Related Reports: Challenges in the Transition from High School

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) Report 12-594, Students with Disabilities: Better Federal Coordination Could Lessen Challenges in the Transition From High School (July 2012), provides information on the following:

  • Challenges students with disabilities encounter when accessing federally funded transition services
  • Extent to which federal agencies coordinate services
  • Stakeholder input including that of state and local officials, service providers, parents and students with disabilities (inside cover)

    The report also recommends that the Social Security Administration and the three federal Departments of Education, Labor and Health and Human Services develop an interagency transition strategy that addresses the following: 

    • Operating toward common outcome goals for transitioning youth  
    • Increasing awareness of available transition services 
    • Assessing the effectiveness of their coordination efforts in order to improve the provision of transition services to students with disabilities 

    Florida was one of five states interviewed in the report. Project 10 is mentioned on page 11 as a "state effort to coordinate services across programs" as follows:

    "Florida's 'Project 10 Transition Education Network' helps school districts provide appropriate planning and timely transition services to assist students with disabilities in their transition to adulthood and to improve their academic success and post-school outcomes. One of the network's current focuses is on interagency collaboration, with the goal of improving collaboration between school districts and community agencies that provide transition services to young adults with disabilities."

    Access the full report (pdf).

    In February 2015, the Department of Health and Human Services, in collaboration with the Department of Education, Labor, and the Social Security Administration, published the 2020 Federal Youth Transition Plan: A Federal Interagency Strategy (pdf) in response to GAO's July 2012 report recommendation.  This strategy describes a shared vision and compatible outcome goals to foster enhanced interagency coordination, in order to ultimately improve outcomes for youth with disabilities by 2020. The plan also identifies several areas of strategic focus, including improving education and outreach to the public regarding policy and practices governing transition programs.

    Consistent with GAO’s recommendation to improve the provision of transition services through enhanced coordination and compatible policies among the multiple federal programs that support transitioning youth with disabilities and their families, and using the shared vision as our guide, Federal Partners in Transition (FPT) Workgroup also identified five compatible outcome goals. These five goals operate across agency boundaries and will underpin the overall federal interagency strategy moving forward. To support positive outcomes for youth with disabilities, FPT is committed to partnering with experts across multiple federal agencies and their respective programs, including both disability and mainstream programs, to ensure that they are universally designed and accessible. As a result, youth with disabilities and all youth will have an equal opportunity to the following: 

    • Access health care services and integrated work-based experiences in high school to better understand how to manage their physical, mental and emotional well-being, to enhance their job-readiness skills and career planning and to make a successful transition from school to work and greater independence
    • Develop self-determination and engage in self-directed individualized planning to prepare them for postsecondary education, healthcare management, vocational training, and/or employment 
    • Be connected to programs, services, activities, information and supports for which they are eligible that prepare them to self-manage their health and wellness, pursue meaningful careers, become financially literate and capable and make informed choices about their lives
    • Develop leadership and advocacy skills needed to exercise informed decision-making and personal and community leadership
    • Have involvement from families and other caring adults with high expectations to support them in achieving their goals