Date of Award

2013

Degree Type

Creative Project

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

Department

Special Education and Rehabilitation

First Advisor

Robert Morgan

Abstract

A major focus in secondary education for many students with disabilities is to improve independent living skills and prepare students with the vocational skills needed to participate in competitive employment. Yet the outcomes remain poor for these students when compared with their nondisabled peers. One factor accounting for poor outcomes is lack of preparation for the parents. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of parent training on knowledge of transition agencies and supports for students with disabilities. The study was intended to connect parents with needed agencies and supports for the purpose of improving transition outcomes for students with disabilities. Two types of training were compared: (a) exposure to a brochure with transition information, and (b) brochure exposure plus 60-min of small group training conducted by the researcher. The Brochure Only group consisted of 13 participants while the Brochure Plus Training Group had 16 participants. First, parents individually took a pretest to determine their knowledge of transition agencies and support services. Parents in the Brochure Only group showed a mean pretest score of 1.38 out of 10.0. Parents in the brochure plus training group showed a mean pretest score of 1.13 out of 10.0. Second, parents were given a copy of a transition brochure that included contact numbers and web site information for each agency discussed during the training. Parents in the brochure group reviewed the brochure information for up to 60 min. Parents in the brochure plus small-group training met with the researcher who described each agency and service. Third, immediately following the training, parents individually took the same test as a posttest. The brochure only group showed a mean posttest score of 3.0 out of 10.0, the mean difference score being 1.62 when compared to the pretest. The brochure plus training group showed a mean posttest score of 7.31 out of 10.0, the mean difference score being 6.19 when compared to the pretest. Finally, all participants were directed to select an agency from the brochure and set a goal to make contact with that agency. After 30 days, the researcher contacted all of the participants to verify if the contact was made. Results for the brochure plus training group showed that nine out of 16 parents made contact with a community agency. Results for the brochure only group showed that zero out of 13 made contact with a community agency. Parents who participated in the Brochure Plus Training showed a larger increase in their posttest knowledge score and were more likely to make contact with a community agency than parents in the Brochure Only group.

Share

COinS