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U.S. GAO – Transition Challenges For Students With Disabilities

The GAO released a report on the difficulties students with disabilities face as they transition from high school into the workforce or secondary education. After completing high school, eligible students must apply for assistance as adults. This can lead to delays in services and students being placed on wait lists if these programs are full. GAO was asked to provide information on the (1) challenges students with disabilities may face accessing federally funded transition services; and (2) extent to which federal agencies coordinate their transition activities.

The study identified the following:

  1. Navigating the federal systems is difficult for parents
  2. Service providers experience challenges coordinating the services across the different programs
  3. Information is not readily available to parents, students, and service providers regarding the full range of available services
  4. Students may not be prepared for successful transition due in part to limited ability to engage in vocation or life skills training while in school
GAO Recommendation:
“To improve the provision of transition services for students with disabilities, GAO recommends that Education, HHS, Labor, and SSA develop an interagency transition strategy that addresses (1) operating toward common outcome goals for transitioning youth; (2) increasing awareness of available transition services; and (3) assessing the effectiveness of their coordination efforts. All four agencies agreed with the recommendation.”

The full report can be found below:

U.S. GAO – Students with Disabilities: Better Federal Coordination Could Lessen Challenges in the Transition from High School.

About The Author

Scott Carchedi

Scott Carchedi is the founder and co-editor of SSWN. Scott provides technology support and consultative services to school social work associations across the US. Scott is also a practicing school social worker in the western suburbs of Chicago, serving grades 9-12.

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