles inventory

Carter, E. W., Trainor, A. A., Sun, Y., & Owens, L. (2009). Assessing the transition-related strengths and needs of adolescents with high-incidence disabilities. Exceptional Children, 76, 74-94.

  • Conducted a study to examine the extent to which educators, parents, and students agree in their transition assessment needs across nine planning domains identified in the Transition Planning Inventory (TPI; Clark & Patton, 2006)
  • Found that transition related strengths and needs varied across transition domains and were evaluated differently for youth with EBD as compared to LD.
  • Found that parents and teachers in this study had similar perceptions of a student's transition related strengths and needs; however, these perceptions were not the same as the student's
  • Recommended transition programming be focused on a wider array of relevant instructional domains to assist students in meeting their post-school aspirations in employment, education, and independent living

Clark, G. M. (1996). Transition planning assessment for secondary-level students with learning disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 29, 79-92.

  • Recommended using formal and informal procedures including tests, interviews, direct observation , and curriculum-based assessment
  • Provided summaries of seven standardized assessments including:
    • Social and Prevocational Information Battery-Revised (SPIB-R)
    • Tests for Everyday Living (TEL)
    • The Transition Behavior Scale (TBS)
    • Life Centered Career Education Knowledge Battery (LCCE)
    • Quality of Life Questionnaire (QOL.Q)
    • Quality of School Life Questionnaire (QSL.Q)
    • Transition planning Inventory (TPI)
  • Described nonstandardized instruments or procedures including:
    • Situational or observational learning styles assessments
    • Curriculum-based assessment from courses
    • Observational reports from teachers, employers, and parents/guardians
    • Situational assessments in home, community, and work settings
    • Environmental assessments; personal-future planning activities and procedures
    • Structured interviews with students and parents; adaptive, behavioral, or functional skill inventories/checklists
    • Social histories; employability, independent living, and personal social skill rating scales
    • Applied technology/vocational education prerequisite skills assessment
    • General physical examinations
  • Provided summaries for three non-standardized published instruments:
    • Enderle-Severson Transition Rating Scale (ESTR Scale)
    • LCCE Performance battery
    • McGill Action Planning System (M.A.P.S.)
  • Suggested that transition assessment data should be used in developing goals and objectives for the IEP
  • Provided suggestions for selecting assessment instruments:
    • Select instruments based on the type of questions that need to be answered while transition planning (e.g., Who am I? What are the barriers to achieving my post-school goals?)
    • Transition assessment is ongoing and should start as early as age 14
    • Multiple types and levels of assessment should be used to assess a student's strengths, needs, and preferences
    • Transition assessments should be thought of in terms of effectiveness and efficiency.
    • Transition assessment data should be organized for easy access (parent and student friendly)
    • Consider cultural bias when administering assessment

Ellerd, D. A., Morgan, R. L., & Salzberg, C. L. (2006). Education and Training in Developmental Disabilities, 41, 81-90.

  • Examined correspondence in selection of job preferences across the YES program, community jobs observed during employment site visits, and photographs of employment sites for youth ages 18 to 21 with developmental disabilities
  • Identified 34 of 40 jobs preferred in the YES program also identified as preferred in community observations

Epstein, M. H., Rudolph, S., & Epstein, A. A. (2000), Strength-based assessment. Teaching Exceptional Children, 32(6), 50-54.

  • Stated that strength based assessment is based on four core beliefs:
    • All children have strengths
    • A student's motivation is enhanced when adults around them recognize their strengths
    • A student's failure to acquire a skill indicates that he/she has not be afforded the instruction and experiences to master the skill
    • The goals, objectives, and services included in a child's IEP are based on his strengths, preferences and needs
  • Described the Behavior and Emotional Rating Scale and included a case study using results for transition

Field, S., & Hoffman, A. (2007). Self-Determination in secondary transition assessment. Assessment for Effective Intervention, 32, 181-190.

  • Suggested that a self-determined approach to transition assessment enhances student involvement in assessment and goal setting, creates ownership, and leads to a greater chance of achieving post-school goals
  • Suggested that a self-determined approach provides a framework and strategies to determining student's strengths, interests, and needs and ensuring that relevant information is included in the IEP and the Summary of Performance
  • Suggested using an analysis of background information, interviews, standardized instruments, curriculum based assessment, performance samples, behavioral observations, and situational assessments

Hagner, D. (2010). The role of naturalistic assessment in vocational rehabilitation. Journal of Rehabilitation, 76, 28-34.

