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Preparing youth with IEPs for college


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Shared by Stephanie Dawson during the second annual Ohio Reach Summit. Ohio Reach is a statewide effort to increase the number of foster care youth who enroll in and graduate from college.

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Preparing youth with IEPs for college

  1. 1. Preparing Youth with IEPs for College<br />Presented by<br />Stephanie D. Dawson MSW, LSW, LCDCIII<br />Miami University-Hamilton Campus<br />Coordinator of Disability Services<br />513-785-3143;<br />
  2. 2. Objectives<br />Understand the key policies that impact foster care youth with disabilities.<br />Review the IEP/504 plan purpose and process.<br />Increase knowledge of the key differences between obtaining high school and post-secondary services and the priority areas for transition planning.<br />Discuss the challenges that foster care youth with disabilities are faced with as they prepare to transition to college.<br />
  3. 3. IDEA Overview<br />Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act of 1990 with recent reauthorization in 2004 and final rules and regulations put forth in 2006.<br />Mandates states to guarantee a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) to all children (ages 3-21) with disabilities.<br />FAPE includes special education classes and “related services”.<br />School must: IDENTIFY, EVALUATE,NOTIFY AND PROVIDE.<br />
  4. 4. Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 with amendments in 2008. Final rules and regulations since recent amendments are in process.<br />Prohibits discrimination on the basis of a disability in employment, state and local government, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation and telecommunications.<br />ADA Overview<br />
  5. 5. Vocation Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504<br />Mandates that no person due to their disability be discriminated against or excluded from the activities or benefits of a program/activity that receives federal monies or is conducted by a govt. agency.<br />How is it different from the ADA? : ADA has expanded protection.<br />VRA Section 504<br />
  6. 6. Disability Definitions<br />ADA: a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; or has a record of such impairment; or is regarded as having such an impairment.<br />
  7. 7. Disability Definitions<br />IDEA: a child with mental retardation, hearing impairments (including deafness), speech or language impairments, visual impairments (including blindness), serious emotional disturbance, orthopedic impairments, autism, traumatic brain injury, or other health impairments, or specific learning disabilities and who by reason thereof needs special education and related services.<br />Children ages 3-9 experiencing developmental delays can be included at the discretion of the state and local educational agency.<br />
  8. 8. IEP Overview<br />Written statement that outlines a specific instructional program that will be provided to meet the educational needs of the student.<br />Must be reviewed yearly and transition planning must begin by age 16.<br />IDEA coverage.<br />Involves a multi-disciplinary planning team that should include the student and foster parent/educational surrogate.<br />Focus is on educational services.<br />
  9. 9. Written statement that outlines the accommodations needed for a student to gain equal access to the educational environment.<br />ADA and VRA, Section 504 coverage.<br />Focus is on equal access.<br />504 Plan Overview<br />
  10. 10. Obtaining Services in K-12 vs. Post-Sec<br />IDEA does not apply to the post-secondary environment.<br />ADA and VRA Section 504 guide the activities of colleges and universities.<br />Documentation is critical and insufficient documentation creates major barriers to receiving timely disability services in colleges and universities.<br />Emphasis is on ACCESS with no guarantee for success.<br />
  11. 11. Obtaining Services in K-12 vs. Post-Sec<br />Students must be “otherwise qualified”.<br />Modifications are not provided, only accommodations.<br />No accommodations can impact the essential components or fundamental nature of curriculum.<br />Documentation for Specific Learning and Disabilities and ADHD must be recent (3-5 years) and include adult measures and DSM-IV-TR diagnostic codes.<br />
  12. 12. Priority Areas<br />Self-Determination Development<br /> -SKILLS, INFORMATION, OPPORTUNITY, SUPPORT<br /> (L.E. Powers, 1996)<br />Self-Advocacy Development<br />Avoid “watering down” the student’s curriculum with modifications, particularly in their junior and senior years. (Strategy #6 Casey Publication)<br />Student and foster parent/educational surrogate should attend all IEP meetings<br />Weigh the pros and cons of “review of records” at reevaluation time.<br />
  13. 13. Transition Challenges for Foster Care Youth<br />Placement Instability<br />The 2006 Academic Achievement Study found that foster care youth with disabilities had an average of 4.45 placements versus 3.35 for their foster care youth peers without disabilities. (Geenen & Powers, 2006)<br />Limited knowledge of rights and resources.<br />Lack of parental advocacy and poor appointment and participation of educational surrogates.<br />Crisis events overshadow focus on education.<br />Less likely to have a least restrictive setting placement.<br />
  14. 14. Transition Challenges for Foster Care Youth<br />Silo approach among care providers.<br />More work is needed to collaborate IDEA (IEP) services and Chafee(ILP) services.<br />Significant difference between self-management skills needed in foster care vs. post-emancipation.<br />Foster care youth are less frequently viewed as being “college bound” . Be sure to explore and challenge bias involved with determining if a student is “college bound”.<br />
  15. 15. Geenen, SJ., Powers, LE., Hogansen, JM., & Pittman, JO. (2007). Youth with disabilities in foster care: developing self-determination within a context of struggle and disempowerment. Exceptionality, 15(1), 17-30. <br />Brown, JD., Moraes, S., & Mayhew, J. (2005). Service needs of foster families with children who have disabilities. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 14(3), 2005. <br />Geenen, S., & Powers, L. (2006). Are we Ignoring youths with disabilities in foster care? an examination of their school performance. Social Work, 51(3), 233-241. <br />Hill, K. (2009). Individuals with disabilities act of 2004 and the john h. chafee act of 1999: what are the policy implications for youth with disabilities transitioning from foster care?. Child Welfare, 88(2), 5-23. <br />Supporting Success: Improving Higher Education Outcomes for Youth from Foster Care, which 2010 Ohio Reach Summit participants will receive in hard-copy form.<br />Stein, Theodore. (2006). Child welfare and the law. Washington D.C.: CWLA Press. <br />References<br />