Centering the Voices of Graduates to Shape Self-Advocacy

Centering the Voices of Graduates to Shape Self-Advocacy in Special Education Transition Programs: A Qualitative Study

Special Education transition programs in federally funded schools are accountable for delivering quality transition services, including self-advocacy instruction, to prepare students for adulthood. The majority of current research and evidence-based practices for self-advocacy are very narrow, prioritizing the IEP process and school setting as the primary vehicle for self-advocacy development. The ineffective nature of these practices is amplified when examining how current research and practice privilege the perspectives of professionals that often do not have working knowledge of what students experience after they graduate.
This research study explores the self-advocacy experiences of graduates with disabilities, to gain a deeper understanding of their unique challenges as they age and the self-advocacy skills or knowledge they found most useful in adulthood.