READY Tool: Readiness Evaluation of Transition to Adulthood for Deaf-Blind Youth

Introduction

Young adults who are deaf-blind experience significant difficulties achieving their desired post-school goals (Petroff, 2001; NCDB, 2009; NFADB, 2008; Wagner et al., 2005). Many factors contribute to poor outcomes, but a primary influence is likely a lack of knowledge among families and service providers about relevant evidence-based practices for students with disabilities (Morningstar & Mazzotti, 2014). 

In response to this concern, the Northeast Regional Community of Practice, Creativity, and Support (COPCS), a group of expert personnel from state deaf-blind projects (2007), developed a transition evaluation guide for assessing the status of an individual’s transition services. In 2016, the National Center on Deaf-Blindness (NCDB) Transition Work Group revised the guide to reflect current practices, requirements, and trends in education, transition planning, and vocational rehabilitation. Informed by Kohler’s Taxonomy for Transition Programming (Kohler, 1996; Kohler & Coyle, 2009; Kohler, Gothberg, Fowler, & Coyle, 2016), the guide has been converted to a format that can be easily used by families and professionals, and renamed the READY Tool (Readiness Evaluation of Transition to Adulthood for Deaf-Blind Youth).

The READY Tool helps a transition team, composed of an individual who is deaf-blind, parents, and professionals, determine essential activities that must be carried out during the transition process. The completed tool should be used to generate a plan of action and develop goals and objectives for the IEP and transition plans.

Research shows that the use of evidence-based transition practices increases the likelihood of a successful transition to post-secondary education, employment, independent living, and other areas of adult life (Mazzotti, Test, & Mustian, 2014; Test et al., 2009). With this in mind, the READY Tool has been designed to reflect current evidence-based practices and is aligned with U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) State Performance Plan (SPP) Indicators. These federally mandated indicators emphasize the importance of individualized programs that reflect measurable objectives and transition services that can reasonably be expected to promote post-secondary independence and employment. 

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