  • Defined naturalistic assessment as observing performance on real-world tasks and documenting responses in the natural context
  • Discussed other terms for naturalistic assessment such as authentic assessment, alternative assessment, and ecological assessment
  • Provided examples and descriptions of naturalistic assessments used by rehabilitation counselors
    • Interviews
    • Portfolios and productivity samples
    • On-the-job assessments
    • Person-centered planning
    • Narratives and graphic organizers
  • Discussed limitations of naturalistic assessment including implementation issues and difficulties in establishing reliability and validity

Kortering, L., & Braziel, P.M. (2008). The use of vocational assessments: What do students have to say. The Journal for At-Risk Issues, 14 (2), 27-35.

  • Examined whether students enjoyed or learned from vocational assessments and whether students have realistic career ambitions, while understanding the IEP and transition planning process.
  • Found that vocational assessments did not have an effect on student's knowledge of jobs and required skills, understanding of their own interests and abilities, knowledge of how to get an appropriate job after leaving high school, or if they have the habits, attitudes and knowledge for keeping a job they are interested in
  • Found that students were not familiar with the IEP transition planning process
  • Participants enjoyed the vocational assessment process and were able to identify the best and worst aspects of the whole process.

Kreiner, J., & Flexer, R. (2009). Assessment of leisure preferences for students with severe developmental disabilities and communication difficulties. Education and Training in Developmental Disabilities, 44, 280-288.

  • Described the development of Preferences for Leisure Attributes (PLA) assessment a computerized, forced-choice presentation of leisure activity photographs
  • Found psychometric properties (i.e., content validity, test-retest reliability, discriminability)were acceptable for transition-age students
  • Concluded students with developmental disabilities can communicate their leisure preferences

Levinson, E. M. (1994). Current vocational assessment models for students with disabilities. Journal of Counseling and Development, 73, 94-101.

  • Defined vocational assessment as "a comprehensive process that uses work, real, or simulated as the focal point of assessment and vocational exploration, the purpose of which is to assist individuals in vocational development." (p.94)
  • Described legislation designed to improve vocational and career assistance provided to students with disabilities including:
    • Carl D. Perkins Vocational Education Act of 1963
    • The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004)
  • Described three levels of assessment including:
    • Level 1(elementary school years): Goal is self-awareness. The focus is on individual needs, values, interests, abilities, interpersonal skills, and decision-making skills
    • Level 2 (middle or junior high school years): Goal is career exploration and assisting individuals with tentative educational and career goals. The focus is on assessment of vocational interests, aptitudes, work habits, and career maturity
    • Level 3 (high school years): Goal is career development. The focus is specific training to obtain post-school employment or education
  • Described four school-based vocational assessment models including:
    • North Carolina Model is a three phase model consisting of pre-vocational evaluation, vocational assessment and vocational evaluation
    • Texas Model includes three levels of assessment including basic academic skills, sensory and motor awareness, learning preferences, vocational skills, and aptitudes, career awareness, and work habits
    • The Virginia Model integrates vocational assessment with the triennial review ensuring a holistic and comprehensive assessment of a student
    • Pennsylvania Model is a three phased process integrating career education, career exploration, and vocational assessment processes
  • Described a general school-based vocational assessment model termed "transdisciplinary" vocational assessment that involves local community agencies in the assessment process
    • Phase one consists of planning, organizing, and implementing the assessment program
    • Phase two involves Level 1 vocational assessment
    • Phase three involves specific vocational training and Level 2 assessment, if needed
    • Phase four involves placement in a job, a post-secondary institution, or a residential facility

Morgan, R. L., Gerity, B. P., & Ellerd, D. A. (2000). Using video and cd-rom technology in a job preference inventory for youth with severe disabilities. Journal of Special Education Technology, 15 (3), 25-33.

