Research Article

Article Details

Citation:  Holland, L.; St. John, K.; & Getzel, E.E. (2024). Discovering ME: An innovative planning tool for students with significant disabilities. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 60 (1), 1-6.
Title:  Discovering ME: An innovative planning tool for students with significant disabilities
Authors:  Holland, L.; St. John, K.; & Getzel, E.E.
Year:  2024
Journal/Publication:  Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation
Publisher:  IOS Press
Full text:    |   PDF   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  No

Structured abstract:

Background:  The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) requires transition plans for students with disabilities to be based on high-quality, age-appropriate transition assessments. However, educators struggle to garner reliable assessment results for students with significant disabilities, because so few assessments are designed or validated for students with these barriers.
Purpose:  The purpose of this practice brief is to share details on the process, called Discovering ME, which provides an effective transition assessment and planning tool that is critical to increasing students’ employment outcomes, especially for those who face the most significant barriers to employment.
Data collection and analysis:  Sixty-one students across rural, urban, and suburban school districts participated in Discovering ME. Data were collected across five years, including demographic information and examples of students’ top career cluster areas for future employment. In addition, a statewide survey was conducted with educators participating in Discovering ME on the effectiveness of this early career planning process.
Findings:  The Discovering ME process provides career-related opportunities for students with significant barriers in the home, school, and community in a variety of career clusters based on their expressed interests. Educators report that the focus of this process on students and their interests helped to create positive experiences for them by creating opportunities for success.
Conclusions:  The Discovering ME process provides students with disabilities with authentic, coordinated career awareness and development activities and the building of self-determination, work readiness, and community integration skills.