The Road Ahead: Transition to Adult Life for Persons With Disabilities, edited by Story, Bates, and Hunter, provides a comprehensive overview of effective strategies for preparing individuals with disabilities for adulthood. With 11 chapters , The Road Aheadcovers a wide range of topics that are applicable for parents, care-givers, and other members of the student’s support team, making it an excellent introductory text for those unfamiliar with the transition process and a great book for educators interested in catching up on research-based strategies. In each chapter, authors address common questions that arise during the transition planning process, from childhood to adulthood, and they provide comprehensive lists of best practice techniques. Each chapter also includes descriptive case studies that help illustrate important concepts. Researchers may also find The Road Aheada useful text, as each chapter addresses gaps in the research literature and provides a list of future research questions.
The Road Aheadbegins with an introduction by Story that outlines the topics covered. He stresses the importance of integrating individuals with disabilities with their peers and describes how transition from an academic to an employment setting is of great concern and interest to the field of education. He concludes by emphasizing the need to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities, a theme that is continuously addressed throughout the book.
Chapter 1 (“Person-Centered Transition Planning: Creating Lifestyles”), by Miner and Bates, effectively outlines the mechanics of a person-centered planning meeting (e.g., what it is, who should be involved) and the strategies to maximize outcomes from that meeting. One strategy the reader may find especially helpful is the concept of Personal Profile Development. This involves mapping the supports, preferences, and skills of the student in order to “establish an extremely important context for discussion regarding the student’s desired future lifestyle” (p. 16). Another important area the authors describe is how a student can direct their own IEP or transition meeting. The authors thoughtfully emphasize the importance of student directed goal planning and, as a result, are likely to inspire readers to aim for a similar outcome with their own students. [End Page 163]
Chapter 2 (“Instructional Assessment”), by Bates, describes important components of instructional assessment. Bates begins the chapter by introducing the importance of criterion-referenced instructional assessment (i.e., a measurement of student performance based on objective standards) of socially significant instructional objectives. Then, he provides simple instructions on basic intervention design and evaluation strategies while precisely emphasizing the importance of demonstrating environmental control over behavior. In addition, the author also describes the importance of data-based decision making using visual analysis and ways to incorporate socially significant goals into a student’s IEP. Overall, this chapter serves as an excellent primer on basic data collection and intervention analysis strategies.
In addition to appropriate assessment techniques, “the accurate instruction of learners with disabilities in community settings is of decisive importance” (p. 51). In Chapter 3 (“Systematic Instruction: Developing and Maintaining Skills that Enhance Community Inclusion”), Storey outlines the foundations of such instruction from a behavior-analytic perspective. He describes in a clear and concise way how to use prompts, reinforcement, and error correction when teaching individuals with disabilities. He defines and describes different ways to teach behavior chains and discusses how to troubleshoot when a student is having difficulty learning a specific skill. Finally, he describes procedures to increase the likelihood students will generalize skills to natural settings and procedures to teach students to self-manage their own behavior. This chapter may also serve as an introductory text for individuals unfamiliar with the basic principles of behavior.
In Chapter 4 (“Career Development: Developing Basic Work Skills and Employment Preferences”), written by Renzaglia, Hutchins, Dymond, and Shelden, the authors discuss a longitudinal approach for career development. According to the authors, “a longitudinal approach promotes the development of long-term and self-determined decisions and outcomes based upon a systematic review of experiences and instruction from elementary grades through high school...