A Transition Portfolio for Jeff, a Student with Multiple Disabilities

By Demchak, MaryAnn; Greenfield, Robin G. | Teaching Exceptional Children, July/August 2000 | Go to article overview

A Transition Portfolio for Jeff, a Student with Multiple Disabilities


Demchak, MaryAnn, Greenfield, Robin G., Teaching Exceptional Children


Jeff is 14 years old and about to leave middle school and enter high school-a potentially intimidating time for any student. Middle school was a good experience for Jeff. He attended many different classes and did particularly well in those classes that involved hands-on activities. Jeff was part of a circle of friends who "hung out" together in the halls before school, as well as at lunchtime.

Although Jeff is similar to other young men his age in many ways (e.g., he likes girls, he prefers certain classes and teachers, he likes watching football on TV), there are also some issues that make his move to high school more complex than some of his peers. Jeff has severe, multiple disabilities that include cognitive and motor impairments, limited verbal communication, a mild hearing loss, and a visual impairment. His family, teachers, and friends have worked hard to make sure that Jeff has a communication system that works for him and the people he communicates with during the day. They have also developed some creative ways for Jeff to participate in various classes and practice the skills he needs to work on.

In an effort to make Jeff's move from middle school to high school as smooth as possible, Mrs. Smith, one of Jeff's teachers, developed a transition portfolio. She hopes the portfolio will help his new teachers get to know him better and assist them as they develop his high school program. For example, Jeff uses some broad gestures to communicate but also has developed some subtle body movements to indicate when he is uncomfortable or wants something to drink. Unless someone has spent time with Jeff, they would not automatically know that these body movements have an important message.

This article discusses the concept of transition portfolios and the procedures for developing them (see box, "What Is a Transition Portfolio?"). Examples from Jeff's portfolio illustrate the types of information included, such as personal and medical information, helpful educational and programming strategies, communication needs and solutions, and behavioral support.

Information Gathering

The development of a portfolio is a team effort. It involves not only the student's current teachers, paraprofessionals, support personnel, and administrators, but family members, peers, and the student. Any member of the student's team can initiate a portfolio, and it can consist of any kind of information the team deems important for new team members to know to create a quality educational program for the student. Information contained in the transition portfolio differs from a student's cumulative folder in that it does not contain such items as test scores, but rather focuses on details that are critical to a student's everyday functioning and learning.

The information-gathering process usually goes on over the course of a school year. Members of the team jot down important details and strategies and then document these items in a more formal way at the end of the year (e.g., notebook). For example, because Jeff is on several medications, his team felt it was important to document the type of medications he is taking and the effect these medications have on his behavior. It is up to the team members to develop a transition portfolio that describes the student's gifts and individual characteristics. The following section describes some basic portfolio components.

Portfolio Components

Personal Information

At a minimum, the personal section of the portfolio should include a brief overview of the student. For example, it may help the receiving teacher to know something about the student's likes and dislikes. This kind of information helps the teacher see the student first as a person with personal characteristics, rather than just a student with a disability.

One effective way of gathering personal information about a student is by using an approach such as Making Action Plans (MAPS-formerly McGill Action Planning System; Forest & Pearpoint, 1992). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Transition Portfolio for Jeff, a Student with Multiple Disabilities
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.