The last day of school should be no different
than the day after.
This project has developed and implemented the Transition Service
Integration Model (Pumpian & Certo, 1996) in approximately a
dozen communities in California which has resulted in a seamless
transition from school to integrated direct-hire employment, Postsecondary
education and inclusive access to a wide range of preferred community
activities and settings for students with severe disabilities during
their last year in public school (i.e., typically students who are
21 years old). This model utilizes a one-stop workforce investment
strategy that unifies the three primary systems responsible through
enabling legislation for this transition: the public school system,
the rehabilitation system and the developmental disabilities system.
It results in students exiting school with a stable job and a scheduled
routine for accessing non-work activities in natural community settings
when they are not working, and it ensures the continued support
needed to maintain these activities after graduation.
Successful Strategies (Project Level)
benefits consumers and systems in many ways
New partnerships among all stakeholders (building trust)
Holding two sets of regular meetings: funding/policy issues
& programming/practice issues
Different approaches across state: designing new agencies;
expanding services of existing agencies
Fostering collaboration among vendored agencies to share billing
approaches, support strategies, other expertise
Meeting with service coordinators (case managers) as a group
Meeting with vendors (i.e., Vendor Coalition) to encourage
participation by non-project sites; develop partnerships with
new school districts and selected agencies
Building capacity within stakeholders, e.g., buying out a percentage
of a DR counselor; supporting a percentage of a teacher's time;
subcontracts to agencies to provide a job developer and transition
liaison to work exclusively with the targeted students
Including students, family members, employers, as well as representatives
from schools, DR, & DDS in presentations at conferences,
workshops, & for visiting professionals (e.g., Denmark,
Changes In Practice (Program Level)
More students are leaving high school with jobs and keeping
Students are involved in other non-work activities that are
Students who are 21 (or in their final year of school) are
provided services differently (e.g., no school holidays, different
daily hours, located off-campus)
Services are being re-examined for students who are 18-20,
in order to support job placement during Point of Transition
Families are receiving information early on regarding options
for adult supports and services (e.g., meeting with school personnel,
service coordinators, representatives from Dept. of Rehab.,
DDS, vendored agencies)
Families and students are feeling more empowered in making
informed choices regarding their future.
Changes In Policy/Funding
Split or shared funding to support work and non-work activities
(DR & DDS)
Department of Rehab. providing funding earlier, while students
are in last year of school
DDS providing a 60-day safety net for students who lose a job
to support continued job development time
Using staffing allotments and assignments in more creative
ways (funding staff from vendored agency to work with targeted
Sharing assessment & collateral packets among all school
partners, adult agencies, DR, and DDS in order to provide consistency,
less redundancy, and working toward the use of single planning
document that will satisfy all partners' requirements.
School districts are moving students (18-22) off high school
campuses (e.g., leasing space from vendored agency)
- Blackorby, J., & Wagner, M. (1996). Longitudinal post school
outcomes of youth with disabilities: Findings from the national
longitudinal transition study. Exceptional Children, 62, 399-413.
- Certo, N. J., Mautz, D., Pumpian, I., Sax, C., Smalley, K., Wade, H., Noyes, D., Luecking, R., Wechsler, J., & Batterman, N. (2003). A review and discussion of a model for seamless transition to adulthood. Education and Training in Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, 38(1), 3-17.
- Certo, N. J., Pumpian, I., Fisher, D., Storey, K., & Smalley, K. (1997). Focusing on the point of transition. Education and Treatment of Children, 20 (1), 68-84.
- Fisher, D., & Sax, C. (1999). Noticing differences between secondary and post-secondary education: Extending Agran, Snow, and Swaner's discussion. Journal of the Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps, 24(4), 303-305.
- Noyes, D., & Sax, C. (2004). Changing systems for transition: Students, families, and professionals working together. Education and Training in Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, 39(1), 35-44.
- Pumpian, I. & Certo, N.J. (1996-99). Focusing on the point
of transition: A service integration model. Funded by U.S. Department
of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, Postsecondary
Model Demonstration Program, Washington, DC.
- Pumpian, I., Certo, N.J. & Sax, C. (1999). Progress Report,
Year 02, AY 97-98: Focusing on the point of transition: A service
integration model. Funded by U.S. Department of Education, Office
of Special Education Programs, Postsecondary Model Demonstration
Program, Washington, DC.
- Sax, C. (2003). Lessons from New York City's Pathfinders project: It's never too late to start doing good work. In D. Fisher (Ed.), Inclusive urban schools: Lessons learned in big city schools (pp. 205-211). Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes.
- Sax, C. L., & Noyes, D. A. (in press). Interagency collaboration. In F. R. Rusch (Ed.), Beyond high school: Preparing youth for employment (2nd ed.). New York: Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall.
- Sax, C. L., & Thoma, C. A. (2002). Transition
assessment: Wise practices for quality lives. Baltimore,
MD: Paul H. Brookes.
Sax, C., Noyes, D., & Fisher, D. (2001). High school inclusion
+ seamless transition = desired outcomes. TASH
Connections, 27(9), 17-20.
Sax, C., & Certo, N. (2001). Integrating
transition services: A model that helps students move seamlessly
into adult life. The Special Edge, 14(4), 4-7.
Sax, C. (2000). Do systems really change? The point of transition
service integration project. TASH
1999 Conference Yearbook, 1(1), 163-169.
- Thoma, C. A., & Sax, C. L. (2003). Self-determination: What do rehabilitation counseling students know and where do they learn it? Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 19(2), 89-94.
Order From Exceptional Family Resource
Center, San Diego:
Start Smart (newspaper-format): Provides information and resources
for students, ages 14-18, and their families on how to plan and
prepare for adult life while in high school.
Plan Smart (newspaper-format): Provides information and resources
for students, ages 18-22, and their families on accessing adult
services for quality adult lives.
College Success (newspaper format): Provides information and resources on continuing education beyond the K-12 system; including Community college, 4 year university, adult education, vocational/technical training, and more. Information on supported living services are also included.
For more information, contact:
Dr. Caren Sax
Dr. David Noyes
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