Transitions occur at many stages in each of our lives, whenever we move from one activity or role to the next. Similarly, children and youth who are blind or visually impaired with additional disabilities will experience many transitions during their lives, such as the transition from home to school, from one school to another, from school to work, or from being at home to being out in the community. For the purposes of this website, transition refers to the preparation for and the move from school or childhood into adult life. It includes participation in vocational and social activities, and being an active member of the community in which one lives.
The Individual is at the Center of the Transition Process
When planning for the transition from school or home to adult life in the community, the individual should be at the center of the process. This means that planning should begin with an understanding of who the individual is, including her interests, preferences, and experiences. Personal Futures Planning is a helpful tool for this, in which people who are key to the individual's life gather to look at dreams for the future and available resources.
The Importance of Planning
Young adults who are blind or visually impaired with additional disabilties need special assistance to plan for their entry into adult life. Whether or not they have attended school or are able to secure paying employment, they will need training and support to be able to be as independent as possible as adults, and to participate fully in the communities where they live. It often takes quite a long time to plan, since many times there is not an existing program or job that is suitable. It is therefore important to begin to gather a team together, with the family and the youth in transition at the center of the group, and begin the process well before the actual transition occurs. The tools and resources on this site are designed to help you get started!
To learn more about transition, see also:
This 40-page chapter from Creating Learning Opportunities: A Step-by-Step Guide to Teaching Students with Vision Impairment and Additional Disabilities, Including Deafblindness includes the following sections: 1) Preparing for Adult Life; 2) Vocational Training and Independent Living for Young Adults with Vision Impairment and Additional Disabilities; 3) Sex Education. It provides detailed information about the transition process and vocational training, including specific forms in the appendix. The book is edited by Reena Bhandari and Jayanthi Narayan, and published by Voice & Vision India.
Click here to open the chapter.
To learn more about the transition process, see this power point presentation from Siriporn Tantaopas (Noie) of Northern School for the Blind, Chiang Mai, Thailand.