  • Described traditional vocational interest inventories for individuals with disabilities and video and CD-ROM career exploration programs for youth in general education
  • Described a motion video CD-ROM designed to assist students with severe disabilities in job preference selections

Morgan, R. L., Morgan, R.B., Despain, D., & Vasquez, E. (2006). I can search for jobs on the internet: A website that helps youth in transition identify preferred employment. Teaching Exceptional Children, 38, 6, 6-11.

  • Described the YES Program, Your Employment Selections
  • Compared the CD-Rom version and web-based versions of the program
  • Described the components of the internet –based job preference program providing examples and screen shots

Neubert, D. A. (2003). The role of assessment in the transition to adult life process for students with disabilities. Exceptionality, 11, 63-75.

  • Suggested that middle school transition services should focus on awareness and include:
    • Assessment to identify interests and preferences
    • Job and community awareness activities
    • Accommodations and support needs assessment
    • Tentative post-secondary plan
  • Suggested high school transition services should be exploratory and include:
    • Student participating in activities that allow them to further refine their interests and preferences and explore potential work, post-secondary education, and independent living environments
    • Student articulating individual needs, preferences, and interests to employers, instructors at post-secondary institutions, and personnel in community agencies
  • Recommended collecting assessment data on an ongoing basis with an interdisciplinary team approach using a variety of formal and informal assessments to identify students' strengths, needs, and preferences

Neubert, D. A., & Moon, S. M. (2000). How a transition profile helps students prepare for life in the community. Teaching Exceptional Children, 33, (2), 20-25.

  • Described a transition profile as an instrument that can be used to summarize a students progress toward post-secondary goals
  • Suggested that a transition profile can be used by students to self-monitor progress and by educators, students, and families to keep track of their secondary educational experiences and transition related activities and , provide a quick reference tool to share with post-secondary agencies

Peer, J. A., & Tenhula, W. (2010). Assessment of vocational functioning in serious mental illness: A review of situational assessment and performance-based measures. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 32, 175-189.

  • Conducted a review of the literature to identify and describe vocational assessment measures for individuals with severe mental illness
  • Identified nine situational assessments and three performance-based assessments
  • Provided practical characteristics for each measure identified (i.e., instrument name, scale development, setting, administration procedure, training and manual information)
  • Rated assessment tools on practicality, reliability, validity, and comprehensiveness (i.e., poor, fair, good)
  • Each measure had relative strengths and limitations with no instrument scoring good in all four areas
  • Recommended a situational assessment as the preferred method to identify a client's functional limitations and enhance ability to perform his/her job
  • Identified the Interpersonal Skills Scale (Rogers, Sciarappa, & Anthony, 1991) as the most comprehensive situational assessment to measure work-based social skills and the Vocational Cognitive Rating Scale (Greig et al., 2004) as the most comprehensive situational assessment of work-related cognitive difficulties

Roessler, R. (2000). Three recommendations to improve transition planning in the IEP. The Journal for Vocational Special Needs Education, 22 (2), 31-36.

  • Recommended using a comprehensive career education program such as Life Centered Career Education (LCCE) to improve assessment of students' transition goals and integrate results in to the IEP
  • Recommended considering (a) timing and physical location for meetings, (b) quality and nature of interchange, (c) types of feedback and follow-along strategies to incorporate parental and student perceptive into the IEP
  • Recommended specify curricular interventions in the IEP that help students develop life skills (e.g., LCCE)

Roessler, R. T., Hennessey, M. L., & Hogan, E. M. (2009). Career assessment and planning strategies for postsecondary students with disabilities. Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability, 21, 126-137.

  • Described a career assessment and planning strategy that involved administering The Self-Directed Search (SDS; Holland, 1994), The Work Experience Survey (WES; Roessler, 1995), and the Personal Capacities Questionnaire (Crewe & Athelstan, 1984)
  • Presented four case studies that included background information, vocational interests, perceived barriers to workplace productivity, personal capacities and limitations as they relate to job tasks, and aspects of an accommodation plan developed for each case study
  • Concluded that assessment information collected in this process is needed to increase students self-awareness and probability of successful linkages with future employers

Rojewski, J.W. (2002). Career assessment for adolescents with mild disabilities: Critical concerns for transition planning. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 25, 73-94.

