Feature Issue on Transition in a Global Context for People with Intellectual, Developmental, and Other Disabilities

From the Editors

man with shoulder length hair, glasses, and short beard, wearing blue plaid shirt smiling at camera. He is standing outside with greenery in the background.

Brian Abery

man with short brown hair, glasses, and short scruffy beard, smiling and looking at the camera. He is wearing a dark suit jacket and white shirt.

Jan Šiška

studio photograph of a man with short dark hair that is slightly graying, smiling and looking at the camera. He is wearing a dark suit and dark shirt.

Roger Stancliffe

outdoor headshot of a woman with long brown hair, wearing rimless glasses. She is smiling, wearing earrings, neckless, and a white dress.

Renáta Tichá

As this issue of Impact was nearing completion, a few of us boarded planes in Minneapolis, bound for Japan, Vietnam, and points in Europe to further our work in understanding secondary transition in the context of different cultures.

In Japan, for example, we found a focus on work-based learning that is similar to U.S. transition efforts. We also found colleagues who share our frustration that there are still few opportunities for customized career exploration, particularly for those with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (IDD). The emphasis in Japan on working as a team – in car washes and cafés – was a point of differentiation worth trying in other occupations and locales.

With this issue of Impact, we hope to similarly transport our readers, sharing efforts around the world to light a path for young people with IDD as they prepare for and enter adulthood, whether that means college, work, or simply living and belonging in the community. You’ll meet practitioners, young people, and families from the United States, Ukraine, Kenya, Bhutan, Australia, and elsewhere, sharing stories about how transition works, or doesn’t, for them. Through war, pandemic, changing laws, and disability injustices, you’ll see how they adapt and move forward in a rapidly changing world.

Transition is not a destination. It is not a school building or a segregated classroom. It is, or should be, an inclusive process leading to real outcomes – the competitive employment, active citizenship, and social networks that add meaning to life.

Work on this issue of Impact was supported in part by grants from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Post-Secondary Education for the National Center for College Students with Disabilities (# P116D210002) and the Administration on Community Living Project of National Significance - A Community-Based, Collaborative Transition Model for Minnesota Youth with IDD (# 90DNCE0007-01-00). The Czech Grant Agency (#22-26896S) supports some of the projects highlighted in the issue, and the Impact team would like to acknowledge the significant contributions of Julie Beadle-Brown from the University of Kent, United Kingdom, to these projects.