The Oxford English Dictionary defines transition as “a passing or passage from one condition, action, or (rarely) place, to another; change.” This definition captures the…
The Oxford English Dictionary defines transition as “a passing or passage from one condition, action, or (rarely) place, to another; change.” This definition captures the essence of the transition as experienced by youth and young adults with disabilities as they move from school to postschool settings. Additionally, the definition also raises the issue that transition encompasses the existential experience not only of passing from one condition (of being a student/child to becoming a graduate/an adult) but also of the physical movement/passage (from school services to adult services) and the change therein. This chapter begins by providing a brief historical framing of transition both from the standpoint of legal foundations of transition and the findings from early research on the postschool outcomes experienced by graduates of special education. In addition, the impact of those findings is discussed regarding the formulation and articulation of transition as a mandated element in the educational planning for students with disabilities at the secondary level. Next, the chapter reviews the initial models of transition that were developed and/or proposed as a way for meeting the needs of secondary age students with disabilities as identified in research. The essential elements of transition expressed in the transition definition provided by Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 1990 and subsequent amendments are then described. A discussion of issues related to the best and promising practices in transition concludes the chapter.
This chapter traces the history of intellectual disabilities by exploring significant historical periods and personalities who impacted the disability field and specifically the area of intellectual disability. Like other documented histories, the purpose of this chapter is to instruct and inform readers about the historical underpinnings of the labels, practices, and programs related to intellectual disability that are in effect today. While this chapter is not intended to be prescriptive in how the information presented here is to be interpreted, we are acutely aware that historical accounts are often interpreted based upon contemporary ideologies, knowledge, and practices. As such, as a historical account, this chapter is no exception. Current belief and practices about intellectual disabilities indeed influence the choices that, we as the chapter authors, made about the relative importance of the events that we select to highlight in this chapter. Nonetheless, this account reflects the events and personalities who, in our estimation, transformed and/or advanced the field of intellectual disability. We open with a brief prologue of the representations of the intellectual disability in popular culture and its potential impact on perceptions of persons with intellectual disability.