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BOOK REVIEWS Deaf Students and the School-to-Work Transition. T. A. Allen, B. W. Rawlings, and A. N. Schildroth. Paul H. Brookes (publisher), Baltimore, MD, 1989. Deaf Students and the School-to-Work Transition summarizes current policy and practice in supporting deaf students in accessing education and work after they exit secondary education. The major part of the book documents a research project conducted at Gallaudet University's Center for Assessment and Demographic Studies (CADS)— historically a leader in researching the characteristics of deaf youth and their education in the United States. Although most research carried out by CADS has focused on the characteristics of deaf youth and assessment of their academic achievement, the study reported in this book focused directly on educational and rehabilitative practices with deaf youth who are preparing to leave secondary education. The fields of deaf education and rehabilitation can certainly benefit from such a study. The authors drew upon several sources for their data. For information about deaf high school students, they relied on demographic information from the Annual Survey of Hearing Impaired Children and Youth and a questionnaire sent to a sample of deaf students concerning their occupational status while in school. For information about the type of career training provided to students, a questionnaire was sent to programs serving deaf high school students. Another questionnaire , which focused on career training opportunities used by students, was sent to counselors in the programs. Data from these sources provided information about (1) the nature of the vocational training received by deaf students in the schools; (2) the involvement of vocational rehabilitation and other agencies in vocational education; (3) the work experiences of deaf students while in school; (4) the role of assessment in assisting vocational guidance of deaf students; (5) the degree to which schools and vocational rehabilitation enter into formal agreements; and (6) an analysis of the drop out rates for deaf high school students. The chapters that discuss these topics provide abundant statistical information about the services available to deaf students as they prepare to exit the relative shelter of the high school environment. From my perspective, the statistics about high drop out rates for deaf students are alarming, and do not bode well for improving the occupational status of deaf people. When I begin to read a book, I usually search for some statements addressing its purpose and for whom it is intended. However, the authors did not state why they decided to address the transition topic. Such a statement might have provided better direction for discussing the results. In many ways, the final section of the last chapter, which addresses changes in the American work force, would have provided a good rationale for the transition study. Rapidly changing technology and the demands it makes on the work force will certainly challenge educators and rehabilitation personnel to find ways to ensure that young deaf people will be prepared to cope with the changing world. The book is an excellent documentary of the state of the art in preparing deaf people for the world beyond high school. It does little, however, to suggest what might be done to address the issues raised. From a policy perspective, the book provides a wealth of data documenting the lack of preparation and coordinated services for young deaf people preparing to enter the world after high school. It especially emphasizes the fact that minority deaf students are at even more risk than their nonminority peers. With the exception of the chapter on assessment, little in the book suggests ways of improving the services provided to deaf students by teachers, vocational counselors, and réhabilitation counselors. But for persons concerned with influencing public policy related to deafness, for academicians doing research in the area of deafness, and for administrative personnel in a position to influence practice in the delivery of services, the book will provide insight and support for their actions. Gerard G Walter Director Center for Postsecondary Career Studies in Deafness NTID/RIT Rochester, NY 252 AAD Vol. 137, No. 3 ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1543-0375
Print ISSN
0002-726X
Pages
p. 252
Launched on MUSE
2013-04-22
Open Access
No
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