  • Defined vocational assessment as informal and formal data collection methods that gather information about a students' vocational potential
  • Defined transition assessment as a "planned, continuous process of obtaining, organizing, and using information to assist individuals with disabilities and their families in making critical decisions (p.75)"
  • Defined career assessment as examining long-term career goals and life choices
  • Described four career theories including:
    • Super's self-concept developmental theory
    • Holland's work personality theory
    • Social cognitive career theory
    • Sociological perspective
  • Described types of assessment including:
    • Formal Assessment: standardized instruments and procedures that have been norm-referenced
    • Informal Assessment: locally developed of adapted instruments (e.g. employability rating scales, functional skill checklists, and situational assessments)
  • Identified the following instruments as appropriate for use with students with mild disabilities:
    • Apticom
    • Career Ability Placement Survey (CAPS)
    • Career Occupational Preference System (COPS)
    • Differential Aptitude Test (DAT)
    • McCarron-Dial System (MDS)
    • Occupational Aptitude Survey & Interest Schedule (OASIS)
    • Pictorial Inventory of Careers (PICS)
    • Prevocational Assessment Screen (PAS)
    • Reading Free Vocational Interest Inventory (RFVII)
    • Social & Prevocational Information Battery (SPIB)
    • Talent Assessment Program (TAP)
    • Wide Range Interest-Opinion Test (WRIOT)
    • Center for Innovative Teaching Experiences learning styles inventory
    • Life-Centered Career Education Battery
    • Self-Directed Search
    • Transition Planning Inventory
    • Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery Career Exploration Program
    • Career Maturity Inventory

Sarkees-Wircenski, M., & Wircenski, J. (1994). Transition planning: developing career portfolio for students with disabilities. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 17, 203-214.

  • Suggested using Career portfolios to document the levels of proficiency that students have mastered identified in the SCANS( The Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills) report
  • Recommended including information on the following core competencies in a portfolio:
    • Employability skills
    • Work related social skills
    • Self help/independent living skills
    • Generalizable skills (basic skills that apply across vocational programs and jobs
    • Job specific skills

Scott, M. E. (1994). A procedure for use of Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-revised (WISC(R)): scores for more successful vocational placement of slow learning and developmentally delayed secondary students. The Journal for Vocational and Special Needs Education, 3, 33-36.

  • Described how the WISC-R IQ score and subtest scores correlate with specific job aptitudes listed in the handbook for analyzing jobs
  • Provided rationale for the WISC-R aptitudes conversion procedure and steps to convert scores
  • Provided an example of conversion with a student who is a slow learner

Stilington, P. L. (2008). Students with reading and writing challenges: Using informal assessment to assist in planning for the transition to adult life. Reading and Writing Quarterly, 24, 77-100.

  • Suggested that transition planning should include appropriate measurable post-secondary goals based on an age-appropriate assessment, transition services, and an explanation of the age of majority
  • Asserted that transition assessment is a process that should begin in middle school and continue throughout high school
  • Related informal assessment to high stakes assessment, exit exams, diploma options, and transition planning
  • Identified competencies for a smooth transition from school to adult life
    • Communication and academic performance skills
    • Self-determination skills
    • Interpersonal relationship skills
    • Community participation skills
    • Health and fitness
    • Independent living
    • Recreation and leisure
    • Employment
    • Vocational skills
    • Skills to support further education and training
  • Identified age-appropriate, informal assessment techniques that are available for reading and writing:
    • Analysis of background information
    • Psychometric instruments
    • Curriculum-based assessment techniques
    • Work samples
    • Criterion-referenced tests
    • Curriculum-based measurement
    • Portfolio
    • Situational assessments
  • Provided recommendations for integrating results of transition assessment into instruction and support for students with disabilities in reading and writing
  • Provided guiding questions for assessing a student's transition skills including:
    • What do you already know about the student?
    • What assessment questions need to be asked?
    • What assessment methods will provide the answers to the questions asked?
    • How will assessment data be collected?
    • How will the assessment data be used?
  • Concluded that transition assessment data should guide the development of IEP goals and objectives in addition to the Summary of Performance.

Sitlington, P.L. (1996). Transition assessment – Where have we been and where should we be going? Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 19, 159-168.

