Caring for those in Need

Assessing the Needs of Students with Disabilities During Transition

What happens to students with disabilities as they transition from high school and how can the process be improved? When transition-aged youth are unaware of the variety of services available to them during and after high school, an information gap in successful post-secondary outcomes in the areas of independent living, employment and education or training can occur. The national RAISE (Resources for Advocacy, Independence, Self-determination and Employment) Center and MPACT (Missouri Parents Act) are working together to identify programs and professionals that are key in accessible transition of young adults with disabilities into adulthood through survey input.

BY Cheryl Thompson | October 2021 | Category: Employment & Transition

Assessing the Needs of Students with Disabilities During Transition

Discovering what works

We are looking for young adults nationally who have exited school, are between the ages of 18 through 26, and have disabilities to complete a short survey about their experience. The first 100 young adults who complete this survey will receive a $10 gift card from Amazon. We also welcome feedback from parents or other family members of young adults with disabilities aged 18-26.

RAISE works with the eight Rehabilitation Service Administration Parent Training and Information Centers (RSA-PTIs), Parent Centers, youth with disabilities, families, and other transition organizations to improve transition for youth and families.

MPACT is Missouri’s only federally-funded Parent Training and Information Center. Its mission is to empower families to advocate for themselves so that children with special education needs can reach their full potential in education and life – through support, training, and education.

The feedback from this survey will identify the products for the Get Linked project. Get Linked will help parent centers, families, and youth to be able to better work with service providers and organizations to make transition smoother. 

Transition Topics Addressed

Transition is more than school-to-work. The data collected will focus on multifaceted issues regarding transition to adult life.  These include:

  • Post-secondary outcome
    This section looks at employment, college, and training.
  • Job satisfaction
    Questions are asked regarding full/part time, disability disclosure, fulfillment, and benefits.
  • College or training
    This section examines major course of study, or satisfaction with training.
  • Housing
    Questions determine the living situation whether it is in their own home, family home, supported living, etc.   
  • Preparation
    Various topics are explored beyond job training to include self-advocacy, independent living, and community inclusion.  Then each area is drilled down to discover who prepared students, whether it was the child study team, transition coordinator, vocational rehabilitation, or Center for Independent Living.
  • Quality of Life
    The last area looks at current challenges, what’s working, and what students wished they knew.

Remember: Effective transition for students with disabilities to adult life is key to successful outcomes. 

On The Move: Transitioning Resources 

MPACT: Missouri Parents Act  

RAISE - Resources for Advocacy, Independence, Self-Determination, and Employment 

Parent Training and Information Centers 

National Council for Independent Living 


Cheryl Thompson is the Program Director of MPACT, Missouri Parents Act. For more information, see 

Read the article Assessing the Needs of Students with Disabilities During Transition