A comparison of perceived roles and competencies of parties involved in individual transition planning for secondary students with disabilities
Nolan, Joseph Edward
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The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA, 1990) as amended in 1997 by Public Law 105-17 requires an Individual Transition Plan as a component of the already mandated Individual Education Plan. In those areas which do not have a transition specialist on staff, school district personnel, related service providers, outside agencies and parents find themselves unaware or confused about the roles and responsibilities of each party in the Individual Transition Plan process. The purpose of this proposed project was to determine if there is a significant difference in the perceived roles and competencies of members of the transition planning team between rural and non-rural communities. An instrument containing 40 tasks germaine to the Individual Transition Plan process was developed to query 400 participants on their perceived level of responsibility and competence. The sample was selected from school districts in the Region 2 Education Service Center in the Coastal Bend area of Texas, divided between rural and non-rural local education agencies and dispersed among team roles (e.g., parents, teachers, administrators, etc.) The instrument was mailed to the 42 districts in the region. The parent population was chosen without regard for category of exceptionality. The data were entered and analyzed to test the hypotheses using Statistical Package for Social Sciences, Version 8.0 for Windows 95. Analysis ofVariance revealed no significant difference between rural and non-rural districts in perceived roles/responsibilities or perceived competence as reflected by training. However, significance was found in perceptions of responsibility between parents and professionals. Finally, bivariate correlation analysis revealed a significant relationship between participants' global perception of competence, as reflected by training, and their perception when faced with specific tasks.