  • Defined career assessment as "a developmental process beginning at the elementary school level and continuing through adulthood" (p.161).
  • Defined transition assessment as the "ongoing process of collecting data on the individuals' strengths, needs, preferences, and interests as they relate to the demands of current and future working, educational, living, and personal and social environments" (p. 162)
  • Explained that transition assessment encompasses both vocational and career assessment
  • Provided action steps to bring theory into practice such as broadening the focus of transition and moving from one-shot assessments to ongoing assessments

Sitlington, P. L., & Clark, G. M. (2001). Career/vocational assessment: A critical component of transition planning. Assessment for Effective Intervention, 26 (4), 5-22.

  • Recommended four primary assessment areas:
    • Employment, including
      • General employability skills (e.g., following directions)
      • Occupational skills (e.g., job maintenance)
      • Vocational skills (e.g., specific vocational area skills)
    • Self-determination
    • Interpersonal relationships
    • Communication and academic performance
  • Suggested methods for gathering assessment information:
    • Analysis of background information
      • Existing records
      • Observations from previous teachers or support staff
      • Previous informal or formal assessment information
      • Student portfolio
    • Interviews/questionnaires
      • Student
      • Family member
      • Former teachers
      • Friends
      • Counselors
      • Other support staff
      • Former employers
    • Psychometric instruments
      • Paper/pencil instruments
      • Standardized tests and inventories available from commercial publishers
    • Work samples
    • Curriculum based measurement
    • Situational assessment
  • Recommended uses for assessment information
    • Present level of performance
    • Define transition goals and objectives
    • Link with non-school agencies

Sitlington, P., & Clark, G. (2007). The transition assessment process and IDEIA 2004. Assessment for Effective Intervention, 32, 133-142.

  • Defined transition assessment as the ongoing process of collecting information on a student's strengths, preferences, interests, and needs as they relate to future learning, living, and working environments.
  • Primary assessment areas include:
    • Interests
    • Preferences
    • Cognitive development
    • Academic performance
    • Adaptive behavior
    • Interpersonal relationship skills
    • Emotional and mental health development
    • Employability
    • Vocational skills
    • Community participation.
  • Described assessment methods:
    • Record reviews for background information
    • Interviews
    • Standardized and informal tests
    • Curriculum-based assessment
    • Curriculum-based measurement
    • Portfolio assessment
    • Performance samples
    • Behavior observations
    • Situational assessment
  • Suggested that transition assessment should examine the demands of potential environments a student would experience in addition to the circumstances and situations that would occur within them
  • Suggested that students, parents, school professionals, and all other stakeholders in a particular student's life are responsible for gathering transition assessment information.
  • Suggested guiding questions for assessing a students transition skills:
  • What do you already know about the student?
  • What assessment questions need to be asked?
  • What assessment methods will provide the answers to the questions asked?
  • How will assessment data be collected?
  • How will the assessment data be used?
  • Recommended the following considerations for planning transition assessment:
  • Incorporate transition assessment into the on-going state assessment procedures
  • Select instruments and procedures based on key questions that need to be answered
  • Transition assessment should be ongoing
  • Multiple types and levels of assessment
  • Efficient and effective
  • Culturally sensitive
  • Organize assessment data to make it user-friendly
  • Involve the student and family in the assessment process
  • Broaden assessment to include living, working, and educational environments
  • Individualized assessment procedures and instruments
  • Transition assessment is the role of all special education professionals
  • Collaborate with adult service providers to make transition seamless
    • Assessment is critical part of planning process

Sitlington, P. L., Neubert, D. A., & Leconte, P. J. (1997). Transition assessment: The position of the division on career development and transition. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 20, 69-79.

  • Defined transition assessment as the ongoing process of collecting information on a student's strengths, preferences, interests, and needs as they relate to future learning, living, and working environments
  • Explained that transition assessment encompasses career assessment, vocational assessment, and ecological or functional assessment practices
  • Noted laws that facilitate transition assessment include:
    • The Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1992
    • IDEA (1990)
    • Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Act (1990)
    • Job Training Reform Amendments (1992)
    • School to Work Opportunities Act (1994)
  • Suggested transition assessment methods including:
    • Assessing of the individual
      • Background information analysis
      • Interviews
      • Psychometric tests
      • Work samples
      • Curriculum-based assessments
      • Behavior observations
      • Situational assessments
  • Assessment of future working, educational, and living environments
  • Recommended that questions addressed through transition assessment should include:
    • What do I already know about this student that would be helpful in developing post-secondary outcomes?
    • What information do I need to know about this student to determine post-secondary goals?
    • What methods will provide the information?
    • How will assessment data be collected and used in the IEP process?
  • Recommended that the role of the special education teacher be to facilitate transition assessment activities among multiple stakeholders

Sitlington, P., & Payne, E. (2004). Information needed by postsecondary education: Can we provide it as part of the transition assessment process? Learning Disabilities: A Contemporary Journal, 2 (2), 1-14.

  • Identified differences between secondary and postsecondary educational settings in terms of legal protections and demands including:
    • Students at the secondary school level are covered by IDEA
    • Students at the postsecondary level have access to legal protections under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act; however, a students must self identify to receive services
  • Identified information required by post secondary institutions to document disability
    • Post secondary institutions require evidence that a students learning disability substantially limits major life activity in addition to proof a students otherwise meets eligibility requirements
  • Recommended that prior to exiting by either graduating with a standard diploma or aging out of services, an IEP team must meet to write the transition Summary of Performance
  • Stated that transition assessment is not an isolated event; it is an ongoing process that can be integrating into standard progress monitoring in order to determine present levels of performance
  • Identified transition assessment techniques available including:
    • Record reviews for background information
    • Interviews
    • Standardized and informal tests
    • Curriculum-based assessment
    • Curriculum-based measurement
    • Portfolio assessment
    • Performance samples
    • Behavior Observations
    • Situational assessment
  • Provided recommendations for using existing assessment information and sharing this information with postsecondary institutions including:
    • Determine with student what accommodations are effective
    • Work with post-secondary institutions to develop a common format for presenting documentation of a disability and need for service
    • Involve post-secondary representatives in a student's IEP meeting

Thoma, C. A., Held, M. F., & Saddler, S. (2002). Transition assessment practices in Nevada and Arizona: Are they tied to best practices? Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 17, 242-250.

  • Reported findings from a survey of 84 special education teachers in two states that included:
    • Transition assessments were conducted transition 81% of the time
    • School professionals conducted assessments the majority of the time
    • Most frequently used transition assessments were student interview and student survey
    • Least frequently used transition assessment was a self-determination assessment or an ecological inventory
    • Assessment data are used to develop IEP goals, help determine vocational interests, and help students determine life goals and preferences
    • Many teachers are self-taught about transition assessment strategies, procedures, and instruments.
    • Some learn from undergraduate and graduate courses, school workshops, or colleagues
    • Teachers encourage students to take an active role in transition planning process by attending meetings and sharing information
  • Concluded that transition assessment and planning has expanded focus beyond employment to include: community living, daily living, recreation and leisure, social skills, transportation, and financial skills

Thomas, S. W. (1999). Vocational evaluation in the 21st century: Diversification and independence. Journal of Rehabilitation, 65, 10-15.

  • Described career assessment, exploration, and development services as including:
    • Vocational evaluation emphasis informed choice in career assessment and development
    • Clients are taught to complete and interpret their own profile or portfolio which includes the same information as an evaluation report completed by career counselor (e.g., skills, aptitudes, interests, values, strengths, needs, goals, plans).
    • Clients are also trained how to use the profile or portfolio in decision-making vocational/career planning, getting and keeping a job, and monitoring progress
    • The "empowerment-based model of vocational evaluation," examines outcomes before describing the evaluation process in order to assist clients in understanding importance of the evaluation process
  • Described community-based assessment
    • Also referred to as situational assessment
    • Provides realistic, hands-on evaluation opportunities for individuals with multiple and severe disabilities
    • Primarily address employment issues, but also includes other community environments the client may participate in (e.g., vocational training, schools, college, stores, banks, recreation and medical services)
  • Described advances in technology that create new resources and opportunities for individuals with disabilities
    • Electronic profiles or portfolios
    • Virtual work samples
    • Computer-based test that link to local, regional, or national job banks for matching, exploration, and determining availability (e.g. O-Net, state employment